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Curious chickens thinking the grass is greener...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crzychkn, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. crzychkn

    crzychkn In the Brooder

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    May 22, 2014
    Texas boonies
    So we have 15 birds, 2 are roosters, 1 is a turkey and 3 are silkies, the rest are a mixed variety of hens. All are still young. They have a great coop for night time security and during the day they free range in a LARGE yard that has about 80% tree coverage. On one side is the dog yard, the back fence and another side is the horse pasture, and a part juts up and fences off the front yard. Most fences are 4 ft high, the one to up front is 8 ft. We have 4 girls that are superb at getting up front. I think they get up on the a/c unit first, then fly over. They get into the dog yard, sans dogs, or in the pasture, and after some bug hunting, they run up and down the fence almost as if they forgot how to get over it, then suddenly they fly back in. Not so with the tall front fence. We are about to be out of town for 2.5 wks, a chicken sitter will be coming morning and night to let them out, feed, water, put them up, but the rest of the day they will be left to their own devices. I am torn about clipping wings. Right now they stay close, but about 500 ft from the fence they fly over, (the 8ft one to the front) is a main road. Not to mention, we are in the country and we have predators. I am beside myself with worry about them while we are gone. This is a medical trip, so it cannot be cancelled. 2 days ago one got out front and didn't know how to get back, she also didn't venture far enough to realize there is water available just 20 ft from where she was. It was 100 degrees. She was one thirsty girl when we got her back in. What would y'all do?
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road Premium Member 8 Years

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    On the MN prairie.
    I'd either build a large covered run attached to my coop for them to be in while I was gone, or clip wings. My chickens primarily free range, but I do have runs attached to my coops to contain them if I'm going to be gone, or if we have visitors who bring their dogs, or if I'm concerned about predators. (Last year we had a coyote come through and snag 5 of them while we were out of town. My mom kept the rest in the coop/run until we got home.
     
  3. crzychkn

    crzychkn In the Brooder

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    May 22, 2014
    Texas boonies
    I would love to enclose it, but we leave in 2 days and have too much to do getting ready. I am terrified to clip wings because of predators. Guess I am going to have to just trust. We have tried to teach them how to get back in, guess we'll see. Sigh.Do you think they'll find their way back in at night? Ugh, I am so nervous!
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Southern Oregon
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    If they're using the a/c unit as a jumping block, can you block that off somehow?
     
  5. crzychkn

    crzychkn In the Brooder

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    May 22, 2014
    Texas boonies
    That's an option of the future. We don't have time, and for medical reasons making the trip necessary, we can't right now. I guess I am kinda hoping to make myself feel less guilty about leaving them. Sigh.
     

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