Just received 31 pullets Thursday and want to free range them.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wdr61, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. wdr61

    wdr61 Hatching

    Jul 24, 2013


    I don't really know how old they are but believe they are 2-3 months old. Got them this past Thursday around 2pm and they have been inside the coop 24/7 since then. I was told to keep them in there for about a week before letting them out. They seem content in the coop. I was thinking of opening the chicken door tomorrow evening around 7:30pm to see if any were curious enough to go outside. I have no fence and lots of woods surrounding me. Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

  2. five is my dog

    five is my dog Songster

    Jul 4, 2013
    just keep an eye on them. i do think you should get a rooster to keep watch over them. even if you dont want to breed. when you have free ranging hens out a rooster will guide them and protect them. i got a rooster for the first time about 2 years ago. he died protecting his hens and i couldnt go more than a week before getting another.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    If you are surrounded by woods, chances are you are also surrounded by predators. I strongly recommend getting a run that is totally enclosed. I let mine out of the run most days, but if you are going to be gone, you will have less losses with a coup/run combination.

    Also, I have found, that if I get a predator picking my birds off in the daylight, if I keep them locked up for several days, the predator often moves on.

    I think you could let them out much earlier than 7:30. As it starts getting dark, they will head back to the coup. If you want to use a long stick, and tap the ground behind the chicks, with them between you and the run. As they move toward the coup, walk forward. Using this, you can round up chickens pretty easily.

    However, they will naturally go to the coup with the dark. Be sure and shut the coop up at night, so that the night time predators don't get them. Chickens are very vulnerable in the dark.

    If you free range them, the chance you might loose some are fairly high. But they like it better even so.

    Mrs K

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