Nervous about letting them free range

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by melliott, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. melliott

    melliott Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 22, 2012
    North West Ohio
    Hi all, first time chicken rancher here and right now our chicks are about three weeks old. Our coop and run is almost done and when we finally do get them outside in another three weeks or so how do I get brave enough to let them out of the run and into the yard? Will they automaticaly go back in the run? Should they stay in the run and coop untill they know its their home? Do I need to worry about them going under the porch or shed that is elevated off the ground? Do I need to clip wings to keep them in our yard and at what age do I clip? Im nervous about letting them out and all h e l l breakin loose. Sorry for so many questions...LOL
  2. OneCrazyCowgirl

    OneCrazyCowgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would let them get to know that the coop and run is their home. If you keep feed there and feed them treats there, they will know that that is where the food and goodness is and the free ranging is like a bonus. They will wander anywhere which may mean that they will go under elevated areas. They are quite curious creatures ;)
  3. Cockadoodling

    Cockadoodling Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2012
    Townsville, Australia
    Hi Melliott, I was nervous about letting my chickens run wild, too, so I understand how you're feeling. I noticed when mine were younger ( about two/three months old), that they didnt like being out in the open and went straight for the shrubs and stayed under their branches. Now that they are older,( 6 months) I let them out before dusk and they naturally go back to their coop when they want to roost. I dont have any problems with them. I have a acerage, and they never go too far from their coop, although each time I let them out, they venture further away, but they all stick together and I always check on them. They know where my dog is and stay away from her, and they all come running when they see me, which is helpful!

    My biggest worry is my pool! I've had two of my girls walk into the pool. Both were fine, they actually swam ok!! Scared the be jesus outta me, though. Good luck, and dont be frightened. Just secure the areas that you dont want them going into, and keep just keep an eye on them, and have their favourite food at the ready incase you need to get them to you, thats what I did.
  4. 1dude

    1dude Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 27, 2007
    Pace, Florida
    I put up a 4 foot tall plastic fence around large pineapple guava bush, about 10 feet across. There was a space about 3 feet on one side so the chicks could eat some grass. My wife walked into the back just in time to see a hawk dive into the fenced off area and grab a chick, 7 weeks old. She ran over and picked it up and gave it CPR, well anyway it lived. I had a lot of material hung around the fence. I was suprised it went into such a small space to grab a chick. So all I can say is be prepared to take some losses. I am too attached now so I will keep them inside until I can come up with a safe free range option, like a tractor.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by