Allowing chickens outside of the run.


In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 24, 2009
Washington, Connecticut
I have a small flock of hens, who live in an 8'X10' henhouse with an attached 10'X12' run. For the first few months, I let them out of the run to "free range." Then I lost one to a fox. I live in northwestern Connecticut, in Litchfield County. Our property is surrounded by woods and I notice many hawks, foxes, and at night raccoons and coyotes. I was greatly disturbed by the loss of the chicken, but hate to keep them enclosed 100 percent of the time. Thoughts?
If you let them free range, then it's open season on chickens! Be prepared to lose them. Voice of experience - I lost 9 in 2 weeks to coons.
I let mine out of their runs at 6 am-they are out until they wander back in at 7:30pm and then they get locked up tight as a drum-never seen a coon during the day-and my only loss during the day was from my own dog !!!
look at this bad boy!!!
I have lost several to predators ever since I started free ranging but I still do it. I think that it is much better for their health to let them do what comes natural and it drastically reduces feed cost. I hate it when one of them comes up missing, but I feel it is worth it because I love coming up the drive way and seeing them just roaming the yard and they seem to be much happier. It seems though once they get to be adult size the depredation drastically decreases so I try to stick to the standard size.
the feed savings is amazing! Ihave had to lock up a group of 16 for the past week until they become accustmed to their new home-and good grief they are chowing down!!! I cant wait to "release the hounds" on Sunday-I do cry when one comes up missing but I love feeling their full crops from eating naturally-and their eggs are so much tastier-I noticed to that I have a higher % of better hatches from my free-ranged birds
I forgot about that last part, the egg yolks are such a nice orange color and they are much better tasting, or so I am told, I do not like to eat eggs.
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