Need some advice on Free ranging my chickens and preditors

Karenbear

Chirping
Apr 4, 2015
106
5
63
Rocky Mount NC
I have 2 1/2 month old chickens that have been inside and in the run all their life so far. I want to let them free range but I am terrified of them getting in the street and of the hawks and stuff that fly around here all day. I am so new to this and I need to know the best way to introduce my chickens to free ranging and will they stay around the coop or do I have to worry about them in the woods and heading towards the street? Any help would be great thanks
 

Torch404

Songster
11 Years
Jan 15, 2009
218
24
156
Northern Cali
Let them out a couple of hours before they would normally be going to roost. That way the only have a couple of hours to get use to everything and not wander too far before they want to comeback.
 

Karenbear

Chirping
Apr 4, 2015
106
5
63
Rocky Mount NC
Let them out a couple of hours before they would normally be going to roost. That way the only have a couple of hours to get use to everything and not wander too far before they want to comeback.
thanks I will try that. But they will come back...right I wont have to go chasing them?
 

chickenychicken

Chirping
Mar 30, 2015
134
13
63
Happy easter :)
Chickens are very smart and they should probably know by now not to go in the street since they would see cars going by. You shouldn't need to worry about halks as long as you have the coop meet by and other little spots to hind under in case of a halk. So yes you should if you want to let your chickens free range and if your worried about them going into the street you can get a fence or netting to keep them in one area.
 

Karenbear

Chirping
Apr 4, 2015
106
5
63
Rocky Mount NC
Thanks I will try to let them out for a few hours tomorrow
smile.png
 

yellowchicks

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 27, 2014
339
70
98
NJ
My Coop
My Coop
I didn't let mine free range until they were 6 months old, will squat for me when I touch them. Otherwise, it could be a chasing game when they were younger and like to run away. When they were finally ready to be let out in our busy neighborhood, I let them out just 1/2 hr before dark to eat out of a treat jar. When I want them to go back into the run, I rattle the jar, throw a handful of treats into the run and close the door.

Once they were conditioned to follow the rattle sound of the treat jar and know to come running to me when they hear the sound, I let them out for a bit longer and farther, knowing that they will come back when called, or if I need them back quickly for whatever reason. Nowadays, they will roam around the yard and go back into the coop to roost in the evening by themselves without treats.

I still have to supervise a bit in case they wander off to the street, to the neighbors' yard or dig up the planters. Basically, by gently redirect their attention and directions. In our town, front and side yard fencing are not permitted, and the lot sizes are not that big, you can sight down everyone's front and back yards down the entire block, our chickens can easily wander off our property if they were not trained.
 
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Chickenshoe

Chirping
Mar 16, 2015
106
13
71
we have 13 that just went outside, they are approaching 2 mos old.. don't plan on letting them out of run till they are close to full size,,, not to many hawks that can pick up a near full grown bird.. that's our plan.. gonna let them out in early evening as suggested to start..
 

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