Free Ranging after construction bad idea?


10 Years
Aug 17, 2009
Cut n Shoot Texas
Since the Roof has been replaced I have now lost two chickens. I suspect they are eating nails or some other form of metal found laying around. I have already had the crew out here twice to run the magnet across the yard to pick up debree so I guess their free ranging days are over until I am able to walk the property and find every nail staple or screw. Any suggestions?
I suppose if I thought it was a problem I'd drag out the metal detector and go over things myself. However mine are running around in junk piles full of all sorts of materials, fallen down buildings, leftover nails after the wood rotted off them, stacks of bricks, various rusted metal containers and sheets that just crumble to bits.... I haven't lost one to anything except predators and my hatchet. Maybe I just have extra smart chickens when it comes to food. They will also walk past styrofoam containers without touching them. Or maybe they just have plenty of better things to do. With all the brush, that junk pile and fallen down buildings covered in weeds and blackberry bushes gone wild, and then 40acres of crp (land set aside and planted to feed wild animals like pheasants) to wander maybe mine just don't find a need to see if the nonedibles are potentially edible.
I had no problems... my chickens were free ranging when whole weekend while we tore down and re built their coop
After they die, open them up and see what's in their crop. If you haven't already taken care of the bodies, that's what I'd do for sure!
My chickens live on a previous construction (house moving) site. I find pieces of glass and unidentified chunks of material around their coop, and I know I lost track of a couple of fence staples when building the coop itself, but they don't seem to eat that junk.

Or see if your state has a Veterinary Diagnostic lab. Arkansas Livestock and Poultry will necropsy a backyard chicken for free!
mine have grabbed staples and screws and i was lucky enough to catch them a take it away.. we got on hands and knees and ran our hands over all the grass looking cause they definately will eat that stuff.. we now build away from them and move it or are very careful to pick up everything we drop
thank you so much everyone for all your responses. I am so sad after loosing my favorite Rooster..... but all this feedback is very very helpful
my hens were very hands on during the demolition and the rebuild... we were looking for the little construction hard hats for them



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