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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WannabeChickenOwner, Nov 28, 2010.
Do you have to free range your chickens? I might try raising chickens in the spring...
No they don't have to be free range, but, in my opinion they are much happier if they can.
thanks, in the backyard where I would want to raise them I don't have a fence and I don't think my neighbors would want chickens in their yard
You should have a small lot or something fenced in for them,..they would probably like getting out some. Example, my chickens have a nice big chicken house and a fenced in lot that is about 8' by 20'. This is their area to have when the weather is bad or if Im going to be away from home. When I am home, I let them free range in my yard, woods, werever they want. The size depends on how many chickens you have too. There is a lot of info on this website about all that. Use the search feature up top and type in whatever you want to know.
As long as they have a nice big run they dont need to free range. My large breed free range and my silkies have a run they all seem really happy. I add stuff to the run to entertain them. I toss in a cabbage every now ant then I also toss in a ton of grass clippings in the summer they love to dig around in them and eat them.
In addition to having a run, you could also build a small, portable tractor so that you could move them to different areas of the yard during the day. This option would undoubtedly be less expensive than fencing your entire yard, if that is at all a concern.
Ahh The all so freq. question... Well we got our little ladies last April. Once they were ready to go out into their coop, they stayed in their until they got a little bigger.. Then we let them free range. We had all intentions of putting up a run.. But summer and fall found to be very busy... UNTIL,,, a hawk got my little Thelma, I was devistated..Soo we put up a 24'x18' chain link run with chicken wire on top.. It took us 3 days to get it done,, I kept the ladies in their coop til we finished..Which was today. We opened their little door and let them out... They are all stressed out... I wished we started them out with the run... So as not to stress them out AND not to have them as sitting "chickens" for the hawks..
So it depends on a few things... Where you live, neighbors close by, and whether or not you don't mind having chicken poop all over your yard, driveway, and decks...
They truely love being out and about,, But safety came first with us... Just wish we did it sooner...
Our rooster has got between hawks and our small flock every time. Our rooster wins every time!