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do chickens need to be free range

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by awsomechickdude, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. awsomechickdude

    awsomechickdude Hatching

    Nov 3, 2008
    I don't think that I have the space for free ranging chickens. I was wondering if they needed to be free ranging.

  2. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:They don't need to free range. I have some who free range, and some who stay in a coop with a run.

    They will LOVE to free range, but if space or safety is a problem, then it is better to keep them in the pen.

  3. bubbazmommy

    bubbazmommy Songster

    Oct 8, 2008
    Albany, ME
    It is not neccessary to free range. You would want to supplement their diet from what I understand. You can always give them grass/weed clippings, fresh veggies, treats, etc. It is nice if you can do it b/c they love it, but it just isn't possible in some situations. Have you considered a chicken tractor??
  4. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    it is always better to free range the chickens for at leat one hour every day, it is not necessary, butdo it if you can, je happier the chicken and relaxed je better egg production yu get.[​IMG]
  5. hennypenny9

    hennypenny9 Songster

    I'm in the same situation as you. My property is less than 1/4 acre. Like everyone else said, they don't NEED to free range, but they love it. Anyway, my solution will be to only get a few chickens, and the largest possible enclosure. A movable enclosure might be ideal.
  6. jnjross

    jnjross Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    edwards, ms
    need? no, want? not really
    I tryed free range the first bunch they choose to be porch chickens not leaving till roost time.

    they all have a very large run and guess where they stay, inside the coop! couch potatoes
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2008
  7. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    Some don't mind confinement others prefer free range.

    Nothing needs to free range but in humans we called confined individuals prisoners.

  8. dftkarin

    dftkarin Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    It might depend on the breed too - I have old timey breeds (barred rocks, wyandotte) that are good at foraging for their own food and they certainly seem to enjoy time spent exploring and pecking at the ground and yard. I've read that there are breeds that have the ability to fend for themselves bred out of them - so might they not know what to do with themselves if allowed to free range?
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Whereas in contrast, I call my confined chickens "alive", which is sort of shorthand for "the ones that do NOT immediately get eaten by the vast number of predators we have around here" [​IMG]

    Everybody's situation is different. There are plenty of happy-seeming chickens in the world in generously-sized coops and runs, when free ranging is for one reason or another not a good option.

  10. ametauss

    ametauss Songster

    Aug 20, 2008
    Shepherdsville, KY
    It also depends on your definition of "Free Range"....

    I have 5 acres and I limit the chickens to the area around the barn; about 1/4 acre..... I call that free range.... It keeps them safe (sometimes) from the neighbors dog and gives them the ability to go where they like.... Next year I'm planning on expanding the area a bit since we will have baby goats and will need to separate the buck(s) from the does.... the chickens go where the goats go....


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