Free ranging question

Farmlife16

Chirping
Aug 12, 2021
96
138
88
So a couple of days ago I started letting my hens free range again in my yard. Today they started wandering into a patch of trees adjoining another pasture of our farm. So far they seem to know where to find their coop, but I am worried they will wander too far and not be able to find their way back (to the coop) at night.

Should I be worried about this? Would it be wise to fence off the area? There is a barb wire fence up already, but they can walk through it.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,643
18,905
726
USA
I am worried they will wander too far and not be able to find their way back (to the coop) at night.

Should I be worried about this?

It's typically not a problem. Chickens are quite good at coming home at night.

If some predator chased them, so they ran or flew a long distance, they might not make it home that night but probably would come back by the next night (if still alive.)

You might have to worry about them going places they should not go-- your porch, a neighbor's garden, a dangerous road, somewhere with a chicken-eating dog, or something like that. But finding their own way home at bedtime shouldn't be a problem.
 

Kessel23

Hi Bug
Feb 6, 2018
2,561
71,648
1,232
Wisconsin
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They will find it and come back as long as a predator doesn't get them. I let mine free range every day and I have this flock of juveniles that split off and started to sleep in a plum tree right next to the coop. So now I guess they are free range 24/7. They have been doing it a few months now. I hear them crowing in the back fields in the early morning, before I even get up. They go all over the place and always come back to this tree every night. Haven't lost any yet to predators. If some of yours dont return predation would be the most likely reason why.
 

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