range or not to range?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by scooby, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. scooby

    scooby Songster

    Jun 29, 2008
    sevier valley,utah
    Hi im new to the chicken experience and we have not yet gotten our chicks but we have pretty much completed the coop, but im wondering ,we live on half acre that is fenced on both sides and some in the front but the back of the yard is not fenced at all and is open to a big field. now im wondering do chicken s wonder or do they tend to stay close to the coop. they would be locked up at night but im debating wether to build a run or not, the coop ended up costing more then i wanted and i'm not sure if i want to spend the extra money for a run. and if so, any inexpensive suggestions for a run?? also this may sound stupid but i'm wondering if you do free range how do you get the birds to realize the coop is there home? and one more question, we live in central utah, i'm wondering to what temps do the birds do ok in???
  2. augiedranch

    augiedranch Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    i live in the country. my chickens are all free range. keep them locked up for a week if your getting full grown hens/roos. before u let them out.
    of ur raising your own, dont worry about locking them up . well, except for at night.

    my chickens and roos do not run away at all. i have nine acres. but they only stray out to about an acre at the most..

    free range makes them so happy. its healthy for them.. and they eggs are better too.
  3. shangri-lafarms

    shangri-lafarms Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    NY-Upstate Adirondacks
    When I first got my hens, I kept them in the brooder for one week, then I let them out daily for short periods of time until they got fully feathered so they wouldn't chill. Now anytime I am home I let them range. They actually all get together near my front door when it starts getting dark yelping to go roost for the night. If you range them from the beginning they'll get used to it just coop them up at night. I would also coop them when your not home so predators are less likely to attack them. Have fun!!![​IMG]
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    When you move them out to your coop lock them inside for at least a week (since it's so hot there you may need to put a fan in their window to keep air moving for them). Before that time teach them to come to you by giving them treats and calling "here chick, chick, chick" or whatever you want. Then, once you let them out to free range they will stay close and come back to roost at dusk inside the coop. And, if you need to lock them inside sooner than they are ready to come back then you can call them and they will come running because you already taught them that.

    The biggest thing to remember when free ranging chickens is predators. They can be taken by hawks, owls, coyotes, fox, raccoons, dogs, cats, etc.
  5. I wouldn't do it to my birds (but they're not my birds!)[​IMG]

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