Outdoor Time part 2

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TheRidingLibrarian, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. TheRidingLibrarian

    TheRidingLibrarian Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 26, 2009
    Fellsmere, FL
    Didn't want to hijack someone else's thread with my questions so thought I'd be more polite to start my own.

    My 5.5 week old chicks are in their coop (converted horse stall in small barn-like structure). This weekend I should have time to let them out to play and supervise them. First let me say that my chickens are not all that fond of me. If I sit quietly in their coop with them they will eventually peck around my feet and even lay down near me, but if I put my hand out, no matter how slowly they run from me. So naturally I am concerned that if I let them out I am going to have a real hard time getting them back in the coop. Hubby thinks I should take their food away for an hour or two at a time, so that when I bring it back they will associate me with food.

    But they do already anyway, don't they? When I refill their food, it is never empty, but they do all rush over to it after I put it down. (and get out of the way)

    I'd bet there is no real trick to it, but just thought I'd ask. I'm looking forward to giving them some freedom, but afraid of the goat-rope that might ensue.

    They don't have to be lap-chickens, but it would be nice if they didn't run screaming from me. LOL

    Any thoughts?
  2. sherrydeanne

    sherrydeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine are the same way. No way in heck would I let them outside if they weren't contained. I did put mine in my fenced garden for awhile and in their mostly finished run and it was hard enough catching them then.

    Maybe you could lure them back in with bread?
  3. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    It might make sense to rig up a little temporary fence around some outside space so that they can explore a little and get used to the great outdoors, and yet be contained and easy to round up when it's time. It can be a chore to get them back in sometimes if they haven't seen "home" from that outside perspective and aren't yet really tame. Just some t-posts and deer fence or short chicken wire would work for a little while.
  4. RIVERA69R

    RIVERA69R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2008
    We spent alot of time with our chick from day one now they are 6wks old and me my wife and son will go out in the run with our chairs and they all jump all over us they will even try to ride my lab/sheperd mix thats funny! on the weekend i tie up a half a head of lettuce on a string for them to peck at they love it
  5. kkoerner

    kkoerner Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2009
    Cumming, GA
    Last year (and plan to use again this year) I used an old baby gate thingy. It has 6 panels that all connect together. My 10 chicks last year were not all that friendly either, just like yours. I would put them in it and slowly move it out to where I wanted them in the yard. I had to put something over the top to keep them from flying out. A few times we turned them loose and boy what a job getting them back in. LOL Hoping to have friendlier chicks this time around (hatching as we speak).
    Good Luck!
  6. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Definently try the t-post and cheap wire (you can even use that mesh stuff, it's super cheap). I use this and use some old bent t-posts that we had laying in a junk pile. It doesn't have to be super sturdy, especially since you're going to be supervising. They're chickens, not longhorns [​IMG]
    Even though some of my chicks are gentle, I know that if I turned them out I'd most likely never catch the stinkers again.

    If there is a certain treat they like (I use oatmeal for this) I can lure them wherever I want them to go by making a trail or coaxing them with a yummy snack.
  7. Brassmaster

    Brassmaster Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 26, 2009
    Wayne County, Ohio
    Quote:We have tried to handle ours once or twice a day since the first day we got them. They are now 3 weeks old and seem to be getting more wild instead of tamer. We want to get them outside for a spell but will definitely have them contained in something.
  8. skav2407

    skav2407 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 23, 2009
    Wakefield, RI
    I try to handle mine once or twice a day. When I took them out at 4.5 weeks they wouldn't even move for about the first 5 minutes. Finally some of the RIRs started to move around and check out the yard, followed by the polish. I had 10 of them out and it wasn't a problem getting them back inside. Just my 2 cents.
  9. scarter

    scarter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2008
    Roberts, WI
    How long have they been in their new home? I'd keep them in for a few weeks then start in the evening before dusk and let them out for a few hours. They will naturally (usually) go back to their coop. That's what we do and now when we introduce others to the flock we pen the newbies up in the coop and in a few weeks when they've safely been introduced to each other we start letting them out in the evenings.
  10. TheRidingLibrarian

    TheRidingLibrarian Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 26, 2009
    Fellsmere, FL
    Thanks for the replies guys. Pretty much what I thought then. Bummer.

    In response to the last post they have been in their coop for about 2 weeks now.

    I'm tempted to do as one of the posters said and try it in the evening and see what happens...though I'm guessing it might be a free-for-all come bedtime. I do own a cast net if need be. [​IMG]

    But they have to learn sometime right? I am hoping to eventually be able to turn them out during the day and then have them go back to their coop at night. Isn't that what a lot of you all do?

    For the folks that do that, how do you train them to go back in? Or more importantly at what age do you start?

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