Periodic Free Ranging

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by OSDad, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. OSDad

    OSDad Out Of The Brooder

    94
    7
    31
    Jun 28, 2016
    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!!!!
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,225
    2,224
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    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.
     
  3. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    6,511
    647
    361
    Jan 13, 2008
    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...... [​IMG]
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,225
    2,224
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    There is that...
     
  5. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

    4,547
    610
    286
    Mar 1, 2015
    Florida
     
  6. featherfella

    featherfella Out Of The Brooder

    15
    1
    24
    Apr 24, 2016
    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.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by