When can they free range?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FriendlyFlyer, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. FriendlyFlyer

    FriendlyFlyer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2011
    Hey, my 9 chickens are around 8 weeks old. I'm wondering when can they start to free range? At what age do you free range your chickens? Thank you for the help!
  2. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    I began letting mine out for short periods near sunset at about eight weeks of age. When the sun went down, they would go back into their coop to nest. I slowly extended the time they were "outside", but have always stayed near them while they are out. No problems after two months of this, and when they are fully grown I will let them out all day.
  3. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I let mine out when they were about 4months old...big enough where the cats in the neighborhood didn't see them as (little bird meat) and after they stayed in their coop for two weeks so they knew where to go back to bed. I did however let them out in a large dog kennel while I was outside watching much earlier then that. They DO love roaming around in the grass [​IMG]
  4. Malita

    Malita Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2011
    McKinney, TX
    We started letting ours out well supervised at about 10 weeks. Since we got them at 9 weeks we gave them a week to get used to the coop first. Then we'd let them out for about 15 minutes but keep them close to the run. Then we'd herd them back in by clapping our hands and let them relax for about an hour then do it again. Once they got used to 'it's time to go to the coop', we'd let them roam farther. Finally they started returning to the coop on their own for snacks & water and we just left the door open all day after that.
  5. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    I started letting mine out, when they were large enough that I felt secure they wouldn't become hawk bait...so about 8-9 weeks. Now they are grown, and I have just released 3 8 week olds out, and they are doing great...
  6. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    Mine go in a playpen area as soon as weather permits. They have a "table" in there for cover/shade. I transport them into the brooder at night and into the playpen for the day. When they are about 8-10 weeks and I integrate them into the big flock I let them out all day with the others.It helps to have them able to get to know the bigger ones through the wire "playpen" before I integrate and no one seems to get picked on.I currently have 4 SLW's that are 8 weeks old running around all day with a LOT *ahem* of full grown LF all day. Overnight in the coop I put them in a wire cage so they don't get stepped on. I have had chicks as young as a week old outside in the playpen area during the day if it was warm enough.
  7. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    We just started taking ours out of their run and into the yard last night (under close supervision) a few hours before sunset. We kept them near the door to the run so that they could get their bearings and know where to bolt if they needed to. It didn't take them long to work it all out and were a riot to watch as they chased bugs. They are 6 weeks old tomorrow.
  8. chriscos

    chriscos Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2011
    We keep them in their new coop for 3 - 4 days, starting at 6 weeks - this lets them know where they "live" now. After that we let them out supervised in the late evening, about 30 - 45 minutes before chickens normally go into roost. They usually all go back inside when they are supposed to, but there are usually a few stragglers who won't go into the coop the first couple of times. We do that for 3 or 4 days. If everything goes well, we let them out earlier in the evening, unsupervised, for a week or so.

    If the adult chickens (who are also free ranging, but live in a different coop that is about 500' away from the "new bird coop") have not been picking on the new birds, then by 8 weeks the new chicks let out in the morning and left to their own devices.
  9. grapey56789

    grapey56789 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 26, 2012
    I am the same,

    when do I let my chicks free-range without a mother out of there cage[​IMG]?

    And also what is there favourite food I was wondering,

    Watermelon or what?


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