My chickens only want to free range about 2 hours

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by babyrnlc, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,080
    11
    151
    Jan 30, 2011
    Tulsa, Ok
    So we have our girls in a pretty big tractor. Well we put the dogs up and sit outside and let the girls run around in the yard. They always go in after about two hours. IT does not matter the time of day or anything. (We used to think it was because we did it around 4 and they go to bed about 6, but we let them out at 1pm yest and by 3 they went back in the coop.)

    Now the br chick (2 months old) would stay out all day following me around like a little puppy. She is the cutest thing.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,896
    2,872
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Mine do that, too. I think they get the roaming out of their system, then return to the pen to relax in its secure protection.
     
  3. BayouPoules

    BayouPoules Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our free range all day,. but they eat for a while then retire to the coop for a 15 minute rest,. then they're back out in the yard for a couple of hours,. then back into the bushes or coop for a rest,..then back out...and rest,.,. then they will pig out right before they go into the coop for the last time,..
     
  4. aria122

    aria122 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    22
    Feb 2, 2011
    Davis, CA
    How old are these girls? Its pretty normal for the young ones to retire to rest. If weather is harsh all the bird will go in after a couple hours.
     
  5. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,080
    11
    151
    Jan 30, 2011
    Tulsa, Ok
    Quote:They are between 9 months to a year. The weather has been great lately. Like 70's. We have food and water out for them. It has been many days now and it is the same thing. We leave the coop open a little to see if they come back out, but they don't. They go out into their run, but never leave to the yard.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,707
    2,336
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Another possibility. My birds free range all day. Most of time they lounge around in dense cover. When they forage it is done in bouts that last an hour or two before they return to cover. They forage just long enough to fill crops. Your coop may also serve as their cover site. If given more time they may come out again. Is it possible you have feeders in coop as well?
     
  7. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,080
    11
    151
    Jan 30, 2011
    Tulsa, Ok
    Quote:Thats a possibilty. We have a large yard, but very little trees. Just at the back fence and there are tons of children playing there. (I have 5 and my sil is over a lot with her 5). There is a large pool and concrete. So maybe they just want the shade.

    It works out well for us because we have to lock up my two dogs and my mom's 1 dog while the chickens are out. So they are partial free range lol.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by