When Can I let my babies free range??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickenWendy, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. ChickenWendy

    ChickenWendy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2007
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    I have 22 assorted standard breed chicks that are 6 weeks old. I have them out in their coop (with a light on at night), with the deep litter method on the coop floor (it's cozy). I was wondering when I could let them range? They have been cooped up in the coop (pun intended) for a week now and they now have a friend - a 5 month old Black Austroplorp rooster named "little Jerry Seinfield" who is dying to get out for a bit of free time. The chicks were previously in my garage in a pen. So they haven't had much outside, ranging time. Would anyone be able to offer me suggestions on how to start their ranging??
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007
  2. herechickchick

    herechickchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    I let mine free at 4 weeks. I know that may seem young to some but I have never had a problem. However I live in the city and my back yard is completely fenced.
     
  3. ChickenWendy

    ChickenWendy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2007
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    I live on 4 acres and no fences! just ditches on all sides - like a moat!! ummmm, and the coop is on the very back acre. you think that is ok? during the daylight hours? and will they just know to go home at sundown?
     
  4. herechickchick

    herechickchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    I might wait a few more weeks OR let them out an hour before sundown. That way they get to be out but only for a short time until they are bigger.
     
  5. Lilychick

    Lilychick Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2007
    MA
    Quote:I think knowing when to come home at sundown might take a little practice/training. I'm sitting here watching mine outside (ten weeks) and it is almost dark and they are outside wondering what to do. They don't go in the house on their own. Pretty soon I will have to go out and shoo them in.

    It took my last little flock some time to figure this out too, but I don't have any more experience than this.

    You gotta post a picture of "Little Jerry Seinfeld". My whole family wants to see him!

    -Lily
     
  6. edster951

    edster951 Chillin' With My Peeps

    if they know thier coup is home, let them out a hour before bedtime, and they will, hoefully, go to bed by themselves, with a little supervision so they don't get "lost".
     
  7. lyndatu

    lyndatu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2007
    I let mine out at 1.5 weeks old, and that means I have to watch over them from cats and mice. I make sure it's warm and dry. They like basking under the sun. When it's their first time out they will be scared to roam around the entire field and will stay in groups. I also bring the waterer at the backyard if they get thirsty because it's hot here. But feeder; there's no need to bring the feeder because they will have fun looking for bugs.

    Have fun on your free-range [​IMG]
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Mine don't get out into the pen till at least 5 weeks old, and that's if it's very warm out. This time of year, depending on your location, of course, it's pretty cold for babies to be outside. And I never let them actually out of a pen till about 12 weeks old, not where I live. Cats and other critters can take chicks too easily.
     
  9. ChickenWendy

    ChickenWendy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2007
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    ok, so Georgia isnt that different from Virginia Weather actually. My in-laws live in Elberton (North Georgia, 30mins outside of Athens). So you think they should stay in the coop until about 12 weeks. Which i dont have a problem with - it's been very cold here lately - the high today is only about 38. I did mention that they have a light out there right? They do. My main concern now is my 5 month old Black Austrolorp Rooster. He has been out roaming before he came to me. He was given to me off of Craigs List because his owner couldnt keep him in the neighborhood he lives in & i couldnt pass up a free Rooster - & he is gorgeous. & he's big - really bigger then i thought a 5 month old would look. Can i let him out by himself? Would that be ok? i just worry about him getting angry because he is in the coop all the time - for now. Is that stupid to worry about it?
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, you can let the big guy out if he knows where home is. I would be concerned about the "adult" and your chicks together as that adult can really do a number on young chicks if he feels like it. But if it is working for you, it is working so no problems.
     

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