When can they free range?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by amaliayosa, May 4, 2008.

  1. amaliayosa

    amaliayosa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello everyone I have a question about free ranging our chickens. They are 2 months old now and happy out in their coop. We will be free ranging them and I was wondering at what edge can I let them loose? They are pretty big.
    Anyone?
     
  2. Josie

    Josie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it depends what kind of predators your up against. In our area I'd let them loose, but i live in a concrete jungle.
     
  3. lemurchaser

    lemurchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are 7 weeks and I've been letting them loose (or just opening the door to their run) when I'm outside for the past 2 weeks. They are getting more and more brave and independent. Then when I'm done, I herd them back into their run. Today they were out about 2 hours and are now exhausted. When they are full size I'll leave them out unsupervised, but right now they are too little to be safe.
     
  4. fowlplay

    fowlplay Out Of The Brooder

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    What do you do to get them all back into their run?
     
  5. snaffle1

    snaffle1 New Egg

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    Quote:Yeah, that's what I want to know too. Mine aren't big enough to go outside yet but I am thinking of a limited turn out schedule b/c they already like to chase the bugs so much!! I am sooo afraid that they will get gone though (very rural here, have cats, seen fox and coyote at night, snakes, etc)
     
  6. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I start letting mine out of their coop at around 2 months.

    Our chicken yard (about 3/4 of an acre) is fenced with the type of livestock fencing that is the smaller squares at the bottom and gets bigger at the top. That is lined with chicken wire on the inside and then we have three strands of electric wire running around the outside of the fence, one at the top, middle and bottom. It’s a solar fence so it stays on all the time and we also have two 140-pound American Mastiffs that patrol the area and chase off or kill anything that doesn’t belong and we still loose a chicken every now and then.

    Our property is wooded and an occasional possum or coon will come into the yard through the trees. By the time the dogs alert us to the trouble it’s usually too late for the unfortunate chicken that was attacked but that particular predator never gets out of the yard alive. So there are never any repeat visits by the same animal and it really doesn’t happen that often. I suppose it’s the price we pay for having those yummy free-range eggs.
     
  7. lemurchaser

    lemurchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you let them out in the evening they'll probably head home as it gets dark. I have a fenced yard so I just herd them back into their run. As soon as they figure out I'm after them, they run home. Usually when I get a couple in, the rest follow.
     

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