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Giving up on Free Ranging.... Baaahhhh!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Little Chicken Farmers, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Little Chicken Farmers

    Little Chicken Farmers In the Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    Canby , Oregon
    A little venting..... [​IMG]

    So when I started this whole chicken endeavor I was REALLY excited [​IMG] because we have a farm and I could let the chickens free range and be happy healthy natural....bla bla bla.... The farm "ambiance' of having a crowing rooster and cute little hens running around.....
    Hubby built an adorable chicken house with nest boxes and all the 4 star accomodations any little pullet would dream of.....

    My complainents:

    So apparently my front porch is a way better place to hang out and POOP EVERYWHERE....vs running around the 6 acres of pasture and farm...yard...

    Laying eggs in the nest box....well maybe for one day just to make you happy and then never again!!!!
    The grass outside.....the hay in the barn.... the floor of the barn..... the horses stall....all MUCH better places to lay eggs!!!!

    Oh and laying eggs..... well when we feel like it.... 5 hens....most Ive had is 3 eggs in one day...(2 days ago)....yesterday 2 eggs.... today 0... ZIP....Nadda.... NOTHIN !!!!! I dont think they are all laying yet but who knows!!!! (23 weeks old)

    I tried fencing in a small temp yard to keep them locked in until the late afternoon until they have laid the eggs....HAHA..... we fly over....we scramble under..... chicken houdini's !!!! Nanananana

    So I guess I am reduced in my dream to building a Chicken Alcatraz around the chicken house and keeping them sequestered permanently.

    Either way this is not what I envisioned.....

    Thanks for listening.....only the BYC crowd will understand. My hubby just laughs at my chicken woe's....my friends (who dont have chickens) think I am a total DWEEB for being on a "chicken forum".... well 15,000 of my fellow DWEEB's hopefully will hear my pain!!!!

  2. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member 11 Years

    You know what, I TOTALLY understand and am almost at the same point for the reasons in this order:

    1) Poop everywhere on the back porch. It is VERY messy for our shoes and an embarassment when friends come over. Oh, and flies EVERYWHERE!

    2) Missing eggs: My girls still mostly lay in the nest boxes, but once in a while we find one in a hidden spot and wonder if there are more in other places we don't know about.

    3) Letting them out / locking them up every night: We've been lucky most of the time, but I'm worried we'll forget to lock them in at night and BAM, a coon feast and all my girls are gone.


    We still let them free range because:

    1) We know they like it
    2) They eat less feed because they are eating the bugs, weeds, etc.
    3) They are WONDERFUL at keeping the weeds down = no mowing
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Sure, we understand.

    But, after you get Alcatraz built, try just letting them free range in the late afternoon.

  4. Little Chicken Farmers

    Little Chicken Farmers In the Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    Canby , Oregon
    Oh yes FLIES...

    Forgot to add that to my gripe list ~~

    I really hate to have to lock them up.....mine also LOVE there freedom..... luckily you get most of your eggs in the nests....mine are hiding theres or not laying !!!

    Thanks for listening!
  5. Little Chicken Farmers

    Little Chicken Farmers In the Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    Canby , Oregon
    digitS' :

    Sure, we understand.

    But, after you get Alcatraz built, try just letting them free range in the late afternoon.


    I will.... I tried making a yard for them just for the morning... but apparently a 5' fence is not adequate.....little stinkers!!!​
  6. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Oh the joys of raising chickens.

    Everyday is a treasure hunt and walking through the yard is walking through a minefield.

    Alcatraz, who would have thought eggs could be so expensive.
  7. rebbetzin

    rebbetzin Songster

    Apr 4, 2008
    Tucson AZ
    I don't even have any chickens yet... But my husband said the other day "Don't even try to tell me this will in any way be cost effective having our own chickens to lay eggs. They will be more expensive than your garden."

    He just might be right.... I have spent about $400.00 so far on my chicken coop. That is a lot of eggs!!
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  8. Little Chicken Farmers

    Little Chicken Farmers In the Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    Canby , Oregon
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Yeah.....I gave that up awhile ago !!! LOL
  9. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    Sorry to hear about your chicken woes. We had to put netting over our run to keep the girls behind our six-foot fence, so I know what you mean. Once we got the fence up and I let them free-range a bit in the afternoon, I still had issue with them tearing up my flower beds, munching my vegetables, and had to fence off a 'pasture' area for all the birds. the four-foot fence kept them out of my main yard only because they still have about half an acre to run, and we have T-posts, so there's nothing for them to land on to go over the top. Occasionally I still have a breakout, but it's cut way down on problems--and no, it's not been the least cost effective, but it sure has saved my sanity!
  10. chicknhawaii

    chicknhawaii Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Honolulu, HI
    I am SO THERE! And although I shouldn't be happy someone else shares my frustrations, I am. [​IMG]

    When I let my girls out, they follow me around for a bit then before I know it, at least 2 (but recently all 3) are on the back porch. There is poop all over the porch as well as the cement area leading to the porch and AUGH it drives me nuts. [​IMG]

    If they aren't on the porch, my 2 RSLs are under the house. I get paranoid that they're laying under there! And my Cornish doesn't really lay with any pattern either, it's a big surprise with each egg! [​IMG]

    The girls do have a "coop" of sorts and I found out the hard way about their flying. Good thing they didn't leave the yard or get snatched by a cat when they were smaller. I have old window screens running atop their fencing so they can't fly out. Interestingly enough, they haven't attempted to fly on top of or over the neighbor's 5-ft wall or our 6-ft fencing.

    [​IMG] Ah chickens...well, at least the bugs, slugs, roaches, and chameleons have been reduced drastically on our property! Flies too I think...not sure! [​IMG]

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