free ranging getting out of control

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ctjim, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. ctjim

    ctjim Songster

    Jun 9, 2007
    my hens and roo are free range but lately they're out of control. going way into the woods, i think into my neighbors property, and near the road. i've been trying to think of something to try to get them to stop going far into the woods, when i'm working outside and see them there i chase them out. i don't think they would go into there w/out the roo(maybe its time for him to go) i really don't want to put up a fence by the woods, if at all possible. i was thinking a temp electric fence, but will that work for chickens? i may just have to build them a bigger run. i don't understand why they like the woods so much, i have a huge pasture that they can go in. anyway they're now in chicken jail for awhile, locked in the run.
  2. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    I'd be afraid to parole thme with all the predators that could snatch them up! Maybe chicken jail is not such a bad thing? Just give them more than bread and water and no cakes with saws, haha!!
  3. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Songster

    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    Same fear I have, We have woods and I do not like to let them get outa my sight. trying to train B-sues dog to herd chickens but so far its just me!

  4. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    Put them to work in the yard. I sprinkle bird seed around the perimeter of the house, sheds, trees so they do my weedeating. Keeps them busy for days (just in case they missed something) and in my sights. I refresh with a little more every week or two at odd times when they are out so they keep an eye on what I am doing and less likely to stray.
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    You could try keeping them locked in for a week. Then let them out to free range about an hour before roosting time. They should all come back to the coop at night. If they run off to the woods and roost in the trees then you'll need to increase your run size and keep them hemmed up otherwise you would be taking on the risk of a predator getting them this winter when food supply gets short.

    Good luck.
  6. I would put up a fence, sorry, but they are natural jungle dwellers in the wild and love bushes and trees.
    I really dont think they will be content in a paddock unless they have plenty of cover!! they just dont realise what a great life they have wth you, spoilt chooks!!!Mine also freerange during daylight and they are happiest sitting under the bushes at the corner of the yard preening and resting, they only come out to the middle grassed area to forage.
    Good luck with it.
  7. Jimagination

    Jimagination Songster

    Mar 17, 2007
    Lancaster, PA
    I'm having the same problem. I let them out before I leave for work and when I get home at night they are usually in the yard waiting for me. Last night they were no where to be found. Then the rooster crowed and they were down the hill in my neighbors yard. We had to herd them back up the hill. Now the neighbors told me they don't mind, but I could tell by their expressions that they really do! I guess I am going to have to think of a fence![​IMG]
  8. Blondie

    Blondie Songster

    Unless your fence is 15-20 feet high, they are just going to jump/fly on it and then over it.

    I have a few chickens that will come over to the house (we are on 5 acres and the house is about 200-300 feet or more away from the barn). They walk all around the house digging up my pansies and eating the bird food out of the feeder that is intended for wild birds. They even come up to the back door. I think it's cute. Well, not the pansy part. [​IMG]

    BTW, our rooster never strays too far from the chicken coop.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2007
  9. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    I think if you really don't want them in the woods you will have to pen them. I am surrounded by woods and all the good bugs and scratch are in the deep dark soil where the sun does not shine!!! Mine tend to stay on the edges but do spend alot of time in the summer there where it is cooler.
    I actually don't mind because the hawks can't see them, the same as if they are out in the horse paddocks or yard and a hawk flies overhead the first place they run is the woods or under the nearest tree covering.
  10. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    I agree with standard, mine tend to stay just in woods, and if not they tend to be under bushes, maybe they feel safer not being in wide open space.

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