Cruel to not let them free range?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by muscovy94, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. muscovy94

    muscovy94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2008
    Vicksburg, MS
    Hey everyone I have silkies and oegbs in a large chicken pen and i let them free range everyday. Well a few days ago a HUGE hawk killed my FAVORITE silkie hen (he couldn't have taken one of the oegb roos [​IMG] ) Anyway, My silkie flock consists of 5 hens and 2 roos (the roos DO NOT fight. They are like bff, lol) And i am going to build them a separate pen just for the silkies and it will be 10x10. I'm gonnna keep the oegbs in the original pen and continue letting them free range (i don't want to, but the pen has a concrete floor so i kinda have to let them free range [​IMG] ) So would it be cruel to not the silkies free range anymore? I just really don't want to lose anymore birds.
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I think it depends on how many silkies you will put in your 10 x 10 pen. If they aren't crowded, get treats and attention, and greens handed to them sometimes by you, I think they would be fine (and ALIVE).

    My silkies were SO relieved to be put in a pen with a chicken wire top recently. They are visibly more relaxed. We have many hawks. But I do let them out when I am watching them.
  3. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
  4. Hottchick

    Hottchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    Mine can't free range. 2 found a way out of the pen and my dog killed them. If they have what they need, it's not cruel. Is it better to let them get picked off one by one or live in a pen? It's a choice.
  5. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    I stopped letting mine free range when someone accidentally let one of the dogs out and it attacked my favorite hen. I couldn't believe how upset I was...I really didn't think I'd get THAT upset over it. Well, I'd rather keep them safe. They are chickens after all, not rocket scientists. I give mine treats and occasionally spread straw in the run for them to scratch around in. It's been fun trying different ways to enrich their little lives. I think they're just as happy and I'm happier because I know they're safe. Just for the fun of it, here's a pic of my hen's wounds about ten days ago and her today with her new little jacket on.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    If they have the right amount of sq. feet per bird than I wouldn't worry. Assuming the pen is outdoors- so a run, correct?
  7. Luvroos

    Luvroos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2010
    I did allow my silkies to free range and since the hawks of many breeds are around I have caged them in a 10x10 also with a sun screen on top in addition to the weather protecting tarps. They don't like it but, I'd rather them be safe than sorry. I have not lost but, 1 standard chick to a predator and have many that free range. I don't free range my bantam cochins either since they are not as quick as my oeg's.
  8. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    I'm a firm believer that the cornerstone to any free range flock is a good LF rooster of some kind.
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
  10. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Well..heres the way i feel...
    If your hens are not used to being able to free range... then no... its not really cruel to keep them in a run.( By run..i mean a GOOD sized run.)

    But if your birds are used to free ranging..then..yeah..its kinda mean to take that away from them and put them in a sterile/boring enviroment.
    Just my opinion...

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