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Dancing Gal

When can I let them free range a bit?

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We've had the young ladies about 3 weeks now - but so far I've not been brave enough to let them free range in the garden. I've not intention of letting them take over my garden by any means, but it would be nice to let them have a good stretch and explore.

 

They have the weekend retreat and we are building them a larger permanent run this weekend. But I would like to let them out for a bit when we are home.

 

The cats seems to have got used to them now and even sit on top of the hen house sometimes. Much to the amusement of the girls. There have been a few staring matches between chook and cat and the chook always wins this particular competition.

 

I suppose - well the girls are just small especially the polands, about the size of a big pigeon, and the moggies are cat size. So I worry that there could be a fur and feather incident.

 

I'm also concerned they may not find their way back to the Ark and we would never find them again in the shrubs.

 

Am I a nutter to worry so and just let them roam and see what happens, or should I keep them cooped up a bit longer?

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If you've had them for three weeks, they should know where their bedroom is. Give it a go at the weekend when you are around to supervise. Beware the fox, though, particularly at this time of year.

 

Have some sweetcorn at the ready to tempt them back into the run.

 

oh...and expect some interesting poos if they have not been used to eating grass. :lol:

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I've also seen advice which says to try letting them out later in the day so they're less likely to try to go far away from their home if it's fairly close to roosting time. But yes, also stay out with them to guard against foxes who seem to be most active around dusk from some of the sad posts on the forum........

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I know just how you feel Dancing Gal. I haven't got my chooks yet but I worry about letting them out - neighbours, dogs, foxes, cats, choking on long grass, getting lost, just plain running away - so many things to worry about. I'm just hoping that in 6 months time I'll be such an old hand at it that I'll wonder what the heck I was worrying about - otherwise I might have some very neurotic girls and that won't do. :anxious::anxious:

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I haven't got my chooks yet but I worry about letting them out - neighbours, dogs, foxes, cats, choking on long grass, getting lost, just plain running away - so many things to worry about.

 

that sounds like me at the moment! :D:roll::shock:

 

everyone on here will help, advise and reassure you, they've kept me sane, so far anyway! ;)

 

good luck with your new girls, bet you can't wait!

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your chickens will suprise you! They will know eggactly :lol: where their home/bed/nestbox and access to water is even when they are freeranging.

 

When they are 1st let out I suspect they will stay close to their eglu/run, after a while they will begin to venture futher away. They will love free ranging but my hens are always alert (even when they are munching on grass) for predators.....my Ella (top chook) is always looking after the flock and they all stand still when a large bird flies over the garden!!

 

As others have said - let them free range with your supervision at first....you will soon relax when you see how happy they are.

 

Also be aware if you have foxes in your area.

 

Have fun. :D

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Okay we shall let them out tomorrow and just block of a few areas, so that they don't have the complete garden.

 

I've noticed that they stay very very still if they see or hear something a bit worrying. It's funny to see how still they stand when the buzzards are in the sky above, or when the crows are cawing a bit loudly.

 

 

I've also noticed that they seem to hate the pigeons.

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http://www1.snapfish.co.uk/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=179682383/a=108186660_108186660/fromupload=true/t_=108186660

 

 

Well we let them out about 2 o'clock because they were fit to burst, plus we needed to start building their new extension. They had a fabulous time and were good as gold. They had a couple of encounters with the moggies but no trouble.

 

The girls are so cute, they completely stick together. If one gets separated they call and call for each other until they are back together. The wandered around the whole garden, well we sectioned off some areas, and had a great time scratching and digging and exploring. Near bedtime they found their own way back to the Ark and managed to find their way back in. The new extension (not quite finished) was a big hit and they spend loads of time exploring that area before finally putting their pyjamas on and going up to bed.

 

I think they we absolutely shattered come bed time.

 

:D

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