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Can you train chickens to stay in one area or stay out of another?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I really hope you can, otherwise, I'm afraid I won't be able to have free range birds anymore. Our coop is about 500 feet, maybe less, away from our open garage where we park our cars. The coop is at the bottom of our driveway, meaning the doors open right out into the driveway. Behind the coop is our fenced in pasture field. We do have a small run attached to the coop for when we can't let them out. I've had this flock for two years now, and they are getting worse. Since it's cold, when we let them out, they come straight into the garage. They are digging huge holes in the gravel floor, and are just a pain! Anyway, I am starting a new flock, and am hoping there is a way we can train them, or encourage them, to stay in the pasture area, which is plenty big enough, and there are plenty of bugs and dirt to scratch in. I'll attach a picture, it's not the best because of all the snow, but it was taken from the doorway of the garage. Does anyone have any ideas????

http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k16/babyanglbrycen/Winter10093.jpg

post #2 of 7

No way that I know of.  We had to block them from getting into the yard by covering the gate they used for easy access with hardware cloth.  They used to love coming to the backdoor to beg, but now with two dogs we didn't want to take a chance on having an unhealthy encounter between the dogs and the chooks.  Only way to keep them in one area is to fence them in and then if they are lighter breeds that can fly, clip the wings.

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

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If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

Reply
post #3 of 7

I wish you could train them!  lol  I wanted to free range too, my bad little chicks keep playing in the street!  So now I have to keep them in the run which I will have to make bigger this spring because they will not listen.  I always thought they don't go far from their coop, well that is what some one said to me.  They always keep their coop in sight just in case they need to run for safety reasons.  Ha, mine don't even see the coop when they leave.

But I am gonna try something this spring before making the run bigger, so maybe it will work dunno.  I am gonna put goodies where I want them to be.  I figure in the beginning I will do it every day.  After I will get less with it.  I am gonna start from the coop with a trail of corn or something that will lead to the yard and see what happens.  So if you want to try that, I don't know if it will work, I haven't done it yet.  But you can give that a shot!

Good luck!

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiechknmama 

I really hope you can, otherwise, I'm afraid I won't be able to have free range birds anymore. Our coop is about 500 feet, maybe less, away from our open garage where we park our cars. The coop is at the bottom of our driveway, meaning the doors open right out into the driveway. Behind the coop is our fenced in pasture field. We do have a small run attached to the coop for when we can't let them out. I've had this flock for two years now, and they are getting worse. Since it's cold, when we let them out, they come straight into the garage. They are digging huge holes in the gravel floor, and are just a pain! Anyway, I am starting a new flock, and am hoping there is a way we can train them, or encourage them, to stay in the pasture area, which is plenty big enough, and there are plenty of bugs and dirt to scratch in. I'll attach a picture, it's not the best because of all the snow, but it was taken from the doorway of the garage. Does anyone have any ideas????

http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k16/babyanglbrycen/Winter10093.jpg


I take it the snow isn't on the ground in the garage (forgive me, I don't know the first thing about snow) Makes me think they are looking for some dirt to dustbathe in. Give them a tray filled with dry dirt close to or inside their coop and I bet they won't need the garage floor anymore.

I live on 10 acres in beautiful Central California with my DH, pets, & chickens
22 Barnevelder chicks in my coop!
My fireworks stand converted to coop project:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5043185#p5043185
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I live on 10 acres in beautiful Central California with my DH, pets, & chickens
22 Barnevelder chicks in my coop!
My fireworks stand converted to coop project:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5043185#p5043185
Reply
post #5 of 7

Hi, I have a way! A reconditioned deer feeder on a repeating timer, 1.5 seconds 0n & 30 min off with an electric eye & n/c contactor for daytime only. They must be there to get fed. I have about 35 free range chickens and so far it works pretty good. See pictures on grandfatherjwv 'My Page'. Will be posting more pictures soon.

post #6 of 7

Perhaps this is a stupid question, but why not just close in the garage so they can't get in there (chickenwire would do it; chickenwire on a frame of 2x4's if you need to make doors or a gate type thing)

The idea of providing a good dusting spot near the coop is very sensible and might also help.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat

post #7 of 7

I don't actually have chickens yet, so take this w/ a grain of salt, but looking at your picture, it seems perfectly set up to lead the chickens from the coop to the garage.  What if you left a big pile of snow between the coop and garage, and shoveled a path around to the pasture where you want them to go, maybe packed the snow down a bit out there (do you have anything you could drive around to make some trails without getting stuck?)  In other words, set them up for success by framing the area to make it more inviting where you want them, and less inviting where you don't want them... treats in the pasture, fence off the garage in some way, etc...hu

good luck!

Becky,
Wife to the handyman, mom to two humans, a dog, a cat, and 6 fugitive chickens... don't tell the neighbors!
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Becky,
Wife to the handyman, mom to two humans, a dog, a cat, and 6 fugitive chickens... don't tell the neighbors!
Reply
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