Behaviors of 100% free range chickens


Oct 23, 2019
I was wondering if anyone else had 100% free range chickens, and if we could exchange info on some of their behaviors.

My free-range flock:
  • 1 rooster and 8 hens (6 of which are the rooster's offspring for whatever that's worth).
  • The rooster is of unknown age and origin, but is some sort of game fowl. He showed up in our neighbor's yard one day, but now lives with our flock of hens. A vet said he seems to be around 2.
  • 2 of our hens are about a year old and the rest are a few months old.
  • Our hens are game hens and are quite good at flying, especially when being chased by a 5-lb chihuahua.
  • The flock sleeps in redwood trees near each other on various branches. They are usually in groups of 1-3.
  • They wander our property and our neighbors' properties all day and retire to the redwood trees at night. They choose to roam around 3 acres or so.
  • A hen will lay eggs in one spot until we find her clutch and then will go lay eggs elsewhere. It's a constant egg hunt around here.
  • Their eggs are smallish with very flavorful but inconsistent yolks. Their yolks are more apt to be bloody or greenish, but not always.
What I'm curious about:
  • Where do your chickens sleep? Do they ever change sleeping locations?
  • Do your hens lay in consistent spots, or do they switch it up? Anything different or interesting about their eggs?
  • What else have you noticed about how your free-range flock behaves?
(We have "tame" chickens too who roam around a rather large fenced area during the day and coop up at night. They get very vocal when their free-ranging friends come to visit.)

The free-range flock:

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