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Free ranging chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sbreen, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. sbreen

    sbreen Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2014
    Baton Rouge la
    I am new to the whole chicken thing I am in the process of building my coop and run but I would also like to free range them. I live on 2.5A and have 120A of pasture behind me my back yard is not fenced it one of my neighbors has one cat and 2 dogs that are on chock collars. How do you make sure the chickens will stay in the yard and how would you heard them up in the evening. Any suggestions


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  2. CrazyChookLady5

    CrazyChookLady5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well I free range my chooks, they never go too far away in the day time.
    when every I get new chooks I lock them up in the coop for 2/3 days then let them out so they know where their new home is, sometimes after the first few nights, they have been let out they don't go back into the coop so I have to go on a 'search' and find it/them and they're usually just in a tree near by or some where close. the next night they're sleeping back in the coop and all is good!!

    hope all goes well with your new chooks, and I hope this helped!
    :D
     
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    They quickly learn to come when called for scraps, so you can always heard them up that way.




    I would however be very worried about the neighborhood dogs.

    A dog can quickly kill every single chicken.
     
  4. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try to teach them to come when called. Hearding the chickens in at night just turns into a disaster...at least for me it does :p
     
  5. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I free range my chickens when weather permits. they know where home is and automatically go in the coop at dusk. most I go in the back yard and call my chickens they come to me running.
     
  6. IttyBiddyRedHen

    IttyBiddyRedHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] I keep mine in their coop long enough to know that is where the feed and water are....as well as being a safe place to hide. And lay eggs of course. Maybe a week or two. Then, I allow them to free range. We also deal with neighborhood dogs, who have killed some of our chickens. That is very frustrating when it happens, so best to avoid it if at all possible. I am only able to allow them to free range when I am out there with them.
    I also have hawks and foxes to watch for, as well as the inevitable raccoon and possum.
     
  7. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Westfield, Indiana

    Add a perimeter fence for your free range area!!! This will be important to give the chickens boundaries and also give them a chance for the passing through coyote or stray dog. A 1/2 acre or 1 acre area is plenty large enough as a range area. They will instinctively head to the coop/run at dusk. After they learn that you bring feed with each visit they will follow you around and line up at the gate each time to show up. Mine are very easy to heard into the run or coop if I want to lock them up during daylight.

    Chickens can fly over fencing but if you give them a good coop, run, and range area then they stay and be easy to care for.

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    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  8. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you have a good rooster they will warn their hens of danger and they will go in the coop or other cover. I have a good rooster and he warns the hens of danger.
     
  9. IttyBiddyRedHen

    IttyBiddyRedHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They do!! I keep roosters just for that....and make chicks of course. My roosters will alert, and depending on which alert, they will either run and hide, or keep foraging.
     

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