Letting them free-range for the first time - what to expect?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Artie, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Artie

    Artie Out Of The Brooder

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    I am painting the coop today and want to let the girls out of their pen. They've never been out on the loose before. How will I get them to come back? They are two Blue Laced Red Wyandottes and one Silver Laced Sebright.

    Thanks for your help.

    Artie
     
  2. flnatv

    flnatv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are their ages?
    Do you give treats?

    Most likely they will be a little intimidated and won't go far.
     
  3. Artie

    Artie Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh yes good questions! The Wyandottes are about four months old and the Sebright is 4.5 months. The Wyandottes love treats and the Sebright pretty much does whatever they do.

    Are those Tennessee Walkers in your avatar?

    Thank you!

    Julie
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will be fine. Are you just painting the outside. If so you will be ok.
     
  5. Artie

    Artie Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, just painting the outside.
     
  6. flnatv

    flnatv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The black one is a TWH, the sorrel is an AQH... My sweet 1200 pound puppies [​IMG]

    At the ages you mentioned... you shouldn't have any problems at all.... just make sure you have treats handy when you are ready to put them up.
    Might be good to have an extra set of hands available as well.

    Have fun with them today... they will be wide eyed and curious... hopefully you won't get too much stink-eye when you put them back up.
     
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    They won't go too far. Have treats handy though to get them used to coming back to you to be put back. It makes it so much easier when they know they are getting treats, they come running. (I don't even have to have treats anymore, they'll just follow me back into the run)
     
  8. Keeter

    Keeter Out Of The Brooder

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    When letting young chickens out for the first time, there are two things I like to do. First, I like to let them go in and out of a door into a contained run a few times. This keeps them from going far until they get the image of their coop door firmly entrenched. Any keeper will tell you that this step isn't really necessary; it's just a reinforcement for assured success instead of probable success.

    But the second and more important thing I like to do is not let them out too early in the day their first time. I do it towards evening, so that they will in fact no go far, or long, until they want to go back in to roost. Sort of like letting your daughter go out on a first date; keep it short.

    Then from then on, it's sure to be no problem letting them out whenever you want. Just know that when you let them out, they are likely going to stay out for the day until evening when they go back in. With that in mind, if you want them to lay eggs in their coop instead of out in the barn or yard somewhere, don't let them out each day until after noon'ish.

    Good luck with it!
     
  9. Artie

    Artie Out Of The Brooder

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    So the girls had their first day outta their run. They were so funny - just wanted to stay right by me. Where I went, they'd follow. While I was painting they stayed underfoot. So cute! I wondered how far they'd follow me -- like if I took a walk down the driveway and out to the road would they stay with me. What a hoot that would be. I love my birds. [​IMG]

    Artie
     
  10. un-named

    un-named Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sounds like it woulda been fun to watch!!!
     

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