Free Range Chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickengoose14, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. chickengoose14

    chickengoose14 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 21, 2012
    My chickens free range and they go back into the woods and i was wondering if they would go so far away theyd get lost .

    And i was wondering how far will a chicken go from the coop.
  2. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    In the winter our chickens will work their way to a stream 50 yds into the swamp than scratch their way along for a 100 yds down stream. They return at dusk via a logging road that comes into the back clearing of the property. When they are running late they hit the clearing and fly and run to the coop. Only once did they give me the slip that I could not locate them, but came strolling out of the woods at dusk. We are surrounded by miles of thick, thick woods and swamp. They also have ranged in among a large flock of wild turkeys who come by once or twice a wk. I think like alot of birds they may have that internal compass.
  3. Shortstuff112

    Shortstuff112 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2012
    i agree with her too! My chickens are free range too and most of the time they like to roam around the woods about 50 yds away from thier yard and they always come back! i dont let them do that in the summer were more wild animals are out looking for food. So if you do that i suggest not letting them roam out of thier yard in the summer
  4. ChemicalchiCkns

    ChemicalchiCkns Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 27, 2012
    When free Ranging, my Flock can go @least 50 Rods of Distance, and yet still return. I do not know if this be a typical Value.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Chickens have a well developed since of home range with strong attachment to a given roost site. When allowed to free-range a new area, they expand slowly apperently recording locations and how to get about. Mine often require several days to fully explore a new location. Once location explored, ranging habits can expand when food or water is hard to come by and contract when same resources are easy to find. Direction a couple of my more exposed flocks take for day can also vary with wind direction / weather. Strong cold wind is often avoided for a couple days until eats in exposed areas become a major concern.

    Free-range radius can be as tight as 50 yards or be as great as several hundred yards. Breed and age of birds has very strong affect on range radius. As general rule, my games do not range farther than they can fly from roost site but less flight-capable breeds like dominiques do not seem to operate under such restrictions. If free-range radius is too large, birds may move roost sight which is seldom realized unless birds not fed or predator pressure is heavy.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  6. jhammett

    jhammett Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 15, 2013
    so my "Flok" if you willconsist of 20 birds that I hatced out (2weeks ago Sunday) I have converted a barn stall into a coop for them with poultry netting up to the ceiling and a 16 X 16 run outside the door. The Stall is 9 X 12. I live on 5 acres that is fenced with a barb wire fence system. nothing that will keep them in. My Neighbor has some chickens not sure how many or what kind but I see them in his front yard and rarely in mine. Ive seen two chickens on my property since moving in. How do I get my chicks to establich in their coop so they will return to it at night? And should i be conecrned about his flock and mine mixing up (ie my birds defecting to his flock or visa versa. Should I lwt him know that I will have birds outside in a few weeks. Is there a preperation that needs to be made?
  7. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Establish their home by keeping them in the coop/pen for at least a week before letting them roam. If you can finish brooding them out there, that will definitely make them think so. If they can mingle there is a possibility they will defect. If each flock is a different breed telling them apart should be easy, if not consider banding. Let you neighbor know there is a new flock. A fence might have to be put up.

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