Free-ranging is overrated. :/

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by eenie114, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Seriously. All they do is get into the garden, try to come in the house, poop all over the front porch, dustbathe in the plants, hide the eggs, attack me while I'm milking the goats, and get eaten when they're too STUPID to go into the coop at night and I'm not home until late. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Has anybody switched from free-ranging to a run? How did it go? Did the chickens rebel? Would you go back to free-ranging? I am at my wits end!!
  2. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    The only time i let any of my critters free-range (other than my goats and geese) is when i'm home. i'm sure everyone would like to be out all the time, but i can't handle the stress and worry. There are people who feel free-ranging is the only way to have chickens, and i think that's great. i guess i'm too much of a worry-wart and need to know they're safe.

    That being said, since i do keep them in their pens most of the time, i try to provide lot's of treats - lettuce, mashed hard-boiled eggs, veggies. i even bought pieces of sod once and each pen got new fresh grass (that didn't last very long).

    You need to do what works for you. Your chickens should be a joy not a chore. They may protest being locked up at first, but will eventually adjust.
  3. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    I love it...mine have over 300 acres to roam, obviously they don't tackle that...we just shoo them off the steps, and wash off the poop, I enjoy seeing mine free range all over the yard...its a personal a large fenced run if that suits you...they will still enjoy being outside!

    I knew when I got them that my yard would not be the same again...I accept that for the enjoyment of seeing them!

    Do what suits you!

    I do live in the country with eagles, fox, racoons, snakes, hawks etc...but so far none have been killed by anything...they have plenty of places to hide and the roosters do an amazing job of warning the girls...even if it is only a Magpie!
  4. ladyride

    ladyride Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2011
    East Tn
    I feel your pain. Mine had to give up the free ranging due to preds I lost 9 last month to stray dogs, fox, coyotes, take your pick that was 1/3 of my flock. While in their run they are safe. Breaks my heart I really enjoyed seeing them out but I can't stand the losses. We have tried traps of different types, caught 5 different critters, now we are finding our traps sprung with nothing in them & the bait still there ??? Ours has adjusted to their runs I give them greens with eggs, couple handfulls of scratch , cut grass, table scraps. Not to say they wouldn't rather be out oh yes you have to make a choice of what is going to work for you.
  5. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Thanks for the advice, guys. I think that as soon as I can scrounge up the materials I'll build a run. Probably won't be until next spring, but with as many as I've got a good sized run will be expensive. [​IMG] But with as many dead trees as we've got on our farm I can probably get some of them for free. [​IMG]
  6. KarenP

    KarenP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Quote:X2 I do the same thing!! There will be no preditors getting at my girls!!!
  7. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    Quote:I didn't know your name was Evelyn. I love that name, it's my oldest daughter's name. [​IMG]
    I got sick of all the poop and being mobbed constantly too. My chickens now have a huge run (around 25' x 60'ish) and I will let them out just an hour or 2 before dark a few times a week to free range, If they only have a few hours out they seem to stay busier in the yard and don't spend all day on the front porch peeking in the door and pooping everywhere.
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I only let my BR free range occasionally now. They ended up going on the road, so I just extended their run. They hated it for the first few days, but after that they didn't seem to mind at all [​IMG]

    I doubled the run size. It's HUGE now. Much less lawn to mow [​IMG]
  9. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Sorry, but the most of a switch I did is from completely free range to putting them in a "run" that is about 2-3 acres big. [​IMG]

    Only ever lost two birds to a predator, one was her own doing (broody out in the middle of the pasture, got taken at night) otherwise I've had a lot of chickens here, still do, and would rather they enjoy a natural life than one cooped up to scratch around for dirt and grain.
  10. angie3881

    angie3881 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My flock is free range. I have concerns about the garden I plan to put in next year. Not sure how to keep them out of that. I had some very pretty hosta that is merely dirt. I have decided as long as they stay out of the front yard- the back yard is their home to demolish! [​IMG]

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