When did you start letting your flock out of the run to free range?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SoORchick73, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. SoORchick73

    SoORchick73 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2011
    First question...my girls are 14 weeks old, are they old enough for me to clip their wings?

    How old were your chickens when you let them out to free range? Id like to let my girls out at some point to forage in the yard, I still have some chicken proofing to do...but when do they reach "adult size"? Im guessing it varies per breed? I have two SLW, a buff orp, 2 red sex links and an EE.
  2. pjknust

    pjknust Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2011
    I think mine were about 3 mo before I put them in the hen house, and kept them in for about a month before I let them out, but that was in the fall of the year. Right now I couldnt make them stay in the hen house full time, its way too hot. I have new chicks 7 wk old and I wont be able to put them out there til fall. So Im moving chicks several times a day. From nighttime pen to shaded pen twice a day, morning and late afternoon.

    pam in TX
  3. Fritatta

    Fritatta Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Woodstock, GA
    I waited until mine started laying, about 5 months. if you let them free range now, they may start laying outside.
  4. rebbetzin

    rebbetzin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    Tucson AZ
    I have had my chickens since 2008, and they have never been able to "free range"... I have a tractor and a "Play yard" for them so they don't get bored staying in the coop and run area. We just have too many hawks around here for them to be out in the open.
  5. Delta2 23

    Delta2 23 Flock Master

    Sep 4, 2008
    Mine free ranged pretty much from the word go. They lived outside from a very young age, perhaps a few weeks, and we'd let them out of the coop for the day, shut them back in at night.

    Eventually, we didn't need to take them in every night anymore because they grew to know what they were doing, now basically we leave them alone besides to feed and collect eggs.
  6. ajay

    ajay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2011
    My chickens are about 6 weeks and free range. We don't have a run.
  7. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I let mine out in the yard when they are almost fully feathered with hard feathers, somewhere between 5-7 weeks old. My yard is very safe, though, with 7 foot block walls and a Doberman protector.
    I like them to be going in and out of their coop to roost and able to fly up on something if threatened before letting them out. Close to full size. I let them out in a pen before that.
    I did lose a one pound peachick playing with his siblings in a dog ex-pen to a hawk one time. I actually saw the hawk pull the chick through the bars on the sides of the pen. Gives me a new respect for the dangers of predators.
    This was when I lived in the country and had a lot more predators than now.
  8. gmendoza

    gmendoza Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Rock Hill,SC
    Mine are prisoners. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by