Can you take your chickens for walks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Hopeful Peacock, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Hopeful Peacock

    Hopeful Peacock Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2009
    middle TN
    Okay, here is our idea. Will it work?

    Goats live in the barn and chicken coop also is in the barn. We want to keep them together, with a Livestock Guardian Dog also. They will have a big run attached to the barn. However, during the day on most days, we'd like to take them ALL to a movable fenced paddock around our property. Can we "train" or accustom the chickens to follow us in the morning parade to the paddock if we feed them once there? We'd have a small movable tractor for them in the paddock, with their food and water inside so the goats can't get to it (hopefully!)

    What do you think? What problems or challenges do you see with this plan? Thanks!
  2. Peck Johnson

    Peck Johnson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2011
    Greene County NY
    Once they get used to seeing you with the feed bucket they will probably follow you anywhere. Our birds will come running even if I am carrying the mail. It's hilarious.
  3. Chicken0Boy

    Chicken0Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:x2! [​IMG]
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I do similar now. I have a feeding station placed about 150 feet from roost. Feed station is armed with feed before dawn. Immediately upon coming off roost, entire flock goes straight to feeding station. It could easily be set up as a creep feeder. Birds will adjust for day to day repositioning of feeding station so long as distance moved not too far. It is very likely birds can be habituated to walk distances of several hundred feet from roost to find feeder if they know it is there.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  5. Dingleberry

    Dingleberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2010
  6. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky

    Our girls will follow us around the yard,down to the creek and anywhere else we decide to go.

    All it took was a week or two of calling them for treats and carrying the red Folgers coffee can(treat jar) around the yard. Now we don't even have to carry the treats!

  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    The only thing I see is you're underestimating how much goats love chicken feed. You will have to really stake the tractor into the ground, really I don't know if it can be done enough to deter a determined goat. Goats are STRONG! and not afraid to use their heads on fencing, etc. I think they'll be flipping that tractor over and scattering your girls. You could maybe alternate who goes out and just take the chicken food up when the goats are out.

    But yeah, chickens live for food. They're pretty easy to train to follow you, esp if you use something nummy like corn.
  8. Hopeful Peacock

    Hopeful Peacock Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2009
    middle TN
    I know I said tractor, but I guess I was thinking more of a movable mini-coop, with solid walls. I was going to build it strong so the goats can jump on it and not hurt it. However, they may very well be sticking their heads in the pop door and what about the kids? Oy vey. I think I can work around that though, as need be.

    Thanks. I'm glad it looks like it could work![​IMG]
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Someone on the forum posted a couple of years ago about the coop entrance they built to keep out goats. It didn't just have a small opening, it was an L shaped tunnel, like a baffle, to keep out the goats. If it had been in a straight line, the goats could have crawled through. Because of the bend, they couldn't get their bodies around the corner. The chickens, having such short bodies, didn't have a problem turning the corner. It still may not work with kids, but at least you may have a workable plan for the rest of the time.
  10. SparksNV

    SparksNV Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Spanish Springs, NV
    when I let my gals free range and need to call them back to their run, I just shake a cup full of BOSS and call "here chickie, chickie" and their fuzzy butts just come running! But I started "training" them by shaking the cup before I gave them their treats everytime.

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