Free Range Chicks Turn the Corner

The chicks are 3 months old today. I am new to raising chickens but so far it has been easy. This morning I had to laugh because what I thought was my first chicken crisis turned out to be a successful rite of passage.

I have been introducing the chicks to free ranging by letting them out each morning to run around the fenced area in front of the barn. They have several hours while I am doing morning barn chores. They love the bugs and especially the area under the big three horse trailer which is low to the ground and gives them protection. I leave the door to the coop open but they have shown no interest in going back inside. When I leave the barn, I have to chase/herd/drive them back into the coop.

This morning I decided to leave them out for a longer period and see how they would do. I wanted to ride and since it is not easy to catch them, it seemed like a good time to try this new approach. Actually I have found that chickens like a routine and adopt their own. I was especially surprised when they chose to roost out in the open area on the handle for rolling the coop at night, and then roosted inside every morning around 10 am when I put them back and left the barn.

To my dismay when I came back to the barn after riding, the chicks were nowhere to be seen. They were not in the fenced area or under the horse trailer. Fighting down panic I checked the small openings around the fence and gate and ran to my neighbor’s yard. I also looked across the street, but there was no sign of them.

Chickens Roosting Turn CornerThen it hit me. Could they have possibly gone back into their coop willingly on their own? I peeked in the window and there they were, all lined up on their roosting pole. I looked down at my watch and it was just 10 am.

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About Pathfinder Pursuits

Camille is a licensed clinical social worker and writer. She is the author of the Quincy the Horse children's books.
This entry was posted in Life in General, Organic Lifestyle and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Free Range Chicks Turn the Corner

  1. Ellen Case says:

    What a great story! It is amazing how little we understand about the natural world and the different kinds of intelligence demonstrated by those who live in it. Your chicks must like the security of their coop, and while they surely enjoy roaming around, they like to have a rest in a familiar spot. More power to them!

  2. Our ducks put themselves to bed once the sun goes down…took us far too long (& lots of running after them) to realize they were really one step ahead the whole time! Good luck with your chickens!!!

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