Free ranging on 10 acres... Neighbors complaining that the birds are reaching their yard/garden

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 777funk, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. 777funk

    777funk Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2015
    1st year at this and we like free ranging. They eat the ticks. TWo problems:
    1. The birds eventually get eaten during the day time while out and about
    2. The birds are getting to my neighbor's property (who isn't a fan) and eating from his garden.

    Anything I can do. I'm guessing probably not but figured I'd ask.
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    How many birds are involved? What does the 10 acres look like with respect to vegetation? Where is roost relative to boundary with neighbor? Unless you have games or a really big backyard flock they should not cover 10 acres, unless you are feeding them nothing.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I like chickens, but I wouldn't be a fan of my neighbor's chickens getting into my garden, either. Can you range them on another part of your property? Put a fence between you and the neighbor? As far as them getting eaten during the day, that's a chance you take when you free range. If it's a frequent problem, you may want to consider a run for them. Depends on how many birds you have and how big of an area you're willing to fence, I suppose.
    1 person likes this.
  4. overthelimit

    overthelimit Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 23, 2016
    Yeah ... all the space in the world and chickens still want to be on someone else's property.

    For us, time and consistent redirection helped.

    We sit on about 1/2 an acre. It took some chicken wire that seems to encourage them in another direction and some intimidation with bamboo poles to get our birds out of our neighbor's garden.

    Now our older birds never go there and our younger ones rarely wander over.

    I'm also careful to make sure all of their yummy treats are in or near their coop. They also like to hang out under the wild bird feeder I hung in there.

    Good luck!
  5. AuntNomi

    AuntNomi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2015
    Callahan, Florida!

    If mine were being eaten during the day I would not put them out again until I secured an area to protect them from being eaten, which would solve both issues. I haven't had mine leave our yard yet, so I have not had to deal with trying to figure that one out. I hope that you are able to come up with a solution that works! Good luck!
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Being proactive and not upsetting your neighbours is important, so you may wish to consider killing two birds with one stone (no pun intended) and build an extended run that keeps them both contained and protected. If you are ok with the odd loss to predators, then ensuring they do not venture on your neighbour's property remains the outstanding issue.

  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Agreed. Protecting the neighbor's property takes precedence over your flock's right to free range. If they can't be kept on your own land, they will need to be penned.
  8. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    We don't free range primarily due to predators but even though we have 10 acres, the coop isn't in the center and is near the south property line. We do deep litter in the run, so the hens get bugs from that, we bring fresh grass, fruits & veggies to them.

    If you don't want to contain them in a permanent structure, you could build a movable tractor. Are the predators getting your chickens from overhead? If not, you could use electric poultry fencing to keep them on your property.
  9. 777funk

    777funk Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2015
    The problem is that they love the woods and the bugs under leaves. So much so that they will barely touch bagged feed. They get in the woods and wander all over the place which happens to be the 300 yards onto the neighbor's property. Once they found his garden this summer... it was over. If they did to his garden what they did to ours, he's not a fan of our chickens (or us most likely). When he told me about it the first time, I tried to dissuade them from going that way, but when you have 100 curious heritage breed meat birds (mostly cockerels)... good luck! The second time he called, I told him to go ahead and shoot them as he would any other pest if they go into his garden. What else could I say? As far as I know, he didn't (which surprises me). But I also told him we wouldn't have this problem again the next year (this coming summer).

    So... no more ranged birds for us possibly.

    But the bitter side of this is that we loved the free rangers because ticks (which were an absolute plague... as in 20-30 per person, per day in the previous years here) were non existent this past summer.

    EDIT: I just saw your post about the electric fence. If they're going to be in the woods, we'd have a long stretch of fence to run. Possible of course but it'd be a long wire. Maybe it'd keep the other neighbor's dogs out of our yard. I wouldn't mind that benefit.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    This problem may be easy to lick without confinement. Use of eats other that dull tasting feed may help. Think feeding stations of intact grains in areas you want them to go. The feeding stations need to have cover nearby. The key to keep them from even going into the woods. When they have choices, they are going to want to work edges between wooded and more open areas for eats then retreat to cover with low overhead canopy.

    Could you show a satellite image of the property with labels on boundaries and other key resources of interest to chickens?

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