When to let them free-range

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NixNoodleNumbat, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Hi, I've just got three new chicks that are eight weeks old. I currently have four other hens in another coop that I let out after three days and they are fine. how long do I have to leave the chicks in their new coop? my current plan is six days or whenever they seem tame enough, but that seems risky. any ideas?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2011
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 19, 2009
    Are they currently in the coop you plan for them to live in permanently and just want to know how long they need to be "homed" to the coop before being let out to free-range? Or are you asking when you can move them in with the other hens?
  3. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Sorry, I should've been more specific. They are currently in their permanent home. I was asking when they should be "homed" enough to let them free-range in my backyard.
  4. BlakesFarm

    BlakesFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2011
    Upstate SC
    I would say 3 weeks to a month.

    My Guinea Fowl were in there cage for a month before I let them out.
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    After about two weeks, I would start letting the youngsters out to free range about an hour or two before dusk. They won't get far at first, and should be willing to go back into the coop on their own. If not, you won't have to chase them all over the place to get them in at night.

    After awhile, and you will need to gauge this, you can let them out to free range any time and they will have learned by then to go back into the coop at night.
  6. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Thanks everyone. Letting them out just before sundown is a good idea. I will wait two weeks and then let them out. Please comment on my thread "What gender and breed?".
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2011
  7. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I have RIR's. I kept then pinned for about a week & let them out a few hours before dusk & they voluntarily went back to the coop. They were around the same age. I did supervise them . Good Luck.
  8. Gray Ghost

    Gray Ghost Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2010
    After just a couple of days of having my six-week-old pullets in a coop, I opened the door to the coop housing them along with some older hens (9 months). The pullets didn't even want to leave coop for several weeks. They are afraid of the big outdoors. I wouldn't worry too much about them running away or not getting back in the coop, even if they have only been in the coop for 2 or 3 days when you first allow free ranging. It takes them several weeks to venture more than a few feet from the coop door.
  9. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    Mine have had outside access since their second week of life. It is in a roughly 25ft by 25ft yard. I am looking to let them have complete outside access around week 12. They are at 10 weeks now... Only time will tell, LOLz.

    Our coop is just big enough for roosting and laying. So locking them up in it (accept at night) is simply not an option for us [​IMG]

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