The actuall process free ranging

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Iron-Roo, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Iron-Roo

    Iron-Roo Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2011
    NW Ohio
    Hello all. Rookie with a dumb question.

    I have had some BCM pullets (4) for a couple of weeks now. They are doing great as far as I can tell. I re-purposed an old shed that was on our new 10 acre property, and built a nice 20 ft. Run that is completely enclosed with welded wire. I plan to fence off a larger area around that, maybe 60ftx60ft or even bigger possibly. But we got three weeks straight of rain here in NW Ohio right after I got the birds and the area around the coop and run is now a half frozen swamp so now that prodject will have to wait till spring.

    So, in the mean time I would like to let them free range occasionally. Luckily, we have a couple of acers of grassy flat with a pond and even a stream. On three sides we have several acres of woods (6-10 actually) between us and neighbors. Our only adjacent neighbor has 5 acres of there own land and house is about 400 yards from the coop, but without a fence, just a double row of small pines.

    The long winded question. Anybody see a problem, just letting the run on days when I am home? Have they been there long enough to come back in the evening? Any good strategies or thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Jon

    Btw, I have learned sooooooo much just lurking around here for a few weeks. You are all great. Especially love he old timer thread.
     
  2. trailchick

    trailchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I free range mine from 12-noon until dusk....
    Some are late (usually the andilusians) to go back to the coop.
    To start I would let them out while you are around to watch them,
    and feed them in the run when you are ready to put them away for the night.
    They will probably not wander too far at first....
    OThers may have more suggestions........
     
  3. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    yep, they have been there long enough to know where home is. My girls are only allowed range time when I am there to watch them cause of my super predator problem, so usually three days a week they get to range. I have 3/4 of an acre w a house in the middle, and the chickens off to one side, but my girls never really go past the house line to the other side of the yard.

    Chickens don't go too far from home.
     
  4. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eudora, Kansas
    I free range mine from dawn to dusk, when they tuck themselves back in the coop for the night. And we only have 2 1/2 acres. They rarely venture out of the immediate yard. Yours should do great!
     
  5. ZombieChickens

    ZombieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    I also had mine used to coming to me when I shook a can of treats (some feed, or oatmeal or cereal or something that makes noise.) If I thought they were too far, I can shake the can and they come running in a chicken stampede to see what I have. I just always shook the feed bucket when I fed them in the morning. Now the sound = food!!!
     
  6. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Eudora, Kansas
    Quote:I can't even TALK loud when I'm outside, they come running from anywhere across the yard, [​IMG] ....and when I come home after work the sound of the car pulling into the garage gets them running from the coop (it's dark now) to me. If I talk at all they swarm around me like I've come home from some long trip and they are waiting for gifts [​IMG]
     
  7. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    The best advice I've read is to let them out a little before dusk so they stay very close. They should go back to their coop at dusk. I started with that routine so I could see how they did. Now I let them out anywhere from 1 to 2 hours before dusk - depending on how much time I want to spend babysitting. Ours tend to gravitate towards our only neighbor's yard, but we only have an acre and so they do. Otherwise, we're surrounded by fields. After a few times extending the time you may find that they do really well and can stay out longer.
     
  8. Iron-Roo

    Iron-Roo Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2011
    NW Ohio
    Thank you all. Good advice. As always
     
  9. andrea98

    andrea98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2009
    in my barnyard....ohio
    [​IMG] from a fellow buckeye [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Iron-Roo

    Iron-Roo Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2011
    NW Ohio
    Quote:Alway nice to see a fellow buckeye [​IMG]
     

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