Our chicks spent the majority of the day outside....


12 Years
Mar 17, 2011
Small Town, Virginia
but still in their crate. I feel so bad that we can't let them out to free range for a while, but it is just too dangerous.

We just brought them in at 7:20 PM, fed and watered them and then by ten til 8, they were a fussing. Wanting to go to bed.
Why do they want to go to bed sooooo early??? This gives new meaning to the saying "going to bed with the chickens" for me anyway. I would give anything to be able to go to bed this early and get up early.

We might get finished with the coop tomorrow, but with hubby working through the day (doesn't get home till 5:00 or so) and it is going to start raining tonight and through tomorrow, I am not sure if they will get to go out to the coop full time till Wendesday or Thursday now.
Mine actually got to free-range all day

Saw a dog I never saw before, so I put them all up... then let them out...
Had a big rain cloud, so I put them all up... then it didn't rain... so I let them out...

geez... I have to quit worrying...

But GLAD yours got to go out and play... I am about to put mine up for the night... but I have a feeling I am going to be fussed at as well.
LOL...we worked on the coop and run all weekend and r almost done! Hope to have them out there next weekend full time!
I went in the basement about 30 mins ago and gave them some yogurt and oats for a treat and am going back down here soon to put them to bed...and like u guys said I am sure I am gonna b fussed! LOL Darn chickies!
I know this will bring some gasps:rant with what I'm about to say... but our 5 week old chicks were out free ranging for 9 hours today without us being home. For the past week, they have been putting themselves in their cage every night around 7'ish
. When we pulled up shortly before 7, there they were.

I feel horrible leaving them all cooped up during the day. Especially since they love being outdoors running about, eating bugs and dust bathing. They are happy to be free from confinement.
Funny these sound so much like our household... Rain for nearly everyday the last 4 weeks has prevented us from getting our coop finished. DH was supposed to really hammer down on that this weekend while I was at work and our littlest chicks got to go out in the dog pen today with the bigger kids. It was apparently a great weekend for it.

I wouldn't know I've been stuck working in a hospital for the last 2 days (32 hours later...I'm nearly done) and just winding down.
... Would love to free range once they are established in their permanent home... but for now they are confined. We'll see.
I was concerned about the hawks, eagles, fox and you name it that we have here in the Blue ridge mountains. But the chicks rush to the bushes in front of the house with every little passing shadow. They are smart creatures for sure. I know it's a huge gamble, but I feel they have a better chance running free than being cooped up in a run under an attack. This is my first flock and I have no experience, so I may be setting myself up for major disappointment.

We have neighbors who free range their chickens on their farm and they have lost a smaller chick a few years back to a red tailed hawk. But their chickens have come to the point were they will scurry to the trees if they are threatened or spooked. A couple of their chickens are housed with their ducks and pea fowls but it's by the chickens choice. While another flock free range and put themselves to bed in the rafters of their barn.

Hopefully we will have our chicks coop done this weekend so they have a nice place to stay at night. We are batting around with installing an automatic door for them. But I'm afraid they would be locked out for the night if they don't make it to the door in time. For the time being, they're living in a large cage in our mudroom and are out free ranging during the day.
Our biggest threat is the road. We are right on the road with no fenced in yard. The speed limit is 25, but no one does it. We have lost a LOT of cats on the road, even the ones that don't go across.
I've been raising chickens for twenty years and I lost nine chicks last week to Rock Squirrels. I am so mad. I couldn't figure out what was getting them and how anything was getting in the coop. I had to bring them back in the brooder till I shot all the squirrels. I still have eight chicks left. I have started them back in the coop, so they should be able to stay full time.
A squirrel taking chickens, I would have never guessed they would do such a thing. Great, another one to add to my predator list.

I'm so sorry for the loss of some of your flock.

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