Freerange without guilt

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Summer Rose, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Summer Rose

    Summer Rose Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 29, 2012
    I have been reading the different Threads for a few months and have come to perhaps an unusual conclusion.
    So many seem to live with guilt or pass guilt feelings over the care of the Chickens or Ducks. I was trying to do
    most everything that was said then yesterday I said, "STOP" these girls have been made with the ability to survive
    even without all my efforts. Yes, they are Pets, yes I care about them, yes I hope that they produce eggs to eat
    for me and those I want to give them to BUT don't forget they are Fowl created for humans for food, Eggs or Meat.
    So, I have decided to do my best to take care of them but should I lose one every now and then..I am not going
    to have the GUILT I see posted here...nor am I going to drive myself crazy caring for them. I am JUST GOING TO ENJOY THEM.
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    :thumbsup I have the same motto for my cats. I see how miserable they are cooped up in the house. If they live a slightly shorter life because they are indoor/outdoor, so be it. It's better to have had a full and enriched life, than to be left in a run all day and night without any access to all those goodies they find while free ranging. Though I have never lost one, and I've been free ranging for a year. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I like them to have the most enjoyable life they can. I purchased a LGD solely to protect them from predators. Not saying anyone who has a run is neglectful to their needs. If the run is sufficient enough to hold the amount of birds you keep, I think that's fine. As long as they have greens and are able to scratch around.
  3. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    Central Michigan

    It's funny you should phrase this in terms of feelings of guilt. There must be something in the air because recently a lot of my friends have been talking about letting go of the guilt we feel all day long. We put a ridiculous amount of pressure on ourselves to be perfect in every way (kids, house, marriage, job). Why is there a trend to start with something you love, e.g. raising chickens, and then turn it into an obsession that must be done perfectly according to someone else's standards, to the extent that we can't even enjoy it anymore?

    Glad to see you've freed yourself!

    P.S. My solution to the free ranging dilemma was to get a rooster. I haven't lost a bird since he reached adolescence...he is remarkably vigilant. Everyone scurries for cover when he gives the alarm call.
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Yep, the roosters definitely help! They are always on watch. My picture above shows my giant cochin rooster looking after the babies. [​IMG] Here is another one of my roos on watch duty. It's like they take turns. I have many roosters. Over 10 free ranging with the girls.
  5. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2012
    HI, I am new to this. What age is considered Adolescence? I have not let mine free range much because of all the hawks.
  6. mnferalkitty

    mnferalkitty Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2012
    Good post. I free range have lost a few here and there. But life goes on. I heard this quote once and it changed the way I do things " I control my animals they don't control me". In other words I don't make myself crazy/exhausted with worry etc.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Adolescence is after puberty but before adulthood. I would say between the ages of 4 months old and 12 months old they would be considered an adolescent. My boys protect from the time they start mating pretty much. Some more so than others.
  8. Dutchess

    Dutchess Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's very hard not to feel guilty when they depend on you to live.
    Since 2010 I have had 4 different flocks including the one I have now (4 RIRs, 2 BRs, 1 Lakenvelder rooster). The first two flocks were taken, one by one, by a fox around our home while they were free ranging. The third flock was my favorite, in that flock of four hens, three were taken at all once while free ranging. I found two of them in the woods while the predator was taking one the others away. So I was left with a one, single, hen that wasn't one of my best layers. She didn't lay again until about 2 months after we introduced the new hens to her. Then one day, she was the only one taken while free ranging. Since then I have not let them out of my sight when they're out.

    I have had a run for them from the start, attached to their hen house, but you all know how they are...they get a taste of free ranging and 'bawk-bawk-bawk" at the door, pacing back and forth to get OUT. Then the guilt starts about keeping them "cooped" up.

    I guess there's no way around it...It's a chance you take to make them happy.
  9. wzrd2000

    wzrd2000 New Egg

    Jul 20, 2012
    Yeah... 9 of my 10 chickens (including my rooster) did not come back home last night. They've been poking around in my neighbor's 40 acre corn field and either got lost or got eaten. Now, if they don't come back, I'll have 1 hen, all by herself. I feel worse for her than I do for me.
  10. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 24, 2009
    I found my hens survive better when left to themselves and the chicks learn a few things from the parents.

    When I first got my Japanese Bantams I was so protective of them and worried a lot. I followed good old advise, clipped their wings to stop them flying over the fence, locked them in a coop at night, etc. Then some got killed by a dog that got into my garden (because I clipped their wings they could not fly to escape the dog). After that a python got into the coop and ate 2 (the chickens could not get out of the locked coop).

    Now my chickens live totally free range. They are able to fly well, roost well off the ground in a tree in my garden. They are very clever at spotting any danger and will alert each other with their calls. They are reproducing like rabbits, and I am able to sell the young pullets and roos to help towards the cost of the chickens feed.

    now I have not lost a single bird in over a year. It seemed everything I did to 'protect' them actually put them in danger!

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