Free Range Chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ingramandrea, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. ingramandrea

    ingramandrea New Egg

    Nov 11, 2008
    I am new to this site and do not want to offend anyone, but since this forum is about pets you can eat guilt free, I will plow on.

    We had chickens most my life in the backyard. No coop or special feeder or anything like that. My family is moving into the woods and I would like to bring chickens back into my life. I am convincing my wife that having a chicken or two around is great.

    My original vision was to buy a couple of chickens and let them run free. Put up a sheltered coop to give them a safe place for the night and a little grain each day and I figure that would be good enough.

    I read this site, however, and others like it and they all say I must have a chicken coop with a fenced yard. Is that my only option?
  2. bantamman13

    bantamman13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2008
    First welcome to the site its a great resource. If you want to freerange your chickens all the time with no coop I would stay with old english game varieties and not one of the heavier breeds where I live the Old English Bantams I have freerange with no type of shelter just fine. But everytime I have tried it with my Marans, RIR or other heavy breeds predators get them within a week. Hope this helps.
  3. hennypenny9

    hennypenny9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    First of all~


    And second, much of the reason for having a fenced yard is to protect your chickens from predators. Around here we have coyotes, raccoons, and other things that will pick off chickens. Also, without a fence, your hens might not lay where you can find the eggs. If you have a dog that will keep away predators during the day, you'd probably be okay letting them run free, but like you said, give them a secure place during the night. I'm sure the more experienced people will chime in, but that's my two cents!
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I agree with the other posts. I have a coop. I have standard heavy beed chickens. I want them to lay in a spacific place, their nest boxes. Also I have a fenced in yard adjacent to a covered run, because I live in the country and have many different preditors. I have some neighbors down the road who just let their chickens roam and it seems like they are always loosing some of their birds to preditors, such as, foxes, cayotes, racoons, possums, hawks and sometimes stray dogs. It's a personal preferance. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. joerogrz

    joerogrz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2008
    Loretto, TN
    Welcome to the board! I agree that it is your personal preference to let them range or not. You may check on the different breeds and see which ones will free range better. From what I understand, Leghorns range well, are very alert and can avoid most predators, but they tend to range far and are flighty. I'm not suggesting Leghorns though, I just used them as an example.

    I don't know what breed you'll get or what you tend to use them for (pets, eggs, meat, or whatever), but I would make sure it is one that will range well in addition to meeting your needs.

    This is just a suggestion. Build a coop with a run and let them range for a little bit of time during the day when you or someone is home and can be ready in case something happens.

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