When to let chicks freerange

JodyC

In the Brooder
Sep 23, 2019
7
37
41
Hi everyone, worried chicken mamma here. I’m wondering when you let your chicks out to free range without supervision? My girls are 6 week old Rhode Island reds. I let them peck around under their store bought coop since they were 2 weeks. I just followed my intuition. I started with 6 and I still have 6 so I guess I did good. Anyway I’ve read that now is the time I can start letting them free range. But I’m afraid and constantly watching them. At what age can I feel confident that they will come back to roost? They already go in their small coop at night by themselves at around 8 PM.

Ps we put their small coop inside their new run while their new coop (an 8x16 shed) is being prepared for them
 

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SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
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They will come back in, not to worry. They aren't going to just run off and get lost. When I first let chicks out, they carefully orient themselves so they can find their way back home. You might want to get them accustomed to coming when called for treats, just in case you need them in early.
 

JodyC

In the Brooder
Sep 23, 2019
7
37
41
Great idea... but what kind of treats? I’ve tried cabbage, mealworms and bread. They aren’t interested in them. They will eat the mealworms but aren’t excited. I also tried scrambled eggs and they let them rot.
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
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SW MO
Well then, just be around each night and make sure they remember how to find the gate. If I have an occasional one that is trying to get in from the back of the run, because the others already went in and she sees them back there, I slowly walk twd it, arms outstretched, and herd it twd the opening.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
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Scratch works, or cracked corn, as treats. Way less expensive than meal worms too. They will come in at dusk, but it pays to teach them to come running when you call them, and that's what the treats are for. Fruit items are good too for this.
Mary
 

JodyC

In the Brooder
Sep 23, 2019
7
37
41
Scratch works, or cracked corn, as treats. Way less expensive than meal worms too. They will come in at dusk, but it pays to teach them to come running when you call them, and that's what the treats are for. Fruit items are good too for this.
Mary
I gave mealworms another shot since I had a whole bag of them. And this time they went nuts over them. I was afraid I'd have to catch grasshoppers because that is their favorite treat. We also got them in the big coop tonight and I gave them a lot of mealworms to make them happy. I thought they were going to draw blood. They must have changed their minds.

Our Coop isn't completely finished. It needs ventilation and some roosts.
 

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