When can I let new chickens out to free-range?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CathyB59, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. CathyB59

    CathyB59 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2011
    SE Montana
    I just got 2 new hens yesterday. When can I let them out of the coop to free-range? I want to make sure they know where home is and where to lay their eggs, but I don't want to keep them locked up for very long. Should I put up a temporary fence for a couple of days? Thanks.
     
  2. chicken grandma

    chicken grandma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 1, 2008
    west michigan
    It takes 3 full days for the hens radar to reset. While confined they are programming their location and also they are getting used to the way the sun rises/sets/watching for predators and doing a lot of noticing. This is a very important step in rehoming birds of any kind. Do not skip confining them for three days to allow them to make the adjustment.

    If you have other chickens, or you plan to get more, then take a fecal sample to your vet and have it checked for worms and coccidia BEFORE you let them walk around your property and poop all over your soil. That way you can treat these chickens you need to before they contaminate your soil. Some parasites can take years to leave the soil, making it very unhealthy for your current flock or any future chicks you might have.

    Many people on BYC keep their new chickens separate for a month from their existing flock in case of other disease. But the fecal test at a vet is a quick way to get much information about your new hens and if they have any other symptoms of any kind (scaly legs, sneezing, anything unusual) consult a vet before adding them to your flock!
     
  3. CathyB59

    CathyB59 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2011
    SE Montana
    Thank you so much! I was going to keep them separate from my 3 other hens for a while so I guess I'll just put up a temporary fence. I'll have to check with the vet and see if they do the fecal testing. Thanks again![​IMG]
     

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