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When to and how to start a little free ranging?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tylersmum, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. tylersmum

    tylersmum In the Brooder

    Sep 22, 2010
    Hi, my 8 girls are 7 weeks old and have been in the coop/run since they were 3 or so weeks old. They go into the coop at dusk and whenever a dog barks. They will only be going out to free range when I am home... my neighbors dog (who has one of those underground fence tingys) likes to herd chickens a little too much!

    So my question is when do you start letting them out of the run to free range a bit? And how do you make sure they go back to the coop? Do you use treats to lure them back in? Any advice you have would be great... I am a little nervous but I know it will be good for them and they will love it!


  2. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    Where do you live? Are there predators around? I am also on that verge of letting mine out, but I have plenty of bad guys around, so my answer to you, wait till they are large enough to get away or defend themselves. Mine are now going on 9 weeks, and to me, still not big enough, we have hawks, coyotes, falcons and owls around. Do you have a dog? Dogs will kill chickens if given the chance, (not all mind you, but in general)

    To get them back in, treats always works. Get them used to your voice, mine know me now, I spend WAY too much time with them! LOL But they should come in when you call, and throw them something tasty. Mine normally go back in the coop at dusk, last night I tried to close the coop door, a bit chilly last night, below freezing, but they put up such a commotion, making all sorts of chirping and throat sounds, I opened the door again and they all ran back out into the run...so I left them be. They know when to come in I guess.

    If you are in a safe place, and you are home, now is a fine time, make sure you can get them back in...don't feed them when they come out, that way they will more eager to go back inside.

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