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Free Roaming Chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by newchicken22, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. newchicken22

    newchicken22 New Egg

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    Feb 8, 2011
    I live in the suburbs of Salt Lake. Every day when I come home from work I see a house with a horse pasture that lets the chickens roam free. The birds are close to the road most of the time. I am wondering if I put my chickens in the coop at night and let them run free in my fenced back yard during the day. The yard is fenced with chain link about 4 feet high. and is rather large. I understand about predators but if my neighbor does it shouldn't I be ok as well?
     
  2. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] OH NO! Don't follow your neighbor's bad example! if you plan to allow free-range time for your chickens, please be sure that you are there to supervise, and keep them back away from the street/road. My girlfriend lost her favorite hen to a fast traveling car on the road in front of her house. Poor hen never knew what hit her.[​IMG] PLEASE keep an eye on those innocent feathered friends, they trust you![​IMG]
     
  3. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Chickens have been known to also think about the grass being greener on the other side...and a 4 ft fence of any kind will NOT stop them!
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  4. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    Pride, La.
    I'll go in the opposite direction. Mine free range from dawn till dusk. Like today I left the house at 4 to go to work so no one has been "supervising" them! I let them be chickens and I take the chance with the predators. It's my choice, and there are alot of people out there that do the same thing.

    I had 3 that would get out everyday, clipped their wings and they never got out again. Most chickens aren't worried about what's on the other side of the fence. They will be perfectly satisfied with just getting out of the pen.

    ETA: Oh, and by the way there is nothing "bad" about treating your chickens like their chickens!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  5. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Virginia
    As long as you watch them, go ahead and free-range!
    If you find they still go to the fence when you are there and shoo them away, you can get those cheap garden stakes and plastic bird/deer netting. Attach the posts to the top of your fence, 1ft overlapping and then attach the netting. That will add 2-4ft, depending on the height of the posts you buy.
     
  6. newchicken22

    newchicken22 New Egg

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    Feb 8, 2011
    I am going to let my chickens roam free during the day and if they get out hopefully they will come back for food and to roost at night. One question though. Sand or straw on my concrete floor for the coop? I have heard pros and cons of both. I live in Salt Lake where it can get down to 0-10 in the winter and 105 in the summer. What is the best on Price? Ease of clean up? and smell? and how deep should I make the layer?
    Thanks
     
  7. Caddy-Corner-Chick

    Caddy-Corner-Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 21, 2011
    Hernando, FL
    I use to let mine free range and they did hop the fence and cross the road to my neighbors house. I loss one during that time to a dog and I must say the neighbors all didn't like it either... So now mine are all contained.

    I will mention that mine did all come home for dinner, and to roost at night but once the sun was up they were across the street catching bugs and eating grass clippings.
     
  8. AnaD

    AnaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
    N. Ca
    I live in a college town that is very chill about chickens running about. Walking or driving down the road it isn't too uncommon to see chickens in someones front yard or roaming the greenbelts. Not really relateated, but we even have a wild flock of turkeys running around town. The dogs in town have to be leashed or respond to verbal comands so there are not many wild dogs on the loose. I think if you have a tall fence surrounding your property they will be fine.
     
  9. yelim

    yelim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2010
    Plant City, Florida
    They can and will get out of a 4' fence. They will return to their roost at night. There is a chance of loss. Can you live with a loss? Or are they pets?
    In the past chickens ln some places had no coop, they roosted in barns or where ever they could. They always ran free.
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll probably be as "ok" as your neighbor, but you don't know what losses they've has experienced so far, right? Chat with the neighbor to see how many chickens they've lost so far. If you're comfortable with that level of risk, then by all means go for it.

    Sooner or later, free ranging flocks suffer losses. It's only natural.
     

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