When will chicks be able to defend themselves?

stone_family3

Songster
8 Years
Apr 11, 2011
1,925
34
163
Ohio
They're getting pretty big and seem to be comfortable exploring the coop, just wondering when they'll be big enough to defend/stand up for themselves. They'll be six weeks tomorrow.
 

Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

Fluffy Feather Farm
12 Years
Jan 26, 2010
16,007
233
456
Texas, Panhandle
You could probably start free ranging them, under supervision, of course for a couple of hours. :0

~ Aspen
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chickathon

Chirping
8 Years
Aug 12, 2011
135
6
93
West Virginia
I let mine free range at eight weeks. They are big breeds and bred to grow fast. At that age they were as big as my bantams! That was around the time my cat decided they weren't worthy of her attention.
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ChickyLove

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 2, 2011
273
2
99
Springfield, MA.
My two were in my room in the basement for about 12 weeks
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During that time the cats would poke paws and shove faces up against the cage. The chicks NEVER passed up an opportunity to show them who was boss. These days the cats definitely know their place.
 

SteveBaz

Songster
8 Years
Aug 6, 2011
2,130
59
173
Pacific North West
Mine were 6 weeks when we got them. 1 week in the coop and then opened the coop and let them run on the side of the house and now the run is open to the back yard for grass, bugs and just free range around under supervision and when I leave they go back on the side behind the locked gate.
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,925
516
middle TN
Defend themselves against what? They'll never be big enough to stand up to a dog/coyote and right now they would be an easy meal for a hawk. So, it's really more a matter of how much risk you are comfortable with taking. You can also consider things like how many predators you see in your area, whether you have a rooster or other guard animal, and whether you have a lot of cover around for them to hide if needed. But really, it's mostly about how you will feel when you lose one (and if you range, it will happen eventually -- of course, it will also happen if you don't
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).
 

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