Free Range vs Run

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wxdude99, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. wxdude99

    wxdude99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2008
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    I have 4 chickens that are 2 months old. I just finished their coop and put them in yesterday. My question is, if I let them free range in my back yard, are they going to get more parasites and require worming, antibiotics, etc? If I keep them in a run, will they still need to be wormed? Also, do you think they will be safe free ranging inside a privacy fence during the day without me being home? Thanks.
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    Is your run elevated, or fenced off area of yard? Without having an indoor aviary/covered, elevated run it is nearly impossible to prevent some exposure to something. Many members worm as a preventive measure, and there are a lot of threads about how to go about it. Keeping them well fed and stress free goes a long way towards making sure they can fend off many threats.

    How high is your privacy fence? What sorts (and how many) predators do you have in your area? What do you see crossing the road near your place when you're driving at night, that likes to eat chicken? If the fence is six-eight foot high then hawks might be your main threat.
     
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
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    My Coop
    I have mine that are about 2 1/2 months old out into their run every day. I have their coop close to my house so I can watch them and protect them from preditors. The other day a skunk aqttempted to get at them but I got rid of it before it got any of my babies.
     
  4. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Hawks are quick tho . You can not be out there 24/7 . Friend was sitting out back watching her flock and before she knew it , and hawk scooped up a 7 month old barred rock and next thing she seen wa s feathers , and the head in the middle of a near by pasture ....

    Best thing is a Coop and run attached and totally preditor proof ... Buried wire around perimeter ) at least a ft. deep ) and enclosing overhead run.
     
  5. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    My run is 18x17', covered with chicken wire, but I don't have the wire buried all around, I've got it aproned out 2' - there are far too many rocks to be digging all around the run (we've got all the rocks scraped up from the middle of the country, courtesy of the glaciers!). Mine are out in their run every day, but we let them out in the late afternoon, they don't range far, and go right back in when it gets dark. We stay out with them the whole time, there are tons of hawks, even nesting pairs in the woods behind us.

    As for worms and worming, I guess worms happen, and we'll just have to deal with them.
     
  6. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    I let mine free range all day but I live in the country and have a 7acre yard. I also have guineas. I have lots one chicken to a hawk and that is what probably got two guineas last year.

    Either way you choose, I am sure the chickens wont know the difference.

    Thanksgiving day and Eagle was circling the yard and I noticed the guineas were squawking and headed for the trees and so did the chickens. I have heard that guineas will alert chickens when danger is near, it was interesting to see mine do it too. The entire time the Eagle was overhead the birds were all in the trees passing time scratching in the leaves.
     
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I went with free run, roofed and predator proofed (we hope). Shown in link below.
    We didn't consider free-ranging because of predation and now that I know a little more about pests and disease, I'll stick with free-run![​IMG]

    Then there's this! We installed snow boards after this storm, now our birds get out every day.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Quote:I have been giving serious thought to getting some guineas. I want to eat their eggs. I have never eaten guinea eggs. Do they taste different then chicken eggs? I had a neighbor who had guineas but he died and the guineas are gone.
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Quote:I have had no health issues with my birds either when they are free ranging or in their run. I have had their pooped checked by a vet friend of mine who said she found nothing in the poop. I use FOOD GRADE DE, Diatomaceous Earth in the shavings, in their coop, run and where they dust. No problems with flies, fleas, mites, lice or any other pests. I just add some DE periodically.
     
  10. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    Quote:I have had no health issues with my birds either when they are free ranging or in their run. I have had their pooped checked by a vet friend of mine who said she found nothing in the poop. I use FOOD GRADE DE, Diatomaceous Earth in the shavings, in their coop, run and where they dust. No problems with flies, fleas, mites, lice or any other pests. I just add some DE periodically.

    How periodically? And pretty please guesstimate how much you use to dust where, if you could - I'm doing the same thing but want to make sure I'm using enough but not too much!
     

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