Best for "free ranging"

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Yard full o' rocks, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. I am looking for a breed that would do well "free ranging" on our property. We have approx 20 acres between my in-laws and myself, which are all adjoining. We have had some game chickens in the past but the hawks picked them off in 3 days. Guess I need a breed that is pretty "street smart". Any suggestions? BTW - I apologize for posting this here, couldn't find a more appropriate section. Thanks

  2. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    I'm afraid that if you have hawks that you will loose about any kind of chicken. If i was gonna try i would pick something like the RIR's. Good Luck and consider a covered run for when you can't watch them.
  3. thanks. i do have a covered run for my buff orps...was just hoping to be able to let something "run around the yard". I wonder if they would stay close while I was outside if I let the buffs just "roam" a little while....
  4. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    Ive got some game chickens that free range. They survive much better than any othe chickens Ive tried.

  5. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    I have a current flock of Partridge Rocks and Australorps and three turkeys.

    I did lose some at first to hawks but built a netted area for them to escape to, discouraged the hawks with hung DVDs and I haven't lost one since.

    You don't say how many you had, how old they were, how long you'd had them before you turned them loose, and what cover you gave them to go hide under.

    Evading Hawks is a learned skill. Some LOSE that battle before the others learn. Now mine are all very careful to get under cover if one screams hawk. I have nine acres and lots of predators but mine are doing pretty well on that score.

    Buff is a really visible color from the sky...

    I have a free range rabbit, she's white, I figure she'll get it first before my birds do.

    Learned skills require learning.

    You can set up the environment to help them survive til they learn with brush, bushes, lean-to's or pallet structures to hide beneath. Netting or twine over an area keeps hawks from dropping on them. Reflective things discourage hawks, their sight doesn't like that.

    Try again. Any of the major heritage breeds should work out given care and time. RIR OEGB, Rocks, Wyandottes, NHR, cochins do well free ranging, the Brahmas, the Giants, if you want eggs and not typical dual purpose birds then the giants tend to discourage predation due to sheer size. Or a nice big toulouse (sp) goose. NOBODY messes with them. They make excellent guards but they will bite the mailman.

    I want a toulouse after I put in the wading pool for the dogs...

    It can be done. They do learn. Stupid birds DIE but that's nature.

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