when to start free ranging

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bosoxbratt, May 12, 2010.

  1. bosoxbratt

    bosoxbratt Songster

    Nov 5, 2009
    Hi there we have 16 chcikens about 7 weeks old when should we start to gree range them? We have them in a coop that has a run attached that has some grass in there but not much my Q's are lol I have more then one I guess lol
    1 when to let them free range
    2 how long to let them free range
    3 how to get them back into the coop/ will they go in by themselves?
    4 should we clip one of their wings before free ranging?
    We have one rooster and the others are girls
    Any info would be appreciated ty :)
  2. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Songster

    Quote:These answers are all my personal experience, nothing's perfect.[​IMG] GOOD LUCK TO YOU & YOUR FEATHERED FRIENDS!
  3. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    your set up sounds a bit like mine. except - i have 10 hens and two roos that free range all the time. i have 8 hens that are in the coop and about 12 weeks old. i started them free ranging for about 30 minutes an afternoon about a week ago. i was worried the roos would take interest in them and hurt them, so i stayed right with them. now, my hens have been used to me giving them treats at a certain time every night, so when it comes time to go in i call out to them and put their treat bowl in the run. this has been working well for me. currently,they stay out for about 1.5 hours each night while i am in the yard, the other hens and roos are out with them, so far no trouble. when it comes time for the the hens and roos to go to roost they do their normal thing without any problems from my 8 "princess" hens. If i forget their treats, i will have to herd them up and they go into their run without much problem, the longer they stay out the longer they want to stay out. i have not yet waited till roost time for them to decide it was their time to go in. maybe that will be my next step. they sure do love to run around the yard and have a good time.

    good luck with yours, i hope i helped some.
  4. bosoxbratt

    bosoxbratt Songster

    Nov 5, 2009
    Ty for all the input one more Q do you keep the rooster seperate from the girls?
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    *I* don't keep my rooster separate from the girls. He's the (Back)Yard Boss. I gather eggs daily, so I don't have to worry about chicks hatching. There's no difference in taste between a fertilized and un-fertilized egg.

    I have enough hens for my rooster to manage, and he's gentle with them, so there isn't much feather damage on the hens' backs.

    I think it's adorable that the "best" spot on the roost at night is on either side of the rooster; the girls will jockey for one or the other of those positions. It's another way to confirm which are his favorite hens.
  6. bosoxbratt

    bosoxbratt Songster

    Nov 5, 2009
    this is our first time having chickens let alone a rooster lol I hope he is sweet to them ...so far he seems to be altho he is young and he isn't sharing food with them yet as I have read that they do lol
    He is very protective of their run and will chase the sparrows away and out of the run with us he tends to try to nip us he has gotten my hubby a few times when he will pick him up and he will try to get me when I am changing their water I just tell him no a few times not sure if he understands or not I am just hoping he doesnt turn into a mean rooster like some I hve read about on here ..as he was suppose to be a girl lolll
  7. cybercat

    cybercat Songster

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    From my personal experiance. Our chicks went out in the coop when 16 weeks old. They stayed a week inside before we opened the door. Within 2 weeks we lost our first rooster to a hawk. We do not have a pen on our coop. Now alot depends on size of chickens too. Bantams you should not let out without supervison. They are more prone to pedator attacks due to size. When you let them out due it a hour or two before sunset the first week. They will goo back into the coop when it gets dark. Helps train them a bit. I now do not close my coop so mine are out at sunrise till sunset. BUT we have no predators here either but the occasional hawk. My chickens are now too big for the local hawks.

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