When to trust?


8 Years
May 17, 2011
I am new to chickens. I have 4-4week old prodution reds,they love grasshopper, so i go out with flyswatter and a bottle looking like a crazy woman, wacking away at the little critters! I bring them back cring out it customary (chick-chick-chick) so they will learn to come to me. This works well in the run , i have 23 acres so have plenty of grazing room. Butt if i let them out to get there own bugs how do i get them back? I have a large cleared area but heavy woods all around not to mention water front whitch may be appealling,,,,,!
If you have imprinted them on their coop, for nighttime roosting, they will come back. you must keep them locked up until the KNOW where their night roost is.

how long have you had them?
If they have been outside in their coop for several days, like a week, they will consider it home, shelter, safety, etc. As soon as it starts getting dark they will work their way home to the coop and probably roost in the very same spot they are in every night. You will notice the first time out they won't range too far. The first time you let them out make it only a few hours before dark that way they won't go too far. As they get more comfortable they will go farther away and you can start letting them out longer. You can train them to come if you go out and call them and give treats when they come. This will allow you to get them home in unusual situations like
impending severe weather, predators in the area or when you just want to give them a treat. Good luck and enjoy!
I wondered this too, though we only have 1.5 acres. The other day we were leaving to go out and I wanted to put the chicks back in their run. I was bracing myself for a chase around the property. We hadn't handled them nearly as much as I'd hoped because it's difficult with a 1 year old always wanting to help.
But I try to bring them treats and scraps and call the "here chick chick" too. Anyway, I went out there with some BOSS and bird seed and called them and they came racing over from the other side of the property and straight into the run. It was unbelievably easy. I think if they are imprinted on the coop and will come to you when you call, it wouldn't be a problem.
Thanks for the input, i put them in the outside everyday and back in their inside place at night. So i think i will wait untill they are outside full time. my run is not totally complete, i hadnt put roof on yet and i lost one yesterday:(. I wouldnt have though a preditor would have flown in to a 15x5 cage , but i was wrong. I fixed the problem NOW!
Once they are in there run all the time, you can wait till just a few hours before sundown & let them out. They will stay close to the run/coop & should go back in. If they don't it is easier to round them up.

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