When to let chicks begin to free range?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JackieK318, May 10, 2008.

  1. JackieK318

    JackieK318 Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    When does everyone else let their chickens free range with the other chickens?
  2. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    personally i wouldnt let the chicks freerange till they was 6wks old.
  3. bangor777

    bangor777 Songster

    May 4, 2008
    question....by free range do you mean outside unattended? Because I bring my two week old chicks out once or twice a day for a half hour...sitting right with them. Is this ok?
  4. JenniferC

    JenniferC Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    I've let my chickens outside a bit here and there- sometimes unattended. The youngest were a week- but they had older chicks with them.

    I do wonder when I will be able to let them outside and free all the time. Is 8 weeks too young? I have large breeds.
  5. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    I don't let our standard size free range until they are close to laying age, primarily due to reaching a certain size. We do provide access to enclosed runs while they are smaller so they can enjoy the outdoors, but little ones are too small and vulnerable to free range IMO.

    Our bantams do not free range at all and go out only in enclosed secure flight pens. Hawks would pick them off like candy here.

  6. Portia

    Portia Songster

    Feb 29, 2008
    South Central PA
    My chickens are 10 weeks and have been free ranging in our fenced yard, unchapperoned, for several weeks now. They are all standards & they have plenty of shelters around including the woods for protection.
  7. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    My chicks went outside for a few hours on warm days at four weeks old. They were in a chicken tractor though.

    Then, when we moved them to their hen house, after locking them inside for a week, they then had free access to their outside, enclosed run every day.

    I didn't actually let mine free range (no fencing at all until they were at laying age (around 20 weeks old). Then, the first few times, we stood there and watched them to make sure all was well. If we were working outside we would let them out so we could keep an eye on them.

    The older they are the better chance of them not being taken by hawks, etc.
  8. JackieK318

    JackieK318 Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    We do have some hawks here, but plenty of woods and bushes for shelter. I thought about making a make-shift pen out of small chicken wire and stakes with bird netting on top just for the day time. I'm not sure. I think I let my other babies last year start to free range around 12 weeks old and 6 weeks old for the other batch - mind you, after several dog attacks, I only had three after last season.
  9. jnjross

    jnjross Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    edwards, ms
    today is mine's first day to free range we're 7wks they've been in a tractor since 2wks, they spent all dday under the steps, they won't go back to go water thou [​IMG]

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