scared to let my babies out to range

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by missy1971, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. missy1971

    missy1971 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2016
    Harris County Georgia
    Ever since my oldest (my baby girl) was killed a couple weeks ago, I have been dead set on not letting my other babies out of their run. I have 2 buffs that are about 12 weeks, who were used to foraging with my older one, and I also have 2 that are almost 8 weeks, and 5 that are right at 5 weeks. I would like for them to be out in the yard, I used to let them out when I was outside, which if I'm home is always! I guess because they are sometimes hard to round up, and since my Ginny got killed I am a nervous wreck to even let them out. I know that is not fair to them but I guess my anxiety and depression over losing my other baby has really got me scared. Do yall think I should let them out for a few hours a day and bust my butt to get them back in a couple of hours before dusk...or what...not sure how to handle this!
    My oldest, the buffs, have sorta took over the mothering for the others, maybe that could help??
  2. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2014
    Kansas City, MO
    I had a close call today with 2 raccoons hovering the in the trees over my yard eyeing my free ranging chickens...... fortunately, the neighbors saw them. One was shot and killed, the other escaped. All in the middle of suburbia, I should add. Anyway, I understand your concerns completely. I can't tell you what to do but I'll tell you where my thought process is in a similar situation.

    1. I'm looking at electricity options-both along the top of my fence as well as electrifying poultry netting in my actual yard.
    2. I won't be doing unsupervised free ranging. It will only be when I can sit out there with them.

    That's as far as I've gotten. I'll let you know if I employ any of these options...

    Good luck, I'm sorry you lost Ginny :( I'm sure that was very difficult.
  3. missy1971

    missy1971 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2016
    Harris County Georgia
  4. Eckielady

    Eckielady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2017
    East Tennessee
    I would take a couple of days to teach them to come when called. Bring out bread, sunflower seeds or something. They learn it super quick. My entire flock will run/fly across the yard when I call them and it's easy to get them back in their coop quick.
  5. missy1971

    missy1971 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2016
    Harris County Georgia
    great idea!
  6. SmokeyDuke

    SmokeyDuke New Egg

    Mar 27, 2017
    We haven't had any problems with predators besides one chick disappearing when it was out.
    Quote: Yeah I trained my first 14 as chicks and called them every time I brought them food, now they run to the gate every time they see me. My younger 22 now follow the older ones.
  7. AshlyMommaWard

    AshlyMommaWard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Training chickens to come when called is super easy, way easier than dogs or kids.. if you've got either of those [​IMG]
    You can designate a can and put treats in it and shake it while calling a preferred phrase like "chick chick chick" or "here Chickie Chickies" and then throw a small amount of the treat out around you. It's only ever taken me a couple times for them to learn well enough to come to the call, or shaking of the can alone. Once they know it, when you're ready to put them up, go into the coop, call them, give treat and close door.
    It is natural instinct for a rooster to "Tid bit" for the girls, a "chirp chirp chirp" when there's yummy stuff to be found, and instinct for your birds to come to a call. Best wishes. You can also use calling to round them up while free ranging to keep them together and near you. Just be cautious to not give to large of a treat each time while training. Treats should not make up more than 10% of daily nutrition. You can mix 1/2 chicken scratch and 1/2 their normal starter or grower and use that in your can, and toss just a small amount by hard each call. Once they're older and come when called routinely, you don't have to actually give a treat every time.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017

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