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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by miron28, Oct 19, 2008.
ok i am about to get some hen atwhat age do people start free ranging there chickens?
I have soome chicks that are three days old and they free range with mama hen. Just need to help then in at night, they can't get in the coop by themselves.
I started letting mine loose in the yard at about 2 weeks, with constant supervision. As they got older they learned to get out of the fence and I learned that I didn't need to supervise them every minute of every day.
Now at 6 months old, I check em about once a hour. They roam everywhere, from about 9 AM until dusk.
We started letting them out with supervision @ 3wk, for an hour at a time. Then increased time and lessened supervision until they knew where everything was.
I started mine at about 4 weeks. Always watching.
A chicken hawk almost got dinner when I had them out at 6 weeks. Got there in the nick of time. 10 seconds later would have been too late. Even though they are big now, I still check on them every half hour or so.
I would take my outside even at a few days old but constant supervision. Then I started putting them in a little cage with the bottom out so they could be in the dirt and grass. Then at one month, they were free ranging.
My first chickens had to wait A LONG time before I finally let them outside without being there.
Must have been 9 months old or so - till that point they had their run.
Others have gone out earlier and earlier - but now of course there is a FLOCK so they tend to stick around. I've had babies with moms outside at 3 days old, but momma is there watching when I'm not.
I hatched some little ones, and they went out with the flock at 7 weeks.
My ducks went out at 3 weeks old to join the chickens.
I start putting them out at a week but in an enclosed covered area and with no older pullets with them.
They could run around and scratch etc. but I didn't have to keep watch over them.
I do that until they are old enough to handle themselves and too big to fit through any holes in the fence.