Let out to roam

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by franko, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. franko

    franko Songster

    Oct 22, 2007
    Hunt, Tx
    How long should I keep my new pullets/hens in the coop before I let them out to roam? I want them back in by dark. Thanking in advance
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Depends upon how old they are & how far they can potentially roam. Another consideration is whether they come to you when called. That will help you teach them to come to roost at night. You may have to round them up for a while and put them away, or keep them cooped up for a few days to teach them that's "home".

    I live in a surburban neighborhood with neighbors and an alley. Everything is fenced (until a chicken finds a hole, that is). We would let them out for the day when they were still in the brooder - about 4-5 weeks old. Once the coop was done & in place, one day we turned around and the 4 chickens were gone. They'd put themselves away for the night! Now it's a nightly thing around 7:30p. I'm surprised they go to bed so early, to be honest. It's typically light until 9 here.
  3. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Keep them cooped for a week or two, then they will recognize it as home and return to it at dusk.
  4. We had to round ours up the first few times we let them out. Now, at 8:30 almost on the dot, they head into their barn on their own! It's a beautiful thing!!
  5. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    I kept mine in their coop until they were about 12 weeks oldÂ….they are almost 15 weeks now. I felt like they were big enough then to run and hide from danger if there was any. They have a large fenced area to roam in and so far (knock on wood) they have never tried to fly over the fence, they seem very happy to stay in their yard.

    They put themselves to bed from the first night but they like to squeeze every last second of daylight out of the day that they can and the sun is almost down by the time the last straggler goes into the coop for the night.
  6. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I kept mine in the brooder for 5 weeks...the I transered them to their outdoor coop for two weeks...not letting them out into their run during the two weeks. Then at the end of the two weeks I let them out into their run for the first time. MOST of them went in at sundown by themselves...we had to put the cochins in tho. Next night we let them stay out until actual sundown which was about 8:37pm and they ALL went into bed on their own. After two weeks in their RUN we let them out to free range. THAT was scary! They were nine weeks when we started free ranging... they ALL went back into the coop at 8:37pm on that first day out to free range! It was so amazing to see! We only gave them a few hours before bed tho for the first couple of days...then we slowly added time. We are now up to 4 hours before sundown letting them out. The main thing is to be patient with the waiting and keeping them cooped for that two weeks. Good luck!
  7. franko

    franko Songster

    Oct 22, 2007
    Hunt, Tx
    Thank you all so much. I raised chickens ten years ago and have forgot some things. Your post helps remind me. I couldn't remember at what age I let them out. I do remember them coming in like clockwork when it got dark. They are so much fun. My grandchildren talked me into cleaning out the old coop, repairing fence and bought twelve cochins. I have a large coop and plenty of room for them to range. I had Road Islands before and find the cochens much sweeter. The RR's roosters got mean and couldn't let grandbaby's around them. Thanks for all the help. frankoo

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