Free Range Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Stasi, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Stasi

    Stasi New Egg

    Jul 30, 2008
    When is the appropriate age to clip the feathers of my flock and let them have some free range time (WITH SUPERVISION)? My roo wants out of the pen.
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Welcome to BYC! Most people don't clip their chickens wings but sometimes it's necessary depending on your situation.

    Do you live in town? What size space do they have to free range?
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2007
    Chickens are gentle fowl, and I see no reason to clip any wings....they won't fly away I assure you. Relax and enjoy your flock.....start with a few hours before dusk and give them the chance to take their good nature time to finally lope back home, cause that's what chickens do.

    If they have been penned for at least 2 weeks, then they know it's home and will take (their time) coming home to roost before dark. Don't get excited, cause chickens have a lay back personality, and aren't in a hurry.

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  4. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

    Jul 14, 2007
    Milton, Florida
    I considered clipping wings until I read that it is a bad idea. Especially if your chickens free range or are allowed out to forage. IF a predator goes after them and their wings are clipped they can't escape as easily. So, I don't clip.
    I let mine out every afternoon and my bug problems, except fire ants, have dropped to near zero and they put themselves away about 30 minutes prior to sunset. All I have to do is close the door.
  5. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    I agree with the other posts, there is no need to clip wings on free range. Chickens cannot fly away as a wild duck or wild turkey turkey could.

    I let my hens free range in my acre fenced yard (4 foot high chain link) and only one time did I have a chicken go over the fence and my dog actually caused that, she was after a squirrel and it spooked the hen and she flew over.

    As a matter of fact, free range chickens should not have their wings clipped in my humble opinion.
    They can move faster to escape predators if their wings are not clipped.

    Just grabbed a cold beverage a comfortable chair and watch your chickens be happy birds ranging.
  6. dixiechick

    dixiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    mine free-range with supervision too....I don't clip wings....they'll come to roost (kinda like college kids with laundry!) [​IMG]
  7. witeowl

    witeowl Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 1, 2008
    What about bantams? Do people let their bantams free range without clipping their wings? I'm a bit torn, myself. On the one hand, clipping their wings would make them easier hawk food. On the other, the fact that they're bantams make it more likely that a neighbor gets a surprise in his/her backyard.
  8. I try to turn mine out about 3 PM that give them time to lay their eggs before going out to free range. My roo Is rather large and he rules the yard. all my dogs and also my DD is afraid of him. My back door has a ramp for my wheelchair, and the other day I heard some knocking on my back door, wondering why since my kids just walk in, I opened the door and my roo was standing there, He had been pecking the door. He knows when the door opens they are going to get treats and he wanted his now.Guess I sorta got him spoiled. [​IMG] marrie
  9. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    I have quite a few bantams and are mainly black jap mix breeds and are capable of consideralbe flight.

    I have seen them fly to the roof of my house which is 12 feet high in the back. That being said not one has flown over the 4 foot fence that surrounds my yard. As I mentiond my yard is an acre so there is lots of room to roam. They love to be in a flock and generally stay together. I just believe they have no reason to go over. They have plenty of things to eat, places to scratch, dust bath etc and they fell safe.
    Give it a try if they insist on visiting the neighbors then you can wing clip. My guess is if you have enough room and things to keep them busy they will stay in your yard.
  10. banter

    banter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    I only own a few chickens of two breeds which are voice and food trained from itty bitties! First, I take them out with me on my lap and a little lawn play, and they don't want to stray from me very far.
    Then, I have an outside portable (puppy) pen I put them in for a week or more before I let them out on their own. I think they imprint on the house and me, and my voice (with food).
    Then I let them loose and stay in the yard, testing them with calling them back and with food once again. They always come back! I also have lot's of cover for them to hide under in case of
    hawks etc...Haven't lost one yet.

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