When can you free range your chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenwatcher, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. chickenwatcher

    chickenwatcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2008
    I have 8 week old chicks they've been in their coop for 4 weeks now and they are fully feathered out. Could I start letting them free range?
     
  2. Je33ieg

    Je33ieg Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2012
    Clemson, SC
    i think they would be fine to free range under some supervision (they just seem a little young, so you'd want to make sure that they don't wonder too far,make sure any predators are near, etc.). I would let them out of the coop maybe an hour before dark and see if they automatically go back in the coop once the sun begins to set. if they do, that's a good sign that they may be read.
     
  3. chickenwatcher

    chickenwatcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2008
    I'll be at home all day so I can watch them pretty good. Right now I have my coop doors open and I'm watching them from inside.
     
  4. Je33ieg

    Je33ieg Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2012
    Clemson, SC
    i think that sounds good. thats similar to what i did with mine. just be sure that if you have any dogs, to really watch the chicks if they get close. my dogs were in a large fenced in chain/link area and one of them managed to get its paw through the fence and grab a baby chick :eek: it wasnt pretty!
     
  5. chickenwatcher

    chickenwatcher Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a French mastiff but I'm keeping her inside if I'm letting them out of the coop.
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    If they're fully feathered, they can go out.

    Whether or not you supervise them is a personal decision. Once mine are fully feathered, I open their door every morning and shut it every night just like I do with my grown hens. It's much better for them to free range than to get bigger and bigger in a pen together with less and less space per bird. That's a recipe for pecking.
     

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