Best free range chicken breed

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Cjs123, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Cjs123

    Cjs123 In the Brooder

    I would like to free range chickens in our yard. We have 2 acres but lots of predators around. Is there a breed that is gentle, docile to work with but a formidable challenge for a cat or fox? Or is that an unrealistic question?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017

  2. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Songster

    Oct 20, 2014
    "Some" chickens "may" be able to discourage "some" cats "sometimes" ... but ... the cat will be back to finish the job, "usually"!

    As far as a fox ... you can count on the fox eating chicken for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

    Have you thought of a electric fence?
  3. Cjs123

    Cjs123 In the Brooder

    Thank you for your input. Our neighbor has chickens and they are always going all over the neighborhood, except for our yard. We have Dachshunds and they use a dog door that allows them to go out into a large fenced in area. The chickens would have to go all the way around to get to our bird feeder. Two days ago I woke up to a large rooster cleaning up the bird seed under the feeder. I was absolutely thrilled. I thought, Finally!!! There was another hen next door cleaning up under their feeder. Surely this guy would bring friends. That night they had a fox attack. Now they have them locked up. They had those dang chickens for years, and I finally get one in my yard. SERIOUSLY???!!!
    We had free range Auricannas many years ago that roosted in an enclosed area in the barn but if I put a run on that I'd never see them unless I go around the other side of the barn. That's no fun. I want to see them out my kitchen window and when I sit on my porch.
    I have the perfect spot to, but neither my husband nor son are interested in building a small Woods coop. Guess I'm stuck [​IMG]
  4. adstowe

    adstowe Chirping

    Aug 8, 2016
    I free range my chickens. I accept the fact that I may lose some now and then to predators. It's a decision that each person has to make for themselves. I personally would rather have my chickens spend their lives out doing chicken things than locked up. I live out of town, so while I do have occasional hawks and coyotes around, dogs aren't an issue. Except for potentially mine. I also have 2 cats. They pay no attention to the chickens. My roo will lead them away when a cat is out there, but I think my cats probably consider a bird that's their size to be a bit much for them. Everyone's situation and comfort level is going to be different. In my location, I feel that the benefits of letting them free range are worth the trade off for potential loss. That's based on my predator situation, available cover and opinion.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Ladies can be very cunning - I'm sure that you are fully well aware of their respective achilles heels - time for some devious planning, me thinks [​IMG]
  6. Cjs123

    Cjs123 In the Brooder

    Ladies, I appreciate the input. I am thinking of opening the back of the barn again so they have a roosting spot and a place to lay eggs. With 2 acres I'd have to have an egg hunt every day without it. Not to say they'll actually use it for eggs but better than nothing.
    BTW, our neighbors rooster is back. Tried to feed him some meal worms but he's too spooky. Guess I'll just have to get my own, now won't I?
    Thanks for the encouragement!
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  7. Cjs123

    Cjs123 In the Brooder

    What would you suggest for a breed or breeds? I want something gentle, colorful, interesting, and big enough to challenge a couple of scaredy barn cats. I'm thinking a rooster and maybe 6 or so hens.

  8. adstowe

    adstowe Chirping

    Aug 8, 2016
    I currently have 2 buff orpingtons, 2 easter eggers, a barred rock and then a little mix breed roo that free range. They do fine. I also have some Rhode Island reds and black sex links in the brooder that will be joining them when they are ready. I like having a varied flock. I thought it would be cool to stick with one breed a while back and I ultimately found out that I prefer having a variety. If it were going to pick 6 hens and a roo, I'd probably do 2 buff orpingtons, 2 barred rocks, 2 easter eggers (just love the color in the egg carton!) and a Buff Orpington roo. That's just my opinion.
  9. Cjs123

    Cjs123 In the Brooder

    Sounds pretty awesome to me. Will look into that. Thanks!
  10. Cjs123

    Cjs123 In the Brooder

    I'm south central, Shippensburg, Pa. Does anyone know where I can buy some Orpington adults! Love to talk.....

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