Ok to let pullets out in yard?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WhiteMountainsRanch, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    5,404
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    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Sorry if this is a dumb question... I am just not sure. [​IMG]

    I raised 11 pullets indoors until they were 8 weeks old. I then moved them out to a 10' x 12' chicken coop where they spent another week indoors only. They then got let out into the "chicken yard" which is about 30' x 30' or so... They are 18 weeks old now.

    I live on a 40 acre farm with no fence...

    So is it ok to let them out of the 'chicken yard' onto the rest of the property during the day? We are very rural and have very thick growth, with lots of coyotes and an occasional bobcat... plus coons possum etc... Would it be safe for them to be out during the day- like while we are working in the yard... or would it be better to keep them only in the chicken yard?

    I have 2 large dogs that would bark if anything came around as well.


    Thanks for your input!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2010

  2. spottedtail

    spottedtail Songster

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    Aug 5, 2007
    Minnesota
    I'd keep them in the yard...30' x 30' is a good size.
    Outside the yard their lives will be happy, but short.

    spot
     
  3. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I would let them out to free range. I free range mine all the time and put them up at night. I am in the country and have every kind of predator from coyotes, fox, bobcats, to coons, possums, and hawks. I haven't lost a bird yet. If you are going to be there anyway I definitely would let them out. It is good exercise for them, they eat a lot of bugs and greens and it will reduce how much feed they eat. I love being outside with mine. They like to hang out under the shrubs in front of my porch but they also go under the cars, check out the horse pasture, scratch around in the hay etc. The whole reason I got chickens in the first place was pest control (ticks, spiders, ants, etc) and free range eggs. Of course mine aren't laying yet but we have the pest control program going! They wont wander too far from their run, especially at first. Let them go and enjoy them! If you aren't going to be outside then you can leave them in the run.
     
  4. jen5680

    jen5680 Southside Silkie Shack

    Jun 18, 2009
    SW Ohio
    Quote:Ditto!
     
  5. JMPE

    JMPE Songster

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    Aug 1, 2009
    Western Wisconsin
    I only let mine out while I am out with them. Everyone loves a chicken dinner, and my kidslove the girls too much to take the risk. Our favorite evening activity as a family is to sit out and let the girls free range for a few hours.
     
  6. crittersitter

    crittersitter Songster

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    Feb 23, 2010
    Westchester County,NY
    You could let them out late afternoon and they will go back to the coop when it starts getting dark. I free ranged my girls this way for the few first weeks until I felt comfortable, Now they demand to be let out first thing in the morning and I am ok with that. they know the property and do not wander far at all.
     

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