Letting the newbies free range - with or without older birds?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AriLovesChickens, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. AriLovesChickens

    AriLovesChickens Songster

    Jun 27, 2011
    N Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    It's a nice day, and I'm contemplating letting my six 7-week-old birds out for the first time. I'm kind of afraid that they won't return to their little coop and be impossible to catch.

    I also have five older pullets (4 of which are laying). Would it be a Bad Idea to let them all out in the yard together? There are plenty of places to run and hide, but I'm wondering if the little ones might just continue on over the fence...


  2. Gofygure

    Gofygure Songster

    Mar 4, 2012
    My Coop
    I have some seven week old chicks that have been free ranging with my five hens for a week or two now. The hens harass them if they get too close, but otherwise things have settled down and they mostly ignore each other. They even drank from the same waterer today.

    Catching the chicks to put them back in the brooder is a reallll pain though. There's always one last, panicking Silkie that takes as long as all the other chick's combined, lol.
  3. Delta2 23

    Delta2 23 Flock Master

    Sep 4, 2008
    7 week olds should be fine outside. Our second chicks were about the same age when they went out to the brooder to live with the "big girls". They got pecked at feeding time, but otherwise was okay.

    Perhaps you could fence the chicks in with some chicken wire? We sometimes do that, we have a lot of old wire lying unused in the garden.

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