Free Ranging Behaviors - Some Breeds More? Some Less? Some of my gals are going too far!


10 Years
Oct 5, 2009
Parthenon, Arkansas
Hi... I live on a large ranch and rent a home there. There is one more home fairly close. I was told my chickens could be free range but 4 hens are going too far. They have literally acres to range and they are insisting on coming up to my house (which I don't mind), but the neighbors house and on their porch. I don't want to have to fence them in. 3 production reds are the real problem and we were given a austrolorp who ended up being part of their group and now she follows. My other 2 hens don't go too far from the coop. I lost my rooster a few weeks ago so there's no guy trying to wrangle his gals up. predators aren't a problem as i let them out and take them in before coyotes are cruising.

My question is... do certain breeds tend to wander off/range more than others? Will a rooster sometimes keep hens a little more together and if so do certain breeds of roosters range less? I'm sure every chicken has its own personality but I"m wondering if my odds are better with certain breeds. I really want to avoid confining them but can't have them go to my neighbor's porch!


I am on 10 acres and my chickens love to free range every day.... they tend to go a bit farther sometimes than I prefer becasue we have predators like fox, bob cats, and hawks, and coyotes around here BUT I try to keep an eye on them as much as I can and if they go to oo far I cal them "chick chick chick chickee chick" and that is the treat call.... they usually all come running to me and I give them a small treat and then they tend to forget about the other place for a while. Interesting though is that no matter how far they wander in my acreage they are ALL including my goose and gander, in the coop once the sun starts to set. Like clock work I can find them in the coop roosting. Food is the way to their hearts. Get them used to a certain call for treats and when needed use it loudly and theyll come running. Works for me. P.S. I DO understand though because my chickens and geese are my babies and I worry when I cannot see them. I do NOT want them hurt or to become somethings dinner.

Anyway, hope this helps. God bless
Hi there. I don't know if there are some breeds that roam more than others but I let my chickens free range and I noticed after some time they started going further and further away. I think it has more to do with they've just over grazed (so to speak) and are going further out to get more bugs and food at least that's my theory. I also noticed they like some spots in my yard better than others it just might be your neighbors house/porch attracts them for whatever reason. If that's the case good luck changing their mind about it. I'm a nervous mama too so when I can't see them and they're not in their spots I use the treat call. Only mine is cluck, cluck, cluck lol.
My Polish never venture too far from the coop, probably because they can't see as well as the other chickens and aren't comfortable roaming as far. My other girls are a variety of breeds, and it all just depends on the individuals. Some of my chickens, especially from the first generation, will wander all the way into neighbors' yards, while other chickens seem apprehensive about even going to the far side of the vegetable garden. As for having a roo to keep your girls close to home, I wouldn't count on it. Our rooster Milton is usually the one leading the charge into neighbors' yards.
There is a breed affect but you can also get birds to forage in or away from a given area by providing a feeding station in areas you want them to visit. You can also get them to tighten up ranging habit by providing more feed. Presently I have about 30 birds free-ranging. When no feed is applied they will go a good 600 feet away in pie-shaped area of about 4 acres to forage while when simply scratch with some grower is applied the range tightens up to less than an acre to form a circle around feeding station. Intermediate amounts of feed result in intermediate ranging habits. They can collapse range in one day with increased feeding but takes a couple days for range to fully expand when feeders not so full in morning.

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