Free Ranging Chickens??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BenAnnaMama, May 9, 2011.

  1. BenAnnaMama

    BenAnnaMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi peeps,

    I imagined when I got chickens that they would be ranging in my backyard all day long. Then I started reading about all the predators and now have scared myself silly. My chicks are 6 weeks old now and have been kept in a makeshift pen all day long moved in different spots of the yard while the run is being built. Well here I am with no run and yesterday I let the chicks roam around in the backyard for a couple hours in the morning. I am doing the same thing right now but I can't take my eyes off of them for more than two minutes. Am I being over paranoid?? I just keep thinking some hawk is waiting for me to turn my back so he can take off with my babies! Also there is a crow being very loud right now and he's making me nervous too! Will a crow hurt them? Are they safe in my suburban backyard during the day? We have no stray cats...

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

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    It could happen. If you are that worried, don't let them out unless you can sit out there with them, or they are 16 weeks or so.

    BUT-- most of the time, the chicks will hide pretty quickly if they see a suspicious bird.
     
  3. BenAnnaMama

    BenAnnaMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I noticed that when the crow showed up! Thanks! I think I should not worry so much. This is the better life for them. They are so happy out here!
     
  4. P-Funk

    P-Funk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My yearlings have a small door to their coop that only they can fit thru in case they have to run. The run is covered by wire at all angles. They always get locked in when I have to leave. Don't worry about crows. One of your best defenses is your ears. Most chickens will make a very specific sound when they spot a predator. Good luck, they will be big soon enough...
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  5. Dutchess

    Dutchess Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you hear a crow or jay going crazy, chances are there is a hawk or some other bird of prey nearby. It has been my experience that when I hear a crow or jay in my yard, there's usually a larger bird checking things out. I don't believe a crow would attack a full grown chicken, but I've been wrong before. I guess if their hungry enough they'll do and eat just about anything.[​IMG]
     
  6. JoePa

    JoePa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't let my chickens roam free - why?- well when you read all the trouble people have with parasites, fleas, mitts, predators, bumblefoot, .etc .etc. - I find it more relaxing to keep them in a large coop and very large run - so the chickens would be happier if they can run around the yard - probably but mine don't know it because they have never been out roaming - someone said - oh but the eggs taste better if the chickens are able to roam - I say - bunk - my eggs taste good to me and I don't have to worry if any medicine I gave them to get rid of worms or whatever is still in their system - there's an old saying "fences make good neighbors" - well "fences make good chickens" - have a good one - JoePa
     
  7. BenAnnaMama

    BenAnnaMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Good points made... They will have a very large run once completed so I probably won't feel so badly once they are settled in. But right now they are in a 8' x 4' x 3' enclosure and they can't run around and fly like they can outside of it. I definitely have peace of mind when they are put inside and safe!
     
  8. P-Funk

    P-Funk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The chicks love to run around outside. They really love to take 'gravel baths' in the driveway.
    [​IMG]
    They also like to do weed and bug patrol in the gardens. This also means there are no plants, seeds, or topsoil left in any of the gardens. BUT, I can get peppers @ the store. It just makes me happy to see them happy.
     
  9. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That picture makes me happy. Whenever I have a bad day, I look at pictures of happy chickens and everything seems better.
     
  10. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are free ranging right now, and I just put a piece of thin wood, about 2'x4' and leaned it up against the side of the house long ways. We have some big hawks here since we're out in the country, and two of them just flew over. Before I even got up to go look, all of my chicks had ran for cover. It's been a good 30 minutes and they have yet to come back out, but I have seen the hawks a couple times in that period of time. Every once in a while they send someone out to check, it's kinda cute. lol I'm not too worried about them, I think they will do just fine.
     

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