Tell me if I am being overprotective

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by marie_martin, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. marie_martin

    marie_martin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    I have two chickens right now (outside) and 5 new chicks (in the house). The two outside are OEGB's, one hen and one roo. I built a coop/tractor and I don't move it daily but I do move it so that they get fresh grass. I really want them to be able to free range but that is just not a sensible option here, folks let their dogs out sometimes and I don't want them to get eaten and we also have lots of other predators. But I thought about letting them range inside the goat pens. I just can't bring myself to let them out even for a short period of time for fear they will fly away and not come back. The hen is setting on 7 eggs and that poor roo is alone and probably would come back no matter what. And I am not going to be able to keep all the new chicks and these in that coop all the time. So I have to let go of this and let them out. Have any of you had this problem? Should I let him out during the day for a few hours while I am out there at first? Boy, I never thought it would be this hard to let them be big chickens.

    Marie
     
  2. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Letting them out while you are there is a great idea! That way you can see that they will be fine and maybe it will make it easier for you to let them stay in the goat pens. Personally, my chickens are so much happier when they are out, that I don't like to put them in!!!!! Of course, I lock them up every night to protect them, but they let me know if I don't get out there early enough to let them out in the mornings!!!

    Good luck making the change! I know it's hard letting them grow up!

    Lori
     
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Marie, It's best to start leaving them out with only a few hours of daylight left for the day. They will come home to the coop after sundown with usually some daylight left.

    Once they are out it's better to leave them return on their own, cause trying to round them up is stressful for the chickens and you.

    They won't go far at first and using treats to lure them in at first should help.

    They will enjoy the freedom I'm sure.

    bigzio
     
  4. marie_martin

    marie_martin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    I guess if I let him out now, while she is sitting, he will be more sure to come back?? He knows she is in there. She wont come out because she is sitting, right? I could leave the door open so if she wanted to she could I guess. Thanks. I think I will do that this weekend. Maybe I could get her to come out briefly so I can check her eggs? I think that some may have been frozen during a brief cold spell we had just before she started sitting. If so I need to get them out. She lays every other day and she has 7 eggs in there, which means that some of the eggs are getting pretty old especially if they are rotten. But she will not move off that nest. I have not tried to move her really but I never catch her off of it either. I think this is her first time so she may not know if they are bad. Thanks for your help.

    Marie
     
  5. Blondie

    Blondie Chillin' With My Peeps

    I do believe you are over-analyzing! [​IMG] It's OK! I did it, too! Just let them out. They will do fine with the goats. Here are pics of my 8 week olds walking in the goat house on the left. Their chicken house is on the right. I just let them start free-ranging a week ago and everything has been good. The goats and chickens get along fine. Along with 3 ducks that have adopted us, it's a cool little society. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ginger Goat and Billy Goat are looking in the chicken house.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. marie_martin

    marie_martin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    I over analyze everything, I did (or do) the same with the goats. I have gotten better though. I am sure I will get better about the chickens too. I am going to do it, I am really. This weekend. I will wait until later in the day, maybe about 5pm. Then let him out? What do you think. That way he has a couple of hours to check things out. I don't think she will come out but I can leave it open while I am out there and see. Any ideas on how to check those eggs? If they rot they will ruin all the eggs right? thanks for not poking too much fun at me.

    Marie
     
  7. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Marie, you would be suprised how well mom takes care of the eggs. I allow nature to take it's course. If mom wants to stay put I say fine, however if she wants to stretch a leg, get a drink and poo, that's ok too.

    If you choose to candle when she is off, that's ok and up to you.

    Mother hens talk to to the chicks in the shell, and she knows if nobody is talking back.
    I'm serious.

    bigzio
     
  8. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    Hi Marie,
    I own OEGB's also. I can tell you my personal experience and then you may be more confident in making a decision.

    Intitially I kept the 3 girls and roo penned in fencing. After about 2 weeks, when they knew that the groceries come from me, I started letting them free range with me out watching. The first day they were out about 1 hour, then next 1 and 1/2 hour, the next day a bit longer etc. They now free range from about 9am to 6pm. I like to put mine up well before dark which is when I refresh the water and fill the feeder. It gives me some one on one time with them before their bedtime.

    One thing you will find that is exclusive to OEGB's is that they don't like to be rounded up as easily as other breeds. My big breeds-8 weeks will come alot easier. The oegb have to be herded in. If I gave them the option, I think they would stay out all night.

    The roo will stick right by the pen if I only let him out and not the girls. He will free range a bit, but will try to be looking "cool" sticking close to the girls. I had one hen (mamma to 18) set her clutch, and my roo was let out so he could get his yard goodies and stretch his legs. But he didn't wander far from the coop [​IMG].

    You will have to come to terms about letting them range. There is an old saying: If you love something set it free, if it comes back to you....

    Just keep in mind, it may take a bit more encouragement to get them back in the pen than other breeds.
     
  9. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

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    Austin area, Texas
    Like everyone said I've been letting mine out in the evening. This has been about the fifith day. Tonight when I went out to put them to bed I found them in the coop, piled up on the roost as usual. The clever girls had put themselves to bed.
     
  10. marie_martin

    marie_martin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    Thanks guys, that makes me feel so much better. I am going to let him out this weekend and if she wants to come out, that is great, if she does not, that is fine too. I know she is coming down and eating because I find those big poops everywhere. So she is eating and then going back. I just did notknow what would happen if the eggs were not viable and she continued to sit in them. But I am just going to let nature take its course. I just thought that if they are not viable, I could replace the eggs with viable ones that I just got in. But I guess I would have to take them all out that way. So I guess I will leave them and see what happens. Thanks again for your help and support.

    Marie
     

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