Letting the chickens out

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by janet2802, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. janet2802

    janet2802 Out Of The Brooder

    38
    0
    32
    Apr 16, 2007
    Elizabeth, Colorado
    Oh mighty chicken lovers! I would like to let my chickens out of their coop area, but am not sure if that is a good idea or not. I haven't ever let them out before, but thought that since it is a nice day and they can help with the grasshoppers, that they could do well stretching their legs. My concern is getting them back in again. Do they know to go back into the coop or do I have to do an old-fashioned chicken round-up (ok, maybe not). They are just starting to lay and the girls (the human ones [​IMG]) are loving getting the eggs. We do have three dogs and a cat that goes outside, but I can keep them in the house. What do you think? Can I let them out and not worry? Or should I just leave them in?

    Janet
     
  2. Chicken_Girl

    Chicken_Girl Out Of The Brooder

    49
    0
    32
    Aug 24, 2007
    Farnborough
    if your yard or area is very well fenced off then i would say yes but (oh no not the but) bit concerned about the dog and cat it would be a bit iffy if they start sniffing the chickens although you did say you could keep them in i do strongly recommend that you watch them if its their first time or your not fenced of enough or if you have small children running about


    at the end of the day its up to you do what you think is right
     
  3. janet2802

    janet2802 Out Of The Brooder

    38
    0
    32
    Apr 16, 2007
    Elizabeth, Colorado
    Well, that's the problem. We don't have any fencing in our yard. We living on 20 acres and only have a hot wire for the horses. Thanks for the advice though.
     
  4. Chicken_Girl

    Chicken_Girl Out Of The Brooder

    49
    0
    32
    Aug 24, 2007
    Farnborough
    you might be ok if you watch them like all the time they are out and just stop them from escaping
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2007
  5. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
    22
    261
    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    They will come back to the coop at sundown.
     
  6. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    1,881
    10
    171
    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    let them out if they come back they are yours if they dont they never were- with a line like that I should work for Halmark Mine are out all day and always return before it gets dark If you are worried they will wonder to far let them out with just a couple of hours till sunset so they wont get far before bedtime then let them out longer each day till you feel comfortable letting them out all day. I assume you have been letting them out in thier yard and they always return to coop for the night.
     
  7. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
    22
    261
    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Quote:[​IMG]
     
  8. janet2802

    janet2802 Out Of The Brooder

    38
    0
    32
    Apr 16, 2007
    Elizabeth, Colorado
    You guys are funny! Actually, I have never let them out, but they do try to escape all the time. Maybe I will try today. At least they can't go that far. Just put running shoes on the kids and watch them round them up. Yee haw. [​IMG]
     
  9. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
    1
    159
    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    I let mine out for the first time about an hour before they normally would go to roost. They didn't wander far, and I watched them the whole time. They went in themselves with no problems.

    I still keep an eye on them, and let them out in the evenings. We've been doing this for a few weeks now, I think. They range further and further all the time. Last night, I tossed down a few handfuls of oats in front of the door to get them to come back in closer as it was getting dark. I have a few hens that seem to just settle in wherever they are standing when they get tired and I do NOT want to have to go searching in the dark for them!

    (Hehe, one hen was behind the run when she saw me put out the oats, and ran frantically back and forth by the run wire trying to "get to" me ... I had to walk AROUND the run and let her see me before she figured it out, and then she flew most of the way in from there. Silly chickens ... )

    When I do let them out early in the day, all I have to do is take food into the coop and they are happy to follow me in ... except the roos. I have to catch them.

    enjoy your chickens!

    trish
     
  10. pattycake

    pattycake Chillin' With My Peeps

    414
    1
    151
    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    You could train them to come when you call, first, and then let them out. That's what I did. It works really well if you make a certain noise before you give them a treat, and they'll come running whenever you make that noise. I know mine get tired of freeranging after about two hours, and are ready to come inside and have a little snack and a midday nap.

    Except occaisionally there are one or two who get stubborn and I have to chase, but mostly the chicks like to stay together...

    Mine free range on our three acres, no fence, but they really only wander on a half acre or so. I do keep my eye on them, and keep my cats inside.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by