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You are Here: Home -> Forums -> General Discussion about Homesteading -> How to Homestead Polish Hens

Topic: How to Homestead Polish Hens (4 messages)

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How to Homestead Polish Hens (4 messages)
Posted By Message Posted On Report
KRISTINAB
Score: 0
Hello! We just purchsed 10 polish chicks that will arrive on/around April 13th and we have a coop that allows them to free-range during the day and we can close them up safely at night. What is the best way to adapt them to homestead and stay close to home? What age should we begin letting them out of the coop during the daytime? What is the best way to begin letting them out to free-range (adding an hour each day to their "free-time" or just cold-turkey letting them out for the entire day?) Will they retreat into the nesting boxes to lay during the day when they are free-ranging or will they lay around the yard? Any other help would be greatly appreciated, we are new to this :)
3/15/2015 6:29 PM report abuse
KRISTINAB
Score: 0
Obviously they will be in our brooder house until they reach a large size.
3/15/2015 6:30 PM report abuse

PATRICES
Score: 34
KALISPELL, MT
Survived our first winter in Montana. Girls did well even when it got to -22.
I can only tell you what I did with my chicks as I'm no expert. When they were about 2 1/2 months old I decided to get them used to going out. About 1/2 hour before the normal time in the evening when they would all go into the coop, I let the out of the pen for the first time. They headed back for the coop at their usual time. After a few days I let them out earlier and kept an eye on them. They didn't wander too far. Within 2 weeks I was letting them out for the day.

The egg thing is harder. I put fake eggs in their nest when they got old enough to lay. They did lay in the nest regularly at the beginning. However, as they grew we would occasionally find eggs in other places. They laid on my neighbor's porch. Last year my neighbor's hens would occasionally lay in my coop. My neighbor solved this by keeping his locked up until noon. His seemed to lay in the morning. That wouldn't work with mine as mine were just as likely to lay in the afternoon. I'd say just provide nests that the hens want to use. Keep them clean.

As far as keeping them close to home, good luck. After mine grew up I'd see them visiting my neighbors' yards on both sides. They both had chickens. One neighbor's chickens never came to my place. The other flock came to check out what food I had for mine every day. Those hens even learned to use the nipple waterers. They'd go across the street sometimes. They especially liked the close by horse pastures. I guess you could try providing something that would keep them home as in a pile of buggy compost. I also think certain breeds are probably more likely to stay closer to home.

I'm starting out brand new this spring with new hens. I'll probably experiment and see what works best.
3/21/2015 8:35 PM report abuse
MARK73
Score: 3
For anyone still interested in this topic. I have raised White headed black Polish chickens for many years in the past successfully. I would not recommend them for free range birds. While they are remarkable hardy and attractive birds, they are easy pickings for hawks , owls, buzzards and other predators! They have a large blind area due to their lovely top knots! they do not see things coming at them ,except head on directly in front of them. I had both a covered run and two adjacent narrow yards for them. These yards deter flying predators (about 12x 60 feet)both by their narrowness between the 48inch high fences and I have two strands of wire with fluttering tapes strung between poles about 15 feet from either end ,about 71/2 feet above the ground. I have not lost any birds to flying predators that are kept inside these yards! That is not the case for birds I have let roam outside or for my neighbors who seem to provide all the wildlife in the area with a steady diet of their chickens!
9/29/2016 3:14 PM report abuse