crowded chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by greeneggs444, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. greeneggs444

    greeneggs444 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    You know how they say free range eggs aren't as diseased as ones that came from farms with chickens packed like sardines? If you keep your chickens in a run is that the same way????? If you live in a city with the houses practically touching, and I keep my chickens in a run, is it a bad Idea to take your chickens out to free range while your watching them? I mean, considering that the last thing you need is an escape chicken running into the neighbors yard to give them a reason to tell you to get rid of them. I mean if they so much as found a feather on their well trimmed disease free yard they would turn you.......

    is it worth the risk
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  2. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    As a generalization your chickens are going to be healthier than those raised at a commercial farm. If your run is anthing like mine the chickens will descimate any grass in short order. We free range while watching our girls. If I don't want them to wonder too far away, I let them out about 1 hour or so before roost time. They seem to stay pretty close by.
  3. greeneggs444

    greeneggs444 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    Thanks!!taking them out be for roost time- do they know they need to be back there soon??????
  4. ladyride

    ladyride Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2011
    East Tn
    Is your yard fenced ? If yes while you are out with them I see no problem , unless you live in an area that does not allow chickeys . Generally speaking they will stay in a fenced area not always mind you but as a rule . You could also bribe your neighbors with fresh eggs they have the tendency to look the other way . [​IMG]
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Commercial chickens are packed into stacked cages, shoulder to shoulder. I'm sure that in your run they have much more room to move around. If you don't feel comfortable having them free range you can bring them greens and treats. If your run is really crowded, perhaps there is a way to expand it (?).
  6. shesaredroan

    shesaredroan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Greeneggs, it depends on how many chickens you have and what size your run is. What is your definition of overcrowded?
    If your family's yard is not fenced your chickens may wander into your neighbor's yard, you really have to watch them just as you would watch 1 to 2 yr old children.
    Many people can't free range due to their location or situation. They keep their flock size down to agree with the space they have. Also they give their flock treats to keep them entertained. (Saw a neat idea where the flock had a hanging head of cabbage suspended in their yard, LOL chicken tether ball. [​IMG] )
    As long as you keep their coop & run clean and collect eggs regularly you shouldn't have any problems. Your flock doesn't have to free range to be happy healthy birds. [​IMG]
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:People say a lot of things. That does not always mean they are true. I know I'll get hammered for this, but commercial operations go to great lengths and practice tremendous biosecurity to keep diseases out of their chickens. With the chickens packed as tight as they are, if diseaes get in they can suffer a huge financial loss. Of course you occasionally get a bad one, like the one that made the news recently, but they make the news because it is so unusual.

    My free range chickens are exposed to a lot more disease causing agents than those in most commercial operations. They dig through horse and cow poop. They love my compost heap. Who knows what else they find out there scratching around. Salmonella is the one that people seem the most worried about and it is extremely common in nature, but there are other things out there too. But by washing my hands and handling eggs and meat appropriately, I am not at all worried about my eggs or chickens. They are happy, active, healthy, and produce some great eggs. I like the meat too.

    If you keep the coop and run dry and keep the smell down, they should be fine in the run. Allowing them to free range if you can is even better. But just do the best you can, handle the eggs appropriately, and you will be fine. Be aware of the possibility of disease, but don't worry about it. Odds are tremendous you will not have any problems.
  8. PeppermintHen

    PeppermintHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2007
    San Antonio, TX
    Hello there, I live in San Antonio, TX, and live in a tight neighborhood like yours. I let mine out al the time, and unsupervised. The only issues I have if Im worried about neighbors is they get excited. They are going to spread their wings. My chickens are big and fat so when they try to fly or stretch their wings they run and flap their wings and don't get far of the ground, after that they start squacking and looking for each other also letting your neighbors know they are there.

    P.S. I don't know if this would bother you, but watch out for cat poop in your yard. Chickens love it.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by