Can you free-range feather-legged breeds? And do their legs get dirty?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wordgirl, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    I'm already dreaming about next spring's batch of chicks [​IMG] and was wondering if it's hard to keep feather-legged breeds clean, like Cochins or Brahmas. I'd love some Cochins, but I'm thinking their feet might get dirty. Seeing as non-feather-legged chickens' feet already often get...not so pretty...I'm thinking feathered feet and legs would get even more yucky? And can they be free-ranged, or will their leg feathers pick up lots of debris?

  2. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    yes they will depending on how muddy your area is but its not too bad [​IMG]
  3. LyonFuzz

    LyonFuzz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2008
    South Lyon, Michigan
    Just like kids, the dirtier they are, the more fun they had:) I free range my d'uccles and they never get too badly messed up. It's no worse than them giving themselves a dust bath.
  4. Laney

    Laney Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Spring Hope, NC
    I free range my LF Cochins. They don't get dirty really. There is some discoloration to their leg feathers that I would attribute to being on mud or dirt, but mostly they take care of their feathers. There is virtually no caking of anything on their feathers or feet unless immediately after a storm. Mine are white and I think that any dirt on their leg feathers would really show.

    My birds are in a an approx 3-4acre pasture with my goats. They have a coop but prefer to sleep outdoors. They have the option to leave the pasture as I have not clipped their wings but the Cochin's choose to stay. 99% of the Pasture is grass and weeds. Any mud/dirt is animal created and was grass when we put Animals in the pasture to start with.

  5. logan

    logan Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 15, 2009
    yes all day their feet would get dirty what we do is keep them in a high off the ground coop. yes they could free range but their feet would get dirty.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My LF brahma have been free ranging since they were chicks, almost two years. Their feet get no dirtier than any other chickens.
  7. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Mine freerange (LF Cochins and Bantam Cochins) and they don't get any more dirty than any other chicken's feet.

    Mine even hang out in the calf pasture and scratch in calf poo - it comes off - they will groom themselves, also. I have yet to see any of them with crusted caked up feathers on their feet/legs - they get dusty, and sometimes a little muddy, but not too badly.

    Unless you are planning to show them and need their feet feathers in pristine condition, I'd say go ahead and buy some and let them wander - they'll love it and they are so pretty out on your lawn [​IMG]

  8. City Gardener

    City Gardener Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2009
    My brahmas only get dirty feathers when it's muddy out. Otherwise, they seem clean and fluffy.
  9. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    We got a little banty rooster with feathers on legs and feet. I was also wondering about the snow and ice. Should I cut those back a bit (so they don't get caked up with snowballs) or as some of you posters said, they will clean themselves.
  10. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    My feather leggers LOVE to play in the dirt and get dirty and they never complain about dirty feet either.

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