leery of letting chickens free-range

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by davecash, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. davecash

    davecash Songster

    Jul 22, 2007
    poppy and i are a bit leery of letting the chickens out of their pen for the first time to free range out in our back yard, anything we should know, are we too over protective, or what? i dont wanna loose em, or have em fly away. i have gotten way too attached
  2. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    I think you have to start out small periods of time while you are outside. It will be a little hard to herd them back up but that's when you give them treats.

    Good luck on your decisions.

  3. pharr389

    pharr389 Songster

    May 10, 2007
    southeast georgia
    let them out late of an evening (just before dark) the first few times. they should go back in the pen(home). letting them out late should stop them from traveling to for away the first few times. [​IMG]
  4. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    I will never free range. I'm to scared. If you free range loss and death are in your future. It's a sad fact.
  5. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    If you've had them in their run for awhile. You shouldn't really have a problem with them going back in. I've only had one or two that seem to forget where the gate was to the run. I just shoo them back in by waving my arms slowly. I let them out the first time later in the day just before they go in to roost. After a couple times they know and will go in on their own. Good Luck
  6. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Songster

    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    Chickens are "chicken" of the world, they want to go home at night once they know where home is. I risk free ranging my chickens, in part because I know the risk is not as high as if I were in a dog-common setting. They take their rests under brush or tree cover. The joy of seeing them unconfined ranging over many acres is uncomparable. So many bugs and so much litter to scratch in. No pecking each other because they are intellectually stimulated at an appropriate chicken level [​IMG]
    Just my thoughts so far....
  7. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    I envy those of you who can free range your birds. Too many predators in my area for that.
  8. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    I take the chance and have lost some to hawks in the winter. I agree with Zenbirder and they seem so much happier and healthy. I am sure everyone on here who free ranges their birds will tell you that yes, loss will happen at some point. A little while ago I was out on my back porch and they all come running when I cluck and I was throwing them dry oatmeal and they were having the time of their lives scratching and running all over. I only wish I got as much exercise as they do. They stay under low lying bushes alot but I thoroughly enjoy the therapy I get from watching them roam my property.
  9. CtlisencedArborist

    CtlisencedArborist Songster

    Jul 20, 2007
    Southern is 100% right.Free Range means losing a few of ya babys!I have never lost a chx yet.1.My pen is like Fort Knox.2.I dont freerange.I do give the babys a gallon pale of grass twice a day.i choose to pic salamanders and worms for them.I like my chx just the way they are,alive.You will not read about some coon going over the top of my pen cause i dont have a top on it.I love my babys and they love me.I did recently make a 300 foot pen for them that I am going to try them in soon.Yes free range is right,no,I dont want to lose my babys.i am going to put a flock net on the top of the pen so no hawks will get them.Out here we have everything from black bears to yutes to coons.The objective of having chx is to love them and keep them alive!it dosnt mean you are not giving them the best life possible,because being a cooped chx and happy means a alive chx......Semper Fi Dose Chx!
  10. Grammi

    Grammi Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    Rogers City, Michigan
    I have my chickens in a run. But I let them out whenever I am out in the yard for a hour or more. My yard is fairly open so that I can keep an eye on them. They especially like our garden [​IMG] I have two long sticks that i use to herd them back in when it is time. Although if I am out later in the evening. They go in by themselves. They absolutely love being out. But like some I have too many preditors. When I open their gate, they just run like crazy to get out the gate. Even though they have a large run, they are absolutely in heaven outside.

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