Free-ranging on a college campus?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wings, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. wings

    wings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one rooster and four hens. Everyone is six months old. My mom works on a college campus, so we have a normal neighbor on one side of our house and a dorm on the other. The backyard is fenced in (where the coop is), but if the chickens got in the front, they could get to other people's yards and the road, not to mention the college campus.
    Our chickens weren't full grown when we last let them out to free range. They only just started to get big and wander into the neighbor's yard when winter came and we couldn't let them go out any more.
    Will a rooster keep them together when the are in the yard?
    If I get rid of our rooster, will they not stay together?
    Will they definetly go into the neighbor's yard, and maybe the college campus? Is there any way to teach them to stay in our yard, or am I overestimating the powers of their tiny chicken brains?
    Will they get to a point when they will go into the coop on their own once it gets dark? We had trouble with that before: it would always take about half an hour, and a lot of effort.
     
  2. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    Drunken and adventurish college students and chickens not a good mix LOL LOL. You may see your Peeps on utube next week.
     
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    My girls don't stay together - and I have two roosters who seem to run around from one spot to another as needed. THe girls just follow their nose and keep going in the general direction they feel like going. [​IMG]
    A rooster won't keep them in or keep them together by my experience. they only way you'll keep them in is by enclosing the yard or large run area.

    I've never had a problem with my girls going into the coop at night, the guineas and ducks also go in on their own, the ducks are always last to go in.
     
  4. wings

    wings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am depriving them if I don't let them run around? Should I have my dad build a bigger run? That would stink because he put so much effort into the one we have now.[​IMG]
     
  5. DixieDame67

    DixieDame67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] al6517 ::::::
     
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Quote:Well if you don't want them at the campus, you will probably need to keep them enclosed, sorry I don't see another way around it - they will find their way over there to pick around in the grass and eat insects.

    I live on 3 acres, and I guess the chickens stick to about an acre around the house and coop area, but they're never all in one place, I think they like to get away from each other and do their own thing.
     
  7. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    You won't be depriving them (as long as they have about 10sf each in the run and 4sf each in the coop), lots of folks keep their chickens enclosed in a run area all their lives. Mine were in a run for a year before I was brave enough to let them out - I was scared they'd take off and never come back.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  8. 6chix

    6chix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls will stick together when they are freeranging. The 2 roosters keep them in line and out of trouble [​IMG]
     
  9. CBee

    CBee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it kind of depends on your rooster, too. Our Saipan rooster was very dominant and assertive, and he did a heck of a job keeping our little flock together on our big property. When we got rid of him we figured our Silkie roo would take over the position, but instead they started wandering very far, and ended up separated in the closest neighbor's yard. Luckily the neighbors don't mind, but it is kind of scary not knowing where they are. [​IMG]
     
  10. curliet

    curliet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 10 acres, but even tho our chickens have the run of the whole place, they don't go anywhere that they can't see the Barn and coop. So, I guess I'd say that they cover about an acre. Unfortunately, without a fence, there isn't any way that I could keep them in just one area of the place. Like another poster says they "follow their beak."
    And the rooster, well, he can call them back if he thinks they're in danger but they may not come. They're girls, and my huband says that with girls you might as well say "Do what you want, you will anyway." To be honest, they usually do what he tells them, but that's 'Usually'. Not always. And knowing college students, you really wouldn't want your chickens pecking at whatever might be found in their yard, LOL. And the students won't be happy at the bawking near their windows. That could lead to other problems and complaints. So, your best bet is a bigger fenced run. "Sorry Dad, but could you please build another run?"
     

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