Do you supervise your chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RThomas, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. RThomas

    RThomas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    I was reading another thread where a couple of posters stated that chickens should only be allowed to free range while under supervision. I was curious if this is the view held by others here.

    Personally, my birds free range all day while I'm at work. I understand that there is a chance for loss, but, for me, the benefits of free range outweigh the risks. If they didn't free range while I was away, then they wouldn't get a chance to free range at all during the winter months, and only briefly during the summer months.

    Anyway, I was just curious as to others views on free range and supervision.
  2. Higins00

    Higins00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Mine free range all the time too. But usually twice a year the hawks get bad here so when I get a bad feeling or no one will be home for a long period of time I will leave them in. They hate it!
  3. AnnainMD

    AnnainMD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2010
    Eldersburg, MD
    I must have a hawk haven in my area because they just sit on the trees and stare at my girls through the run. It's fully enclosed in hardware cloth and I HAVE to be out there when I let them out because of neighborhood dogs and the hawks.

    I have 12 chickens that are pets and they are not a source of cash for me (I don't sell my eggs) so I think whether you supervise or not depends on how you see your flock. Ther farmer we deal with for our meat has his hens pastured but they have a Pyrennees out there with them.
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I did at first. I had 10 pullets no roo. Finally got a roo & I let him supervise. The flock started feather pecking each other. So the flock now is out everyday. I felt like they would peck them selves to death so their out roaming with the roo.
  5. matimeo

    matimeo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    I 100% agree with you RThomas. I let mine free range all day everyday. I don't have a hawk problem here, so we've been good up until now. We get great eggs since the chickens get to eat lots of green grass.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My two flocks free range all day long. I check on them several times a day and am always out there to lock them up in the evenings. As far as supervising them goes, that's my two roosters jobs.
  7. happyhappy

    happyhappy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2010
    Napa, CA
    I let mine range in their run with no cover, we have hawks but they have a lovely open mountain area to work instead of the trouble of trees and my border/pyrenness and a killer boy cat (kitten) I come home for lunch (when working) and gather late layed eggs. They would be miserable in the coop. They have plenty of cover to run to, now if they would just SHUT UP!!!! [​IMG]
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I free range all day. Dogs and roos are my supervisors. I lost several chickens until I trained the dogs to leave the chickens alone. Now down to 2 dogs, one mostly inside, and till no problems. The outside one actively hunts rats and I don't know what else, though.

    Even with the losses, I really didn't want to pen them up. I have a large fenced yard, maybe 60'x80', that I close them in occasionally. They tolerate it OK but obviously prefer to make their rounds freely.
  9. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    I have a flock of free ranging unsupervised chickens and a flock that stays in a huge run. I understand that a roving dog could quickly destroy my free rangers, but I currently have the roving dog population under control. [​IMG]

    Sometimes the benefit outweighs the risk.
  10. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    I supervise my girls 99% of the time. It's fun for me and I feel much better about them. I say 99% of the time because many times, I am cleaning feeders/coop/run, adding shaving etc//

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