Periodic Free Ranging

OSDad

In the Brooder
Jun 28, 2016
94
7
31
Nova Scotia, CANADA
I am new to the whole chicken game, but am enjoying every minute of it.

I am wondering about periodically allowing my birds to free range. By periodically I mean a few hours at a time.

My biggest question is how hard will it be to get them to return to the run/coop when I want them to. I assume they will naturally want to roost in the coop at night and will return for that themselves.

Id like them to have some time to really stretch their legs and clean up on some bugs and pests in the process around the yard

Thanks in advance!!!!
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,657
32,104
1,092
On the MN prairie.
If you only want them out for a short time, you could consider letting them out an hour or two before dusk. They won't roam too far that way, and will put themselves back in so you don't have to fight that fight. Otherwise, you can teach them to come when you call them by offering treats accompanied by the same call every time you offer them a treat. I call, "Chick, chick, ,chick!" when I offer treats (usually kitchen scraps). If I want them in the run, I toss the treats in the run and when they all go in to eat, shut the gate behind them.
 

Kev

Crowing
12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
6,517
722
361
Sun City, California
but never let them out when you absolutely have to be somewhere away later that day. It will just so happen on those particular days, some of them will simply not go back in the coop......
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silkiecuddles

FortheLoveofSilkies
Mar 1, 2015
4,616
1,544
347
Florida
I am new to the whole chicken game, but am enjoying every minute of it.
I am wondering about periodically allowing my birds to free range.  By periodically I mean a few hours at a time. 
That's certainly fine. Better a little than never, right? :D
My biggest question is how hard will it be to get them to return to the run/coop when I want them to.  I assume they will naturally want to roost in the coop at night and will return for that themselves.
Yes, they'll put themselves to bed at sunset if the coop is accessible (otherwise they'll probably lay by the door). If they learn to come when you call them for treats, then that would make things a ton easier.
This probably sounds cruel, but I use a spray bottle with water in it to herd my chickens in if I want them up midday.
:lol:
Id like them to have some time to really stretch their legs and clean up on some bugs and pests in the process around the yard
They may also clean up your flower beds, as in eating or trampling your plants, so watch out :p
Thanks in advance!!!!
 

featherfella

Chirping
Apr 24, 2016
40
25
54
Hi there,

I have a round dish which I put treats every time the hens free range.The treats range from rolled oats in the mornings, then yogurt in the afternoon. Or sometimes greens. So every time I want to put them back into their coop, regardless of where the are. I just simply tap the dish and they follow me.

Hope this helps.
 

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