Chicken behaviour differences between free range and non free range chickens


In the Brooder
May 22, 2020
I just got a new rooster who had previously lived in a coop and run system with no free ranging at all. He was very healthy however, shiny coat and not underweight much. But when I got him home i was both shocked and saddened by his reactions to all the new things!
  • He didn't recognise the vegetables and scraps i gave him as food (having lived only off pellets)
  • He was super clumsy when walking over simple things like reeds and sticks (never having to lift his legs like that)
  • He is also kind of cowardly, when he saw a wallaby approaching for the first time he fled, leaving his girls behind.
  • and most of all, he is noticeably less fit, exhausted hours before the girls are ready to go to bed (clearly not use to having such a huge territory to explore).

So compared to my girls who have always free ranged, he seems less brave, fit and intelligent? Or street smart? Its both funny and sad. What differences do you notice between free range and non free range chooks?
My chicks raised by my free-range broodies learn to scratch for food immediately, which partly means mom shoveling food from the feeder onto the ground
vs my chicks raised by me who are way better at eating food while its IN the feeder

your roo will learn from watching your girls though

and remember, non free range chickens arent unhappy, provided they have good owners, so dont be sad. he was perfectly content and now he just has to adjust to his new normal.
My chickens live in a run, because where I live we have lots of predators. I do let them free range often I just have to sit outside with them. They are very happy there run is big and full of space and I give them lots of fruits and veggies. My chickens know their coop is safe and are a lot quieter. I have silkies so I imagine that’s why they feel safer silkies are scared of everything, I’ve watched one of my silkies freak out over her own shadow 😂

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