Free Ranging with Boundries??


9 Years
Sep 11, 2010
Hi all.

I have 8 RSL, 13 GLW (chicks) and 4 turkeys (chicks). We have a run built for the RSL that is 6 x 20 and even then I feel bad when they can't get out to free range. I usually only let them out for a few hours near sunset to keep the chances of them getting into my garden low and if left all day they've gone on the paved road that runs past our 3 acres!!

We plan on building an even larger section to the run that would be 20 X 60 (full of weeds currently, yum) once the chicks are introduced although they will be butchered in the fall. I'm looking for advice on containment of all the birds to let them range in an unfenced acre or so (don't yell at me ... electric fence?) or some other clever way to keep them out of the garden, flower beds and road. Or is 20 x 60 and 6 x 20 total plently of happy roaming for that many birds. They are just so so much happier when they get to roam. My husband tells me to recall the 6 chickens stuck in a foot x foot cage in the mills but that just doesn't make me feel any better about them being cooped up.

I'm planning to use electric fence as well to keep our free-ranging chickens out of my front gardens, so there'll be no yelling from me.

I'm still studying my Grower's Supply catalog to try to figure out the right combinations of wire or netting and energizer.
I find that electric fencing is good for keeping predators out but not keeping chickens in, unless it's electric mesh. If it's not electric mesh, your chickens will likely go under or over it. Your runs seem to be a fair size. Given what you've said of your situation, I think I'd keep the chickens in unless someone was outside with them and able to keep watch. No yelling here, just an offered opinion.
Our entire yard is surrounded with cheap deer fencing. The only chicken that escaped was a young silkie that was small enough to fit through the spaces between the wires. She's too big for that now & nobody gets out, nothing gets in.

I think if a large predator REALLY wanted in, they'd get in. But our yard isn't that big... maybe 1/4 acre if that? We have had a raccoon in the landlords' yard (adjacent to ours) 2 or 3 times recently, but Ginger saw him & literally broke down the screen door to get out and chase him. Plus, I'm pretty much always home, and the coop is only about 15 or 20 feet from our front door. I'm not saying a predator WON'T get to my flock, but the deer fencing has been excellent at keeping our chickens in the yard. I think we have a total of about 25 chickens out in the yard, but I would have to stop and think about it and count who all is out there!
Thanks all. I'll look into mesh electric netting. Thanks for the lack of yelling!

We do have 6 foot deer fencing (although no deer) that we plan on using for our 20 x 60 its just that it'll take a week, maybe two before they've decimated any sign of greenery. What fun is that??

In my perfect world there would be an accordion type get up that I can attach to my existing one run, expand on an area, let them eat down all the greenery then collapse and pivot the fence to another green space. Repeat! (dh isn't into building me a tractor)

i grow a 'chicken salad' in my run. the dh made an open frame with 4x6 boards that we partly buried and covered with chicken wire. i throw in grass/veggie seeds, water, and voila! chicken salad. they can't scratch up the roots, just eat what has grown tall enough for them to reach.

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