letting chicks roam free?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by siouxbee, May 9, 2007.

  1. siouxbee

    siouxbee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2007
    It's been really warm here this week (70s, but sunny and no wind, so the thermometer I have in their pen sometimes registers 122!) so I've been letting our girls outside. When we're not out, we put them in a makeshift pen with a grate on top, and plenty of stuff to create shade in there.

    When we're outside, I have been letting them roam free. They're starting to be harder to put away at night, especially since we don't have a coop set up, and it's too cold for them at night anyway.

    Should I not be letting them out, or if I do, keep them penned until they have a coop or learn to come in and not run away when it get cool?

    Thanks,
    Sioux
     
  2. millicent

    millicent Out Of The Brooder

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    i used to give them something special (scratch or whatever) in the late evening by the coop (or in it) they seem to find their way back pretty well. In fact, they haunt us whenever we go outside, we may bear treats, you know! By now they have the sense to go in when its cold.
     
  3. siouxbee

    siouxbee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2007
    Yeah, I might keep them penned during the day for a little while instead of roaming, because I've heard they're too young for scratch, and didn't seem to get why I was trying to give them tiny crumbs of toast of shreds of lettuce yesterday.

    I don't like the chasing bit at the end of the day, as I feel like it's going to train them to run from us, instead of to us!
     
  4. millicent

    millicent Out Of The Brooder

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    come to think of it, when they were young, they were penned (big pen, tho) and this summer we have been letting them roam...they do eventually learn to come in, so dont despair. There WAS one night I hated having chix for about 3 seconds...warm (for maine) winter day i let them out to get some fresh air...it turned cold and started to sleet and two of the einstiens had got themselves locked out somehow.
    chasing chickens in the snow not fun:mad:
    Sounds corny, but i always call to them (since they were little) with the same chicken voice my grammy used...something along the lines of 'here chik chik chik' and now they will come to that almost always.
     
  5. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I wonder if this is instinctual, the way a bird knows how to fly, without being taught?

    I had no chicken-loving grammy, but do find myself calling, "here, chicky poo, here chick chick chick"

    Frome where did I learn that????!!!!!
     
  6. jkm

    jkm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have kept my three close to the coop, I let one out at a time, for thirty minutes. the wildest is kept in a pen by the door for her time out.
    I turn the heat lamp back on at night.
    In one week they all rush to the coop at 815.
    small steps, big training.
    we are working on going in and out the coop door on request, getting better, has taken three days of little sessions.
    chicknes are trainable, just do smal pieces at a time.
    cheers
     
  7. ChickaChickaBoomBoom

    ChickaChickaBoomBoom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I wonder if this is instinctual, the way a bird knows how to fly, without being taught?

    I had no chicken-loving grammy, but do find myself calling, "here, chicky poo, here chick chick chick"

    Frome where did I learn that????!!!!!

    I keep hearing Carol Burnett in my mind saying "Here pidgie, pidgie, pidgie." I think I'll use that, along with some scratch, as my "get back in the coop" call as needed.

    -Dave
     
  8. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    122° in the pen will cook them ! I wouldn't lock them up in there during the day unless you provide a lot more ventilation.

    Can you make some type of a fence funnel to guide them back where they are suppose to go at night ?
     
  9. siouxbee

    siouxbee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2007
    that's one of the reasons i was letting them roam free, but as it was just boards and crates, I relocated over where they seemed to like to hang most, near the compost heap. there's lots more shade, and it was only 80-90 in there today. once they're a little bigger we'll try the roam free thing, and I'll train them to come with scratch or other treats and the here chicky chicky chicky call
     

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