Alone in the backyard!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lillyanna, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. Lillyanna

    Lillyanna Out Of The Brooder

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    Question, we have a great secure coop and run, but the girls love the grass and yard. Does anyone let their chickens roam their yard unattended? If so, how long? We have predator birds and cats, maybe an occasional fox. Our yard is fenced in and I have seen them run back to the coop or under our deck if the get skittish.
     
  2. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fenced backyard..should be ok..alot people let there's out..are they adult chickens?
     
  3. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my birds free range all day. They go out when I open the coop up and go back into the coop before dark when I shut them up.
    I made a mistake and let my birds out when they were still to young and lost most of them to my farm cats. However once they were fully mature the cats no longer bother them.
    I personally think that having a fully mature rooster is a necessity if you are going to free range. He keeps the girls togeather, making them less of an easy target. He also protects them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  4. Lillyanna

    Lillyanna Out Of The Brooder

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    We have 13, 10 adults and 3, 9 week old. Can't have a rooster because of local ordinance and don't want to upset the neighbors.
     
  5. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    I did in my fully fenced suburban backyard for three years, then a goshawk killed one of our fully grown bantam.

    Now they get to come out when I'm in the garden and I also have an area I've fenced off at the bottom of their covered run with grass in it that they get some time on each afternoon (if they eat it down too low they are kept off for a week or two so it can recover)
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  6. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Well depends on what kind of fence. Mine started off as just cattle panel then got reinforce with horse wire to help keep the chickens in and the cats/dogs/coyotes out. We have mexican eagles that fly by and the chickens run for cover (no rooster), one of the hens will call out and they all head for cover and freeze so we havent had a problem with birds of prey as of yet. We also have two cats that guard our hens so that could help.
     
  7. Lillyanna

    Lillyanna Out Of The Brooder

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    It is just a vinyl picket style fence. We have Bald Eagles and a lot of Red tailed hawks. We had an incident with a red tail, but scarred the "eggs" out the chickens for a day!
     
  8. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    whats the spacing one the fence? And you might lose some to those birds of prey.
     
  9. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey Lillyanna

    Like appps, my gals free range is always supervised due to the possibility of aerial attack or one of the neighbours dogs or cats wandering into our yard.

    While your birds may be able to shelter in the coop or under the deck from aerial predators, this is probably not going to keep them safe from cats, foxes etc.

    It is a tricky question because it really just boils down to how prepared you are to lose one of your chickens to predators.

    If you understand the risks, I would say go for it .. but if you are like me and would be a blubbering mess if you lost one to a predator, I would go with supervised free range only.
     
  10. Lillyanna

    Lillyanna Out Of The Brooder

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    So, I guess we will continue to have supervised outings! Thanks for the help.
     

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