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How old before chickens can free range
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Ray    Posted 05-06-2004 at 08:04:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I recently purchased 45 more chicks to my farm and they are alittle more than a month old and was wondering if anybody can tell me when I can let them out of the cage to free rome with the rest of the chickens. Here in Illinois it gets in the low 50's and 60's at night and I still got them under a heat lamp. Thanks for the help

KellyGa    Posted 05-06-2004 at 10:03:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
Depends. See, I watch mine when they are out free ranging, and Tip stays out back, my border collie, to ensure no cats or hawks get them. If they aren't being watched, they have to be in the house and run. I put my buffs out at about 10 weeks, but only because I enjoyed having them inside, plus then it was still chilly outside.

Anyway, I guess if it were me, with that many chickens, I would let them at about 8 to 10 weeks. I have six week old sussex that I let out for a couple of hours each day, but they dont stay in the chicken house yet, they are in the brooder at night.

It's hard to say, because everything loves to eat chicken. Possums, owls, hawks, cats, stray dogs, raccoons. If you let them free range, something is bound to get a few, that is unfortunately inevitable.

What kind do you have? HOw old are they now?

KellyGa    Posted 05-06-2004 at 10:20:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
I read bookeepers post, and if you have the means to keep them pinned up that long until they are bigger, I would do that. If I didn't have Tip to look after them, I would probably leave them in the chicken house and the run til much later than I had.

Bkeepr    Posted 05-06-2004 at 09:24:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
Two main considerations for us: heat and feed. We wean ours off the heat lamp by about 4-6 weeks or so depending on the weather. Then we move them from brooder to an enclosure separate from the rest of the flock.

Then we wait until they can eat the same feed as the rest of our flock, or about 16-18 weeks, before we let them free-range.

We free-range our flock but still provide layer ration free choice, and they're supposed to be about that old or else it'll cause kidney problems. We find that the layers don't eat much of the layer ration when there is fresh food available, but the younger birds will.

somebody else may do something different, but that's been our way.

good luck!
Tom A

KellyGa    Posted 05-06-2004 at 10:21:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sorry, Bkeepr, that would be BEEKEEPER, not Bookeeper, lol. Am I right? Got a bee farm?

Bkeepr    Posted 05-06-2004 at 11:33:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Kelly:

Yep, honeybees. Got a few of them, and some chickens, turkeys, ducks, goats, sheep, mule, donkey, dogs, cats, and other assorted critters...but we started with the bees, about 15 years ago or so.

Tom A

Our resident...    Posted 05-06-2004 at 08:09:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
ChickenWoman Kelly should be here shortly ta give ya all the advice you can tote off inna wheelbarrow...grab a cuppa java,relax,and watch the crazies play fer a while......lemme know if ya spot a hoss named Ruben...tall,15 hands high,straw hat wit flowers,broomtail,and staggers a lot when he walks. Keep clear of his rear's a "pickled egg" kinda thing back there. :^)

Clipper:Saloonkeeper/KL Saloon :^)

deadcarp    Posted 05-06-2004 at 09:41:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
(lifting ruben's tail and peeking out) - "pickled egg thing" huh? As you might guess, i've been called worse! Bwahaahahaha!!

Now DC...    Posted 05-06-2004 at 09:50:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
ya know durn good an well I wuzn't talkin bout you regarding Ruben's rear bumper....course if yer crazy enuff to go hanging out back there I sure ain't goona stop ya :^)

Clipper: sittin an watchin....

..    Posted 05-16-2004 at 18:28:03       [Reply]  [No Email]

,,    Posted 05-16-2004 at 18:31:03       [Reply]  [No Email]

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