Ok how do i do this right?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rooster brandon., Oct 4, 2010.

  1. rooster brandon.

    rooster brandon. Chillin' With My Peeps

    530
    1
    131
    Sep 10, 2010
    Kodak, by knoxville
    Ok i have a walk in chicken coop 240 square feet of chicken heaven.So how would i free range my neighbor has like 50 chickens he free ranges but im not going to free range at the same time........But any ways lets get back on topic.How does a person free range i have 8 chickens is there any special way to free range........There is woods right by there coop i guess im just afraid but how do i know they will come back?I would be so happy watching them free range but m scared!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!And to add to that the other neighbors dog will come and chase chickens i could say he free ranges his dog [​IMG] but that will be taken care of the dog will learn!So how do i do this?
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,642
    19
    229
    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Once chickens know where home is, they naturally return to that place as it gets dark in the evening.

    You can teach them that the coop is home by locking them inside for about a week before you ever let them out, even to the run.

    Then, once you've done that, if you're nervous about free ranging, start by letting them out just an hour before it gets dark. They won't wander to far in that amount of time, and you can see how they go back home as dark comes. Then you just shut the door, and they are safe. As you get more comfortable, you can let them out for more time before dark.

    It is wonderful to see your chickens free ranging. I enjoy it all day every day, but i live in a more rural area without close neighbors. Do be careful of that neighbor's dog.

    All the best!
     
  3. rooster brandon.

    rooster brandon. Chillin' With My Peeps

    530
    1
    131
    Sep 10, 2010
    Kodak, by knoxville
    But the good part about the neighbors dog is he just likes to see them fly and when you say the word get he acts like he got shot and takes of running........ [​IMG] ...............
     
  4. rooster brandon.

    rooster brandon. Chillin' With My Peeps

    530
    1
    131
    Sep 10, 2010
    Kodak, by knoxville
    Thanxs A Lot This Really Helps They Have Been In There Coop For Like A Month So I Might Try That Tomorrow Its To Dark Now Or I Would But Thanxs You And God Bless!
     
  5. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Just to possibly ease your mind, I am surrounded by forest as well. I let my chickens, and duck, freerange during the day. Some could, if they wanted, fly over the fence, or sneak through, into the forest, but they never do. There has been a few times that they have snuck into my pasture, but they always come back too. I agree with the above post, that if they know where home is, they will come back. I have a 10' x 40' run, and I kept mine in there for a few weeks before letting them free range. I know there are many people that only free range their chickens while they are home, in case something happens. Not to contradict myself, but my neighbors are surrounded by forest too, and they have lost a few chickens to predators. This has happened around dusk, or if they don't lock their chickens up till very late at night. We share a fenceline, and they have had a number of problems with predators, where, knock on wood, we haven't had any (that I know about). I would say that maybe it's because our property is fenced between the forest and the chicken area, and the neighbors is not, but it isn't anything a raccoon or skunk, which we have alot of, couldn't get through. Anyway, I guess if you are really worried about it, let them freerange while you are home at first and see how it goes.
    Good luck.
     
  6. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    I was soooo scared to let my chickens free range... I made my dh sit out there w/ us (the chickens and me) w/ his gun ready-- every day for weeks...if he wasn't here I held the gun the whole time... Jumping up and counting heads every two minutes..If they got out of my site, I ran in the woods to shoo them back toward the coop and my chair..I also, moved my chair as they moved around the yard.... When I saw birds flying over head --I thought it was a flock of hawks- jumped up and screamed---hide..- dh said they were buzzards.. I heard something in the woods and screamed "SOMETHING is in the woods! I can hear it moving"! It was two squrriels playing tag! dh and my son in law about fell out of their chairs..

    But anyway, I kept them locked up for two weeks..Then I started letting them out one hour before dark.. and then I started letting them out longer... Each night they knew when to go up... it's been a year and I still sit with them... I really enjoy watching them and if I am there I know they are safe...

    I would have a big problem with your neighbors dog.. That would scare me more than other predators...
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by