Containing free rangers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mom3, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. mom3

    mom3 Out Of The Brooder

    May 27, 2007
    We have 6 chickens who have been allowed to roam all over our yard. That's been nice, but now I am really getting sick of all the chicken poop in the yard and on the walkways. These chickens think they are own the yard.

    If I want to fence them into an area/pen, how are they going to handle that, since they've never been contained. Well, they are locked in the coop at night, but free range once let out.

    Will they all fight with one another? Since roaming all over our huge yard and woods has been normal for them, what size should I make their outside enclosed area?

    edited to add: I have one hen who is older then the other 5. She was here before the little ones, who aren't so little anymore. They are all laying now!! But the older one is the boss and pecks the younger ones. Just want to add that in consideration of pen size.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  2. Chickfever

    Chickfever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2007
    Southwest VA
    The silkies I have no were free rangers before they came here. Because I have a mixed flock roaming around, I put the silkies in a pen. The run is 8 x 8 with a coop of 4 x 4 (that they NEVER use [​IMG] ). These seem to do fine, they just refuse to go inside their coop at night.

    I'm pretty sure it's 10 sq ft per bird minimum for a run. Some people and places say they do okay with 4.
  3. ksbmom

    ksbmom Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 2, 2008
    My 8 girls free range all day most days, but as we are soon putting in a vegetable garden, that will definitely need to stop or we won't have a tomato left! If we have to put them back in during the day or if there is a day when we don't let them out, they do fine. We have about a 200 square foot run for 8 hens, and they all get along nicely. And yes, they DO think they own the yard! We have to close off our screened in porch or they'll take up residence there, too.
  4. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    We bought our 6 hens and 1 roo a week ago today and they were free range, and are now cooped. They are acting like nothing is different. They have plenty of room, plenty of food, nice boxes and a roost. They are very happy and we already have 4 eggs from them in 6 days. YIPPEE!
  5. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    You could build them a run connected to their coop and maybe let them just free range a little while before bedtime.
  6. Grass

    Grass Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    i have 23 hens and 2 roos that freeranged allday long ....til i went back to work , now they get out about 4pm and range til they ready for bed.....they all seemed to adapt to it pretty well.i'm kind of leary about letting them freerange when i'm not home....a few found a way to jump the neighbors fence that houses 2 little mean of them has already jerked a hen under the fence and it died a couple days later cuz i still haven't figured out the emergency care they need after an attack like that. but with help from everyone on the site i been learning

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