Extra Free Ranging Apartment Chicken Pets

By missinmee11 · Nov 10, 2012 · Updated Dec 2, 2012 · ·
  1. missinmee11
    extra-free-ranging-apartment chickens (as pets)

    A little over a year ago, we enjoyed the site of several chickens having free range all over the neighborhood.

    Our street is a mixed bag of apartments and older homes with property, so I had always assumed that they belonged to someone and they just let them roam where they please.
    We developed a friendship with the chickens, gave them snacks, etc. and enjoyed it when they would actually come over to our apartment and knock on our door for a snack!
    As we came to find out, these chickens actually belonged to nobody, and live in a field across the street.

    Wild chickens roosted in a tree

    We took an interest in their well-being and noticed when one of the regular hens that came over every morning didn't show up for over a week in early march. She finally came running over one afternoon in a frenzy, gobbled up all the food she could and went running off again. This got me curious, so I started to learn a little more about chickens and I surmised that she was brooding. Sure enough, a few weeks later, she came back over followed by eight little chicks which were no more than a day old.

    Our 4 girls in there brooding box only a few days old

    The closet coop.

    They are just as trainable as a dog, especially when given treats
    to enforce positive behaviiour
    A closer look of the first level of the closet coop
    One thing led to another and we wound up adopting / training 4 hens to roost and lay eggs on our patio. They have a coop in our outside storage closet, and roam freely around the neighborhood, along with 100+ wild chickens.
    As long as they can hear my whistle, they come running from wherever they're at, and of course always come back to their coop in my utility closet before sundown. Two of them will fly up on my arm when I hold it out and point to it, and all of them will fly into your lap if you sit down.

    A common site upon opening the front door.

    Random chicken hangin' across the street.

    Old dog house quickly converted into an egg laying box, sits
    out in the front yard. Two of the hens I keep use this box.

    The other two use this box, on my patio. -Yes they like the plas-
    tic bag.

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  1. Dowie
    Aren't there any natural predators in your area? Or do the chickens roost high enough to be safe?
  2. morsekathan
    Oh, I love hens who come when they are called! Our first set did (unfortunately met their demise by raccoon and we learned to put in an automatic door) but my new hens don't. I really need to get them trained because having the hens come when you call is a godsend when they escape from our huge fenced backyard to the neighbor's garden (again!), but really because it is just so funny to see them come running!
  3. ChicKat
    good for you. Excellent video.
  4. missinmee11
    Thanks for your comment. No issue with parasites. The only health issue has been with one of the buttercups who developed a brief yeast infection, laid a couple of shell-less eggs, and had somewhat of a sticky-butt. I think I solved the problem. I've been putting about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in their water, and keeping the water bottle off of the little shelf area in their coop, because I think the dampness of the water under the bottle was a bacteria breeding ground.
  5. ELauraD
    very cool! Have you had any issues with parasites--worms and that sort of thing? I especially love the picture of the chickens at your door, that is sweet!
  6. missinmee11
    Thank you for your comments! We live in Idaho. A few of the wild hens actually had multiple broods the past spring and summer. When they came of age we were able to trap them. I had heard from neighbors that the 'wild chickens' had got to be such a problem in the past years that the city had came out and exterminated a bunch. I didn't want that to happen, so we've wound up catching over 25 chicks and found homes for them by placing 'free chicken' ads on Craigslist.
  7. Ullie
    Wow, that is quite incredible.
    What part of the country do you live in?
  8. earlybird10842
  9. Whittni
    Great story, did you keep the broody's chicks?

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