When to let my chicks free range?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ababb, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. ababb

    ababb New Egg

    Oct 31, 2011
    When can I let my 7 week olds free range?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO

    I just open the door and they slowly get braver and braver. Eventually I pen a small area around the door so they can't go far till they get acclimated to their surroundings and know how to get back home.
  3. ababb

    ababb New Egg

    Oct 31, 2011
    They have a pen, but I mean out in the yard, hawks?
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I can't answer that for you. Maybe if you're concerned only let them out when you can supervise.
    I have a lot of shrubbery, brush, berry bushes, etc. that provide cover.
    A lot of people here have hawk issues but I've only had 2 encounters and only lost 1 bird and it was cripple.
  5. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    If you have a hawk issue and no adult birds or roosters to sound the alarm, I would only let them out while you're out there to watch.

    Alternatively, you can put them into a large pen with netting across the top. They're so small right now that it'll be like "free ranging" to them anyway.

    A simple pen can be made out of PVC like the one I made when mine were itty bitties.

    And you can make it as large as you want just by adding more PVC pipes.


  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    [​IMG] of the kennels. If I had a lot of room I would chain link a 20X20' or 30X30' with Chain link top and bottom and make it at least 6 to 7' high and put the coop inside the chain link area.
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    now....if you are afraid of hawks, do it towards evening, just before bed time, watch them, then lure them in with treats....the next day do it a little earlier...

    you can use the pen with net idea also if you feel more comfortable this way.

    They will love whatever free ranging they get!
  8. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    mine are out free ranging for the first time as we speak. They are about six weeks old. I have bigger girls out with them, but they keep to themselves. I have my run right near my kitchen window, so I just open it so I can hear any distress calls and go check on them. My dogs are watching from inside too...if anything doesn't sound right, or they see a hawk, they rush outside and run it off before it can get the babies.
  9. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    I've been taking mine out starting around 2 weeks old, during the day when the sun is shining strong. I've basically just taken some extra chicken wire and made a little 10 foot by 3 foot temp pen connected to the big girls run. Gives them lots of room to free range and they also get face time with the adults, so it won't be such a shock when they get moved outside for good. They love it. Poor things get so exhausted, they come inside and sleep for hours afterward.

    Cutest thing ever was to see 7 2 week olds trying to take dirt baths all at the same time. Amazing how much of their behavior is genetic and not learned. Too cute!

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