Free Rnge

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mendogurl, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't want to start a huge free range debate.
    I have a small urban farm. I've built a chicken coop and run that could act as a bomb shelter, it is so secure.
    I take predators very, very, seriously. I do not want to find my lovely flock shredded by a raccoon, or a neighborhood dog.

    Our entire property is enclosed by an 8 ft. stucco wall with electric gates. My "farm is then enclosed again by a secure 5 ft. fence.

    All that said, I want to free range within my vegetable garden area, only in the daytime.

    What do I need to do?
    Do I need to clip my hens wings ??

    What tips do you have that will keep my hens safe and secure?
     
  2. DTchickens

    DTchickens Overrun With Chickens

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    Bailey, Mississippi.
    You may not want to put them around the vegetables if you want to keep them. If you want to keep them safe, i'd say they need a area fairly covered by trees or at least something close they can hide under, stay watching them or only let them out when you're home, dogs help if they're alright to keep around chickens, and that's about all i can think of.

    ETA: Clipping the wings so they can't fly would be alright if you wanted them to stay in a fenced in area.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
  3. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My veggies are in raised beds, 4 feet high, which I know they could fly into if they wanted to.
    I have 8 hens, I'd like to let them out a few at a time, while I am out there working.

    We're getting a collie puppy, he will make a great watchdog/hen herder !
     
  4. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    mine too are in secure fenced in yard,
    i let my 5 chickens free range, only with me outside tho.
    i dont like to leave them free ranging all day un attenended (the just incase). my chickens already know when its time for them to return to their run, they talk back [​IMG] but they do go. i know there safe when i am there, thats all i know. good luck [​IMG]
     
  5. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Do yours ever try to fly away?
     
  6. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    I would like to free range mine also and was worried about the barn cats but I gave it a try and they really didn't bother them. I'm now more worried about the hawks. I don't think you can really do anything to protect them from above.
     
  7. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:netting?
     
  8. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:netting?

    It'd be quite an undertaking to put netting above her entire yard/property. [​IMG]

    The very nature of free ranging is dangerous. If you're not okay with that danger, keep them locked up. There really is only so much you can do. Even locked in a coop there is danger. Predators can be persistent.

    If you're just wanting to let them out while you're out there working your presence is a big deterrent from wild predators. If you're wanting to let them out when you're not out there working, I'd choose an area other than your garden. 4 foot raised beds just look like a roost on a buffet line to them. [​IMG]
     
  9. dragonlaurel

    dragonlaurel Out Of The Brooder

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    Hot Springs,
    Quote:That sounds like a nice setup for it as long as you're nearby. If the veggie plants are fairly tall, that could give them hiding spots. Watch out about the chickens tearing up your garden though. Letting them in the garden after harvest and again before next planting time will do lots to cut down the bug population.

    Some breeds fly more than others. If they cant clear your enclosure, it might be safer for them to be able to fly a bit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
  10. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That sounds like a nice setup for it as long as you're nearby. If the veggie plants are fairly tall, that could give them hiding spots. Watch out about the chickens tearing up your garden though. Letting them in the garden after harvest and again before next planting time will do lots to cut down the bug population.

    Some breeds fly more than others. If they cant clear your enclosure, it might be safer for them to be able to fly a bit.

    I was thinking of very selective ranging, like right now when the garden is on it's last days of summer, and I am going to pull it out soon.
     

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