When to let them free range

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wowmanacat, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. wowmanacat

    wowmanacat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2011
    Oak Grove AR
    I have 16 6 week old that are outside in a pen and I am wondering when is a good time to let them free range in the yard with the big ones. I do have 5 roosters that I would like to get rid of first and I am hoping to do that this weekend at the local auction. This morning while I was changing the water in there pen the 11 week old roosters got in there and there really was no trouble.
    The back side of the main coop is all wooded and I have lost a few already to the woods. Now the big ones stay close to the house and in the shade. I just really don't want to lose any of the hens, for some of them are so cute.
     
  2. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Virginia
    My chicks are 7 weeks old (I have 17, so very close to the amount you have), and I started letting them out to free range with the big guys and gals when they were around 6 weeks, so I'd say it's a good age to start. Our yard has enough room for them to stay away from each other, but the chicks so far have stayed close to their pen. They probably haven't gone any farther than 5 or 6 feet away from it yet. I do, however, only let them out when I'll be able to stay and keep an eye on them just in case. The only big chicken that I've seen try anything so far is one of my buff Orp. hens, who always wants to run over and peck the babies on their heads. The other grown chickens, both bantams and standards, have shown no interest in the youngsters so far, except for one of the big roosters who likes to come over and watch them from time to time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  3. wowmanacat

    wowmanacat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2011
    Oak Grove AR
    Well I have opened there pen up and they are still staying in there. I can see them from my window at the computer so I am keeping an eye on them.
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Virginia
    Quote:lol! Mine did that, too. It takes them a while to feel comfortable venturing out of the pen. Mine still haven't gotten the courage to get away from the pen and actually come out in the yard. They just hang around the edge of the woods where their pen is, which is fine with me as there are some hawks around my area, and 2 of the chicks are bantams, so they're much smaller then the others, except for 1 very runty Brabanter.
     
  5. Mia_

    Mia_ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2011
    South Puget Sound
    I have been free ranging my 7 week old pullets for about a week. At first they did not know what to do with the open door and I spread some feed right outside the door. Yesterday, when I went in there, I had not walked the ~8' to see what the feeder level was before half of them were out the door! [​IMG]
     

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