Limited free range?

chickenchicky11

In the Brooder
May 12, 2015
18
0
34
Newton, NH
I can't allow my flock to free range unsupervised. We have many predators because of 200+ acres fish and game land directly behind our home. Can I allow the ladies out of their run for a couple hours a day when we are only there to supervise? If so, how do I get them back in their run?
 

BayBay Peepers

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
5,156
1,126
338
Wisconsin
I can see using two options (I'm sure there's more)

Either let them free range towards the end of the day so they naturally go in at sundown or use treats to lure them back.

A third option...get really, really good at chicken wrangling.
wink.png
 

DKS

In the Brooder
May 19, 2020
27
43
41
I can't allow my flock to free range unsupervised. We have many predators because of 200+ acres fish and game land directly behind our home. Can I allow the ladies out of their run for a couple hours a day when we are only there to supervise? If so, how do I get them back in their run?
We have fenced in a section of our yard. We allow our chickens to free range under our supervision for about an hour a day. One way I get them back is to use a handful of our backyard birdseed with the "Here chick, chick, chick." They run to me and I throw the handful in the coop. All happily run in for the treat. It took a little bit of training but my buffs caught on quickly.
 

DKS

In the Brooder
May 19, 2020
27
43
41
Since I last made this post, we have found it increasingly difficult to get R6 chicks to return to their Coop and run even when offering them high interest treats. They would much rather stay out longer in our fenced-in yard and forage. However, we don't always have more than an hour or two to allow them to free-range under supervision. Any other suggestions besides offering them high-interest treats to get them to return to the coop is appreciated. We are thinking of adding chicken fencing to keep them ranging closer to the coop for easier corralling.These are some smart girls who have outsmarted us!
 

humblehillsfarm

Crowing
Mar 27, 2020
2,963
5,653
371
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
Since I last made this post, we have found it increasingly difficult to get R6 chicks to return to their Coop and run even when offering them high interest treats. They would much rather stay out longer in our fenced-in yard and forage. However, we don't always have more than an hour or two to allow them to free-range under supervision. Any other suggestions besides offering them high-interest treats to get them to return to the coop is appreciated. We are thinking of adding chicken fencing to keep them ranging closer to the coop for easier corralling.These are some smart girls who have outsmarted us!

The older they are, the more they will start to go in at an appropriate time. Chicks raised by mom are trained early on. Three times I’ve brooded my own chicks and all three times they like to he “rowdy teenagers” and stay up passed curfew. I have to keep them enclosed in a small run until they are old enough to go inside at an appropriate time.
 

DKS

In the Brooder
May 19, 2020
27
43
41
The older they are, the more they will start to go in at an appropriate time. Chicks raised by mom are trained early on. Three times I’ve brooded my own chicks and all three times they like to he “rowdy teenagers” and stay up passed curfew. I have to keep them enclosed in a small run until they are old enough to go inside at an appropriate time.

Thanks for the information. I guess my only option at this time is to let them out later in the day to free range in the fenced in yard until dusk. I do think they will enter the coop as light fades. I still am worried about hawks and am preparing myself for the real possibility of having one taken as almost happened with our neighbor's BO.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
5,810
10,907
576
USA
Any other suggestions besides offering them high-interest treats to get them to return to the coop is appreciated.

I'm not sure if this counts as a high-interest treat or not, but I find that chickens seem to really like wet chicken feed. They will come running when they see the bowl, follow it as I walk, and gobble it down as soon as I sit down the bowl. (I like to whistle or call to get their attention, but they typically come running anyway.)

So if your chickens also like wet chicken feed, that could be something to try.

(Some people would call it a "treat" because chickens like it, some would not call it a treat because it's a nutritionally-balanced food, unlike so many other "treats.")
 

DKS

In the Brooder
May 19, 2020
27
43
41
Thank you. More food for thought (no pun intended). The members of BYC have been very helpful!
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom