Young Adult hens need freedom


6 Years
Sep 10, 2013
Hello! I am a new user to BYC, so I apologize if this post is in the wrong place.. My little ones aren't so little anymore and I feel like they're ready to start roaming with my other girls. They are coming up on 4 months (next week) and are bigger than 2 of my smaller hens, but I am afraid to let them roam due to an incident I had earlier this year.. They react to Crows and Hawks so are aware of danger above but I'm still reluctant to let them roam unsupervised. Do you think that 4 months old enough and they'll be fine or am I not crazy? Just looking for opinions :)

Thanks everyone!
Welcome to BYC
It's time they go outside so they can get on with being chickens and doing chicken things. Keeping them indoors may keep them safe, but long term it's better for them to be out there. I do understand where you're coming from though. I raised 7 chicks in my house after a string of predator attacks wiped out half my chick population once. But once the predators got taken care off I let them back out to be chickens before they got too comfy on the couch. They were watching TV and sleeping on our bed by then! LOL

Have you got a rooster with your flock? A good rooster will keep an eye on the skies and warn his flock when he sees anything that might be a hawk or crow approach, so they can run for cover. If you do have hawks in the area, some strategically placed hiding places, like metal sheets, pellets or anything big enough to dive under will offer some protection for your flock. Lean the pallets/sheets against something or place it over a large rock, crate, whatever is handy. What you can also try is hanging some shine objects like old CD's in trees (if you have any) around the run or where the chickens roam. There are some more tips in this discussion:

Best of luck and enjoy the site!

You can let them out gradually with supervision if they will come to you but they should be okay. Chickens mature pretty well and as the other poster stated, if they have places to hide from hawks and crows they will be safer than in a run with nothing to go under.

Have fun
I don't free range because of my outside dogs. Although the dogs are locked in their pen I'm concerned of the chickens flying into the dog pen and becoming lunch. I have let them out for a bit during the evening but I stay right by them and don't let them wonder off too much

Welcome to the site
Last edited:
Welcome to BYC. Realistically, free ranging at any age can result in predation so you are not 'crazy' to be concerned. Monitored free ranging might be your best bet.
Thank you all for inputs.. I have been a chicken owner for quite sometime and this is the first time I had conflicting thoughts about letting my babies out. My other hens are free range during the day so it probably is time the join them.. Thank you again :)

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom