Remember we moved our chickens to their final coop? We kept them in the coop for two days straight so they would know that this is their new home. Then one evening, we opened the coop door to let them explore outside, on their own, for the first time. They were slow to exit the coop and we had to lure them out with food. Once they discovered grass, dirt, and bugs they didn’t have to be asked to leave the coop again. They love free ranging!
They have been free ranging for about a week now. We let them out once the sun is up and let them come in and out of the coop as they wish until sun down. So far, they have stayed in the barn or very close to the barn most of the time. They are eating grass and bugs and still have their grain and water in the coop as well. By dusk, they girls just march their happy selves into the coop. We count them and close the door to keep nighttime predators out. So far, we still have 11. 🙂
We are building a chicken yard to have for times such as when we are out of town. The LGDs seem to be bonding well with the chicks.
My main concern is our farm dog, Rosie. She has the instinct to chase birds. We are allowing Rosie supervised short sessions and hoping to desensitize her to the hens. Let’s hope we can train her to not chase/eat chickens! Or that our livestock guardian dogs can stop her behavior.