Chickens straying to find boys?

estomlin

In the Brooder
Aug 19, 2018
7
10
21
We have a flock of 7 chickens that we got as day old chicks at the end of April. We have been letting them free range all day, along with our flock of 15 guineas, and they are locked up at night. Everyone gets along well (guineas have a separate coop for sleeping), and all summer the chickens stayed close to the house, sometimes hiding in the woods, but never very far. Recently, the girls have started trekking about a half mile down the road to spend the day with our neighbor's rooster and chickens. We have gone from 6 eggs a day to one or two. We are not sure if they have just stopped laying because it is fall, or if they are laying somewhere else now. My question is, does anyone know if getting a rooster of our own will encourage them to stay home? They undoubtably will fall prey to something if they continue their high risk behavior!
 

andreanar

Crowing
5 Years
May 16, 2014
2,832
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437
Finger Lakes, NY
That is a suck! They are laying at your neighbors, Im sure. First year chickens usually lay right thru the winter season. I don't think getting your own roo will stop them. Im thinking you are going to have to construct a run and keep them in for quite awhile. If they were mine, I would keep them confined to coop and run until spring, then see if they forgot how much they love going to your neighbors.
 

estomlin

In the Brooder
Aug 19, 2018
7
10
21
That is a suck! They are laying at your neighbors, Im sure. First year chickens usually lay right thru the winter season. I don't think getting your own roo will stop them. Im thinking you are going to have to construct a run and keep them in for quite awhile. If they were mine, I would keep them confined to coop and run until spring, then see if they forgot how much they love going to your neighbors.

Yeah - I was worried that might be the best answer - they are going to be mad!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
31,032
250,677
1,632
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
My chickens were hatched 4/30 this year. They were doing the same thing but with my cockerel leading the pack. They were not visiting a nearby farm. They just wanted to wander further and further away.
They now spend most of their days in the newly fenced in 1/4 acre pen I made for them. I let them out about 1 - 2 hours before dusk and that has kept them from going too far.
 

alexa009

Crossing the Road
Apr 6, 2017
4,183
18,339
907
Texas
My Coop
My Coop
Chickens will sometimes stray when permitted to free range. This is why a lot of chicken owners will keep their chickens penned up to avoid any type of predators. Free ranging away from home sometimes depend on the rooster, I've had roosters who listen to natural boundaries while others wander off and aren't aware or alert of predators at all. Hens will sometimes follow the rooster while others will wander off in some cases.
 

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