What you need to know if you 'liberated' chickens ...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bigclucker, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. bigclucker

    bigclucker Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 17, 2009
    Thanks for all the help here so far, it has been much appreciated.

    I mentioned yesterday about some chickens I bought (specifically 3 Doms, 1 EE) that are approximately 24 weeks old. There were being kept in small wire cages with no access to exercise, with no bedding, just wire. I have the separated from my established flock and of course, turned them out into my fenced-in mini pasture. Needless to say, hitting grass and dirt left them puzzled at first, but then they seemed to love to roam.

    This may be a dumb question, but is there anything you need to know about transitioning birds in this way? In less than 24 hours, they already seem much more calm than the did when I went to check them out. Any problems in particular?

    They have free access to food and water, and to their sleeping quarters ... any thoughts on how long it will take them to figure out 'home'? Of course, I had to catch and coop them all last night.
  2. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    protect them from predators. Seems like most people's free ranging chickens get hit by the neighbor's dog but there are a lot of other things that can get them.
  3. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    You may have to put them in the coop for several nights before they get used to the idea of roosting there.
  4. bigclucker

    bigclucker Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 17, 2009
    Probably should have clarified that the mini-pasture is fenced, with a million billions closehangers pinning it down, and fishing line across the top for hawks. I know this is not predator-proof, but not the same as wide open.

  5. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    I agree with Opa leave them in the coop for a few nights and they will igure it out.. My juvies last spring only took two days to figure it out.. Also if they havent had a roost you may need to teach them to use it.. Which means picking them up and putting them on it ...
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Agreed. Teach them that the coop is home and once they get the idea, they should return to it each night to roost.

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