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wellington womble

Incubator reared growers

How long till they can go out to free range? If they are all kicking about in the field, do they need to be kept apart from the big chickens? They have plenty of room. They're Dorkings, Croad Langshans and Not-Poulet de Bresse. Currently five weeks old, and I'd like to start putting them out soon.

I'm specifically wondering how long until they can find their own way to bed.
chickenlady

I usually keep my growers separate (but within sight of) my older hens until the growers are at least 12 weeks. At that age they are more able to stick up for themselves a little and can survive any pecks and skirmishes from the oldies.

If you put them in their own run and henhouse in the evening, shut them in, and then open their door in the morning and let them find their own way out. Just watch them the following evening to see if they go back in...they probably will - but if not then you'll have to show them the way, maybe for a couple of times. After that all but the thickest will usually have worked out where their sleeping quarters are. You may also have to teach them to perch if they don't have access to a perch already.
wellington womble

Thanks. I'll try and contain them for a bit in a run and see how it goes. I don't have much of a record with confining poultry, on the whole!
NorthernMonkeyGirl

..."not-poulet de bresse"

Oh dear - daddy issues??

Laughing
wellington womble

Nothing so exciting. Only that they can't be called Poulet de Bresse unless one is actually in Bresse in the first place (and raised to some pretty exacting standards). They would be, if they were though. I'm not selling them, so it isn't really an issue. I'm raising them as closely as I can to the standards insofar as it matters, but I have to call them something!
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