Dumb question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Berynn, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Berynn

    Berynn Cooped Up

    Oct 13, 2007
    I am afraid to let my one year ten month pullets (EE"S) free range. I never had a problem with my hens running away. My pullet liked free ranging so much that she would only come around to eat, then one day her sister was killed by the dog next door. I have red tailed hawks here,. the man in the feed store told me that my hens are told big for a hawk to get, too many people on this sight told me that they lost a grown hen to hawks, even a roo was killed by a hawk. Should I follow my instincts and not allow them to ever free range again?
  2. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    I don't know what to tell you.
    I have been terrifyed something would happen to my birds from free rainging.
    We do try to watch them and we do have a protective German Shepard
    but we know we cant ever be tatally safe.
    If you check out my website you can see by the pictures that we are totally taken in
    by these little balls of fluff. But I can't keep them cooped up non stop.

    Use your own judgment. GOOD LUCK!
  3. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    Having chickens always has a risk of losses due to predators. Just as many posts involved coops broken into as losses due to freeranging.
    I would suggest that if you decide to freerange, you include a roo in your flock. They do a great job of alerting to predators reducing the danger. My best alarmist is my banty roo. It is their job to protect their girls and I would not even consider freeranging without a roo in the flock.
    Follow your instincts. If you have a small number of pullets and cannot intoduce a roo I say build them a nice run, secure it as well as you can and that will suffice.
  4. After watching the JOY my girls get from ranging I could not take that away. We have no dog issues, however. We have a gang o' hawks, foxes, etc. but we only range the birds when we are here (which is often) (way, way often) (OK, all day). Also, they hang around the house area, never ever leaving it from their sight, and they have plenty of cover.

    But it is a chance: the percentages say we will lose a bird or three throughout the years. It is a tough choice!!
  5. kybukabu

    kybukabu In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2007
    Stateline NC-VA
    I've lost two birds in six months because one side of my backyard fence is too low and the hens and the ducks can hop over it to free range in the barnyard. The two roos don't leave the backyard, but one of them runs up and down the fence line yelling at the hens which gives me a heads up to go out and round them up again.

    We've tried different ways to keep them in the backyard, but the best way seems to be to give them enough to "do" inside the fence. I complement their crumbles with fresh lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, broccoli, baby tomatoes, and apples. Sometimes it's just last night's leftover salad. They're just so bored when I keep them in their coop.

    I guess whether or not you let them have free access to an area where they might not be the absolute safest is a matter of personal choice, but it's hard either way.
  6. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    You do what you feel is right. We really cant tell you what to do.
  7. Pinenot

    Pinenot Songster

    Sep 11, 2007
    I let my chickens free range and so far...I have not had any losses. I do have 3 goats in with the chickens and they only get a 40x40 area to roam. Every now and then one will fly over to the garden to see what bugs they can find.

    I did have one hawk try to get my birds but it was unsuccessful and we found it dead at the end of our property....hummmm. Anyway...it is a chance you take!
  8. crazy4chicsinBC

    crazy4chicsinBC Songster

    Nov 22, 2007
    Abbotsford, B.C.
    I had a hawk kill my full grown RIR.

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