Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by seminolewind, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    It's way too bad that chickens look like dinner to everything. Heck, people even use them to bait traps.
    I would love to free range my chickens, but there are too many animals around here looking for dinner or a toy.
    I used to live in a neighborhood where one of the neighbors had a free range flock, and when there were none left, they got another flock. They did this 4 times before they stopped. A year later I saw a run and a coop.
    I would love to free range mine. However, it would be like ringing the dinner bell.
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Though I don't have any experience yet, I think I'd have to agree with you. A nice big coop and run is probably the way I'll go. I don't know if it's possible but I think if I were to free range them it would only be when I could be outside with them for a good long time. Even then I guess I'd still need Charlie the wonder wolfie's help to keep track of em. If I can't do that, then in the coop/run they will stay.

    Btw, I love your screen name. Are you from the Seminole nation (or like me do you just love the song)? I went to high school with several of Osceola's descendents.
  3. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I haven't let mine out in months. I've seen hawks flying over head so they stay in the run. I use to leave the pop door open at night but now I have the auto door for the coop so I don't worry at night. We have way to many raccoons and possums around at night then hawks in the day time. I hear owls ever once in a while at night but haven't seen on in the day time in a couple years. Had one that use to tease the dog by doing a fly by and it would get the dog to chase it across the field. It was funny to see then the owls would land and get the dog to chase it again.
  4. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    I agree about wanting so bad to let chickens have freedom to explore and nibble all kinds of stuff. I want that too, but with only five girls, I can't afford to lose even one. They're slackers enough with the egg laying as it is!

    Seriously, when I see BYC-ers photos of their girls outside exploring, it makes me sad for my girls. But I know they are safe, and I do everything I can to give them things and healthy snacks to play with while I'm at work all day. I'd love a bigger run (ours is 12 x 5 for five chickens), but too late now.

    You're doing the right thing for you.
  5. jenichick

    jenichick Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    I researched this site for two months before I ordered my chicks. I knew what I had to do. I built a coop and enclosed run because of all the thread I read about entire flocks being wiped out in a few minutes by a dog etc. I thought well, If I'm going to have them I would like to keep them safe as possible. I've been fortunate that the only one's I've lost were due to illness defects etc.
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    It seems like you either have a lot of problems or none at all. My chickens only
    range a few hours a week and under our supervision. However, several people
    local to me let their flocks do whatever they want and have very few problems.
    We have all the standard predators here. I'm convinced the scent of our dogs
    keeps the preds away from us.

    I'm just thinking out loud here so no one take this wrong. If I was a chicken
    I would rather range and have danger than be in jail. This is humanizing
    the chickens and totally stupid but I do wonder if a chicken is better off living free
    for a year or being cooped up for a lifetime. This is almost the reasoning we use
    for meat birds. "Give them a GREAT LIFE before it's eating time".
    Again, just pondering this out loud. I say I have no opinion but I must since
    my babies don't range without one of the shepards around (Me or Drumstick).
  7. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    Yeah, the same thoughts cross my mind too. But I'm not under the power of Evil Silkies!
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
  8. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Quote:My Silkies free range all they want. I found them chewing on a coyote carcus.
  9. karri25

    karri25 Songster

    Feb 5, 2007

    P.s with that said we give ours left over deer carcus but still, yuck!
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
  10. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Quote:I have loved making the girls say Eeeeeeewwww since I was 5 years old. Thanks

    And Seminole, using chickens to bait traps?? Eeeeewwwww

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