Part Time Free Ranging Advice

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Smuvers Farm, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. Smuvers Farm

    Smuvers Farm Melvin Up the Taterhole

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    We built a 20'x20' run for our flock of 13. Our 3 Leghorns escape, daily, by going *over the wall.* We don't mind it, as we originally wanted to completely free range our chickies, but then built the run because our neighbors seemed to continuously lose members of their flock to predators.

    We have not noticed any predators, at all, on our property.... well, unless Bambi turns violent.

    I'd like to go ahead and do some part time free ranging, preferably an hour or 2 before they roost up for the night. To do this, would we just prop the run door open at a certain time, and then trust they'll be back home before bedtime? Do I need to worry about them wandering off too far? Should I start with a smaller block of free ranging time, like 30 minutes or so?

    They are all done with laying by 3PM, so I have no worries about them laying eggs while out and about.
     
  2. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

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    Yes!

    They will go back to their coop at night since they know it is home.

    Flight feathers on one wing can be cut on the leghorns to keep them form getting over the run.
     
  3. ShariC

    ShariC In the Brooder

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    My chickens are free range. I just make sure when it starts to get dark that they are in the coop and I lock them in. I live out in the country. I worry about the critters also. The cyotes are around at night hoping to get something to eat whether it be a cow or something else. As long as you have a very sturdy coop it should be fine. They have been at your place for at least 2 weeks or more right. The ones that get out do they come back home?
     
  4. Smuvers Farm

    Smuvers Farm Melvin Up the Taterhole

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    I've cut them. On one, both sides. They can still get over. My fault as things sit in the run *just right* to let the skinny snots get a leg up on me. We've taken the steps to getting a cover for the run, so their escapades will be ending soon. Haha.
     
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  5. Smuvers Farm

    Smuvers Farm Melvin Up the Taterhole

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    They've definitely acclimated to their surroundings, the first 8 being here since Feb, and the other 6 since April or so.

    I'll give it a shot this evening, letting them out around 1930 or so.
     
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

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    The evening ranging is good. Mine sure enjoy the outings.

    They stay closer to the run then if I let them out all day.
    My bantams tend to stay extremely close to home as the hawks cause them a lot of concern.
     
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  7. Smuvers Farm

    Smuvers Farm Melvin Up the Taterhole

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    That's what I was thinking, @21hens-incharge . They'll get some free range time (and bugs!!) in, while still sticking closer to home.
     
  8. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

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    I was wondering about that! leghorns can jump very high can't they
     
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  9. Smuvers Farm

    Smuvers Farm Melvin Up the Taterhole

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    Mine can, that's for sure. Plus, these are my first ever dealings with chickens, so I am a total newb on everything chicken. You can read until your melon is stuffed with info, you still learn something new every day when you're hands on.

    LUCKILY, my 72 year old mom is visiting, so she's in charge of Chicken Wrangling. Ha!
     
  10. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

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    Exactly!
    If you had orpingtons, you could keep them in the run with a very short fence. Leghorns are completely different. There are very few one way only ways of doing things with chickens
     
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