Free range: will they bother the neighbors?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Love2read, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Love2read

    Love2read Out Of The Brooder

    50
    3
    43
    Mar 11, 2014
    I just ordered some bannies and would like to let them be free-range. We already have a dozen chickens(Barred Rocks and Production Reds) that we have in a coop and run and I hate it. The run is nice and big, but even with it's big size the chickens managed to mow down everything green within the first week, lol. So I want to do things differently with the new chicks.

    My main concern, however, is that the chickens will go over and annoy the neighbors. :p I've read about how they poop all over everything(window sills, cars, porch, etc...) and don't want the neighbors to be stepping in chicken poo. ><

    We live out in the country and have a humble little acre of land and only a tiny handful of scattered neighbors, so I'm curious about how far the chickens will roam and if it's really even something I need to worry about? I love my chickens and want to get quite a few, but don't want to be an annoying neighbor...
     
  2. EricMd01

    EricMd01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    12
    108
    Mar 7, 2014
    ky
    My neighbor has chickens and though they do come into my yatd theyve never been a problem. They're actually the reason I bought my first chicks.

    I used to watch my cat stalk the birds only to get run off by the rooster everytime lol.
     
  3. Love2read

    Love2read Out Of The Brooder

    50
    3
    43
    Mar 11, 2014
    Oh yeah, that was another concern of mine...we have a couple stray cats that hang around the house. Will they kill the bannies? I've seen them take down full-grown wild rabbits before. :/ They haven't bothered our current chickens, but with bantums being so small I worry.

    I got 5 White Jersey Giants as well, but they are all hens. I *facepalm*-ed when I realized I should have gotten a couple roosters as well. Ugh! I'm trying to talk hubby into letting me order a straight run of Black Jersey Giants in hopes of getting a couple roosters, but he's not convinced that we should be getting any more chickens since I just ordered 30 on top of our current dozen, lol. No my fault though...the place I ordered from requires that you get at least 25 bantums or 15 larger chickens at a time. :p
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    My chickens roam quite a distance at our place but they are contained in a pasture, about 3/4 acre. Where I lived before we free ranged on 35 acres, the birds went a long way from the house until I started loosing them to the local coyote population. That ended our free ranging days. How far your birds roam depends on how enticing the neighbors yard is. Whether this bothers the neighbor depends on the neighbor. Not everybody wants chickens digging up their flower beds and pooping in the yard. To be honest I am a really big proponent of everyone keeping their animals on their own property, it just avoids all kinds of problems. Roaming chickens are also at high risk of all kinds of predator attacks, loose dogs are a big danger. And yes, some cats will go after bantams. A large fenced area is the best of both worlds for chickens, it keeps them at home and much safer then total free range while still giving access to forage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  5. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

    620
    56
    151
    Oct 8, 2013
    New Hampshire
    My chickens do go to my neighbor's, but we've had direct conversations about it. From their perspective, the poop that is inevitably left behind is worth it for the bug-eating and egg-sharing. I would highly recommend just talking about it upfront, makes for better neighbors all around.
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    4,210
    454
    328
    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    Talk to all your neighbors BEFORE you free-range these birds, and make sure you have their OK. They will go over there, and they will be destructive. They'll rip out a garden, dig out the compost, spread the mulch onto the sidewalk, and poop on the porch.

    I happen to believe that good fences make good neighbors, and would never in a million years allow my birds onto my neighbor's property. We all have to live together.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Love2read

    Love2read Out Of The Brooder

    50
    3
    43
    Mar 11, 2014
    I guess I'll have a talk with them when the time comes to move the chickies outside. It's still too cold for my taste to walk all the way over there right now, lol! I've brought eggs to them before, so hopefully if I keep doing so it will soften them up, ;D.

    The only wild animals around here that might be an issue are hawks/eagles because we're a couple miles from a quarry. No stray dogs, coyotes, or even coons. In the past few years I've only ever seen a couple stray cats, some opossums, and 1 coon(only saw it once a couple years ago, never again since then). The birds of pray haven't gone after out chickens yet, but we waited til they were decent-sized before putting them outside. It's the bantums I worry about the most. If I can convince hubby to let me get those Jersey Giant roosters then that might help to deal with any hawks coming around for a tasty treat.
     
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    4,210
    454
    328
    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    This means nothing. Standard Red-Tailed Hawks will happily take a full grown Buff Orpington. Before we got the goats, we simply budgeted that we'd lose at least 10 birds per year to predators, including hawks, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, weasels and neighborhood dogs. And that's with our birds being pastured, not free-range. Luckily the goats seem to be a great deterrent.

    If you free range, be prepared for the predators to come out. They are there, even if you haven't seen them.
     
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    42 free roaming chickens is an awful lot of birds to allow to possibly roam onto a neighbors property. Even if you discuss it with your neighbors and they don't object at first, if it turns out later that they really don't like it then it puts them in the position of having to either complain to you about it or keep quiet and put up with it in order to keep the peace. I would keep them contained on my own property.
     
  10. Love2read

    Love2read Out Of The Brooder

    50
    3
    43
    Mar 11, 2014
    Our current chickens have a coop and the Jerseys will most likely be going in with them as well. The free-range ones will be the Bantums. I ordered 25 because the company had that as a minimum order requirement. They're straight run, so I'll be butchering any extra roosters and probably selling off some of the extra hens as well since they're just for "decoration" and the eggs are too small for bothering to cook with(not that I won't, just saying it'll be a pain to do, lol). The plan is to keep maybe a dozen, which is what I originally wanted. ;)

    I don't think a dozen little Batums would be too much hassle. :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by