Chickens outside?!?!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by coolchick5, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. coolchick5

    coolchick5 Hatching

    Apr 27, 2009
    i have chicken in a closed pen but want some i can let roam around i have a lot of yard. what is the secret to keeping them in my yard not others. and how do i keep them out of the dog pen:D
  2. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    You could try putting them in a chicken tractor (a small A-frame pen that has no bottom, but you can move it around your yard.)

    Depending on the size of your yard, they may not be controllable.

    However, you could try letting them out close to dusk for an hour or so, that way they won't wander too far before wanting to go back inside and roosting.
  3. harrisville chicken

    harrisville chicken Songster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Northern Utah
    Is your yard fenced? Our yard is, but my hens could easily go over it in several places if they wanted. However, the best food, water and treats are here. They don't even appear interested in wandering if the gate is left open. Limiting them to evening hours, just before dark should keep them close too.
  4. Quote:If it is just before dusk, they will stick around the coop, and therefore your yard. If you want to let them forage for longer, they will explore further as they become more comfortable outside the run. The first week my girls were close to the coop, they now go further, often into the edge of our woods and out of site - not that I'm comfortable with this, but as the days have become shorter, my time to allow them outside has become shorter too. They are now only out M-F for about 30-45 min before dark, so they are staying close to the coop.
  5. lilchick

    lilchick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    Could you just put some kind of top on the dog pen to keep the chickens out? Like netting or chicken wire or fencing?
  6. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    It's very easy to contain hens/rooster with 2x4 fence wire about 100-200 feet long. You don't need posts or anything; just form a circle with it and tie the ends together. It will stand up by itself. Just lift it up if you want to get inside. These pens can be changed to different areas of the yard weekly, especially if you encircle the coop with the circle and move the circle weekly or bi-weekly in to different corners of the coop.
  7. vstoltzfus

    vstoltzfus Songster

    Aug 10, 2009
    Lancaster County, PA
    I have 3 acres, which you think would be enough to keep my chickens nearby, but it's not. They wander to my neighbors if I let them out all day. So I let them out for a few hours every day, and that doesn't give them enough time to wander too far. So since I shortened the amount of time they're out, they haven't gone to my neighbors. (Oh, to have the mind of a chicken, so I can figure out what they're thinking!!)
  8. Slofr8

    Slofr8 In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2009
    Northern Maine
    Quote:That's a great idea! That just might solve my problem.
    Can't wait to try it next summer.
  9. Rocky Top Chick

    Rocky Top Chick Songster

    Feb 2, 2009
    North Carolina
    I call mine pseudo free ranging. I use cheap netting and buy the cheap (stick things) to attach the netting. Everything comes from Lowe's. I use about 250 feet of the stuff and just keep moving it around the land near the coop. The chickens think they are free ranging, but they are actually confined, just don't tell them.

    We have 20 acres and if I don't do this they all run into the woods and I can never find them.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  10. Slofr8

    Slofr8 In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2009
    Northern Maine
    Quote:Is there something on top to keep them from flying out?
    I have BO's and BR's. Not sure if 4' would hold them.

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