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New hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cindylouacker, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Cindylouacker

    Cindylouacker New Egg

    Apr 6, 2017
    I just bought four year old Plymouth rock hens yesterday. Do I need them to get used to their new surroundings before I can free range them ? Or is it better to do it now ?
  2. sassysarah123

    sassysarah123 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 3, 2017
    My Coop
    If you have a lot of land I probably would wait till they get used to there new home.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    It's best to keep them in the coop for 3-4 days before letting them out. By that time, they should associate the coop with "home". You can hang a flashlight in the coop on the evening of their first outing, and this should also help draw them back to the coop.
  4. sassysarah123

    sassysarah123 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 3, 2017
    My Coop
    Good idea!
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    After several days (I usually wait a week, but I have an attached run so they can be outside), you can let them out an hour or so before sundown and they won't travel too far from the coop. I'd do that for a few days, then let them out a little earlier, then a little more earlier, etc.
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    If you have a run, I would let them in the run/coop as they wish. If you have an established flock that uses the coop, and the new birds will generally follow them in.

    I just don't like the idea of birds trapped in a coop, especially a small coop. To me a run/coop is best, if you have that let them use both, and in a couple of days let them out of that an hour or so before dark.

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