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Free ranging fowl

Discussion in 'Quail' started by harbisgirl, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. harbisgirl

    harbisgirl Chirping

    Oct 4, 2011
    N. Cal
    I wish there was a generic category for 'Other BackYard Poultry', but I guess I'll post this in the Quail section since it seems to be the most popular. Hope others see this :)

    Excluding chickens, what kind of meat poultry do you all free range? We’re planning for our someday mini-farm of goats, pigs and rabbits and would like to have some free ranging poultry included. They’d be for occasional meat and …well just because it sounds like a nice addition to our setup. We already have layer chickens in a large enclosed pen – so eggs aren’t critical, just a nice perk. Geese and Turkey are a little too big for what I want, but Quail, Guinea Fowl, Pheasants, etc. all sound good. I’ve tried doing a search on free ranging in this category but didn’t have a lot of luck. Appreciate any thoughts!

  2. Ntsees

    Ntsees Songster

    Jul 27, 2012
    Do you mean free ranging inside a large fenced area or on open acres+ of land? Anyway, I'd like to point out some things. Aerial and ground predators come with the territory when you free range. You mentioned quail as a possibility, but I'm not sure what quail you are preferring to free-range. Domesticated quail like coturnix in an open field are easy pickings for hawks. Wild quail like valleys and gambels are better at evading predators but do not expect them to stay around long. They are wild birds and even if you train them to come to the roost at night, they will one day fly away. The same is true for pheasants and wild ducks. I do not know about guineas but domesticated ducks might be ok.
  3. kip

    kip In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2011
    Like Ntsees said, i wouldn't take the chanche with pheasants, wild ducks or quail, not even coturnix, in my experience they are not suitable for freeranging. Were i live a lot of fruit nurseries and tree nurseries use ducks and guinea's for weed and bug control. The birds are free ranging and find most of their food themselve in summertime, the guinea's really got the bug on bugs[​IMG].

    I don't have experience with guinea's but i think they need a high fence since they are active birds.
    Ducks can be hold on your property with a low fence but they'll love to have a pond and stick around at it.
    The most free ranging ducks here are muscovy ducks, indian runner ducks, peking ducks, campbell ducks and some old European breeds of large ducks.

    There are some good video's on youtube about free ranging ducks and guinea's, perhaps you should see some to get answers to your question.
  4. harbisgirl

    harbisgirl Chirping

    Oct 4, 2011
    N. Cal
    Ok, I thought that might be the case with Quail and , thanks for confirming that.

    That's why I asked what other fowl people had free ranging - I'd like to hear what people have been successful with.
  5. Tammy N

    Tammy N Songster

    Oct 9, 2011
    Florence Oregon
    Hey Guys/Gals , I have a 12x12 x8 tall dog run if i make a house for it and add some safty wire could i then free range maybe 100 Quail also maybe a net on top? not sure this would work just throwing it out there.
  6. Flowerchik

    Flowerchik In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2012
    My neighbor has free ranging guineas. They roost in the trees at night. They are excellent watch dogs, they even fuss at me when I run in the mornings if they see me. They do seem to wander further than my chickens and turkey, they spend some time in my yard every day as well as their own. I believe most of their food is what they find on their own. That could be a major cost savings. They are pretty loud. I have noticed his flock dwindling though. My guess would be the foxes are making meals of them. I would say if your neighbors don't mind occasional loud visitors and the noise doesn't bother you they would make a great free range addition to your flock. I like them enough that I will be trying some in the spring myself.

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