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Partial Free Ranging

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rich Marshall, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall In the Brooder

    Oct 27, 2011
    As a new chicken owner next spring, if I want to partially free range my chickens...how do I stop them wondering off or how do I get them back into their coop for the night? Thanks for your help. also does anyone know of solar powered lights and heaters that are good for the coop, water etc?

  2. clarkechick

    clarkechick Chirping

    May 24, 2011
    Hey Rich-
    I have 3 hens and about a half acre. When I started letting my ladies out, it was only for a couple of hours at a time. I found that not only did they not have any interest in wandering far, but they moved around the yard together. Ultimately I did fence in my yard so I am more comfortable leaving them unattended for long periods of time. When it is time for them to head back to the coop (during the day) I can just walk behind them and shoo them toward the coop. They happily run inside. As far as night goes, the will put themselves to bed at dusk if you have not put them in yet. Instinct does all of the work. For the first week or so you may have to help them out. I think I pushed through the door from the run into the coop about a half dozen times. Now they do it on their own every night.

    Good luck.

    I have not used solar powered accessories. Just ran an extension cord to the coop yesterday for a light / heat source. I use a bottle with a nipple waterer. I am planning on having a couple and rotating it in the morning and at night to keep it thawed out.
  3. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall In the Brooder

    Oct 27, 2011
    Great Thanks for your help...we will also be doing just 3 hens thats all out town will allow, we are in Ny states 1 hour north of city, any breed suggestions? I am leaning towards EE, New hamshire Red and white rock?
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    If you want to keep healthy chickens this winter, I'd not use any heat in your coop. The breeds you mentioned are great for your area.
  5. [​IMG] [​IMG] from WA. glad you joined us [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. hcppam

    hcppam Songster

    All great advise! [​IMG] Welcome for Big Bear Ca. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. greymane

    greymane Songster

    Jun 2, 2011
    Snyder County, PA
    [​IMG] from the Finger Lakes of New York! Glad to have you aboard. As for breed, it depends on how you plan to use them.


  8. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall In the Brooder

    Oct 27, 2011
    I was planning on using them purely for eggs and friendly pets...
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Do you have a coop with attached run? I'd leave them in there for at least a week so the know that that's where home is. When you start letting them out to free range, you can let them out an hour or two before dusk. They won't wander far, and will go back in as it starts to get dark out. Some people put a light in the coop and their birds will go in as it gets dark outside. I live in MN and do not have a heater in my coop. Could be detrimental as they don't get acclimated to the cold. Should something go wrong with your heat source, they'd be in trouble. I have a heated dog dish for water.
  10. papeine

    papeine In the Brooder

    Sep 25, 2010
    mine will come running for meal worms.. I started letting them out just an hour or so b/4 dusk.. would call them and give them meal worm.. gradually increased the time out.. now they come running when I call them..

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