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Hello and thanks from the TX Hill Country

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by FreeRangePamela, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. FreeRangePamela

    FreeRangePamela In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2014
    Texas Hill Country
    Hi, folks. I'm new to BYC and am located in the Texas Hill Country North West of Austin.

    I don't have chickens yet, as our neighborhood has had restrictions that prevented residents from having poultry, but recently a (seemingly successful) petition has circulated and it looks like the rules are changing. I've wanted chickens since even before we moved here, and am happy it is becoming a possibility. We have two young sons who we'd like to teach some responsibility and about where their food comes from.

    We are looking at a small flock to start, maybe 3-4 hens. At the moment, we are looking for a reasonably-priced good coop, probably something chicken-tractor like or a chicken ark that we can move around the property. We don't have a fence around our property, but are looking at temporary moveable fencing (or do we even need fencing?) to allow the chickens to free range during the day. We also have a LGD that could eventually help with this, but she needs serious training -- she is still a pup and we haven't had any livestock to train her with -- before she is more use than trouble.

    Just wanted to say hello and thanks for all the info I've already gotten by checking out these forums.

    In case anyone feels the desire to help, my main question right now is:

    Can I free range chickens without fencing? Will they wander far? We have 3.5 acres so there's some room without bothering the neighbors, but I don't want them to wander too far. I've heard of some people doing this, especially with a dog that can keep them in line, but I'm not sure how reasonable it is. Are there certain breeds that will stay closer to home?


  2. ClovisMan

    ClovisMan Songster

    Jan 29, 2014
    New Braunfels, TX
    Hello and Welcome to BYC! I just a little south of you in New Braunfels. Congrats on getting a successful petition passed. New Braunfels did the same thing about 2 years ago, but I live outside the city limits in a non-HOA community so it was never a concern of mine. As far as chickens that stay close to home and don't wander too far....think of the fat lazy breeds like Wyandottes and Orpingtons. Portable fencing may help with the occasional predator like coyotes, coons, etc. and having a LGD is definately a plus. If you free range your chickens you will inevitably lose some to predators. It's just the way it is.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] I think chickens who have never free ranged & lived to tell about, would probably be just as happy in a LARGE fenced area.

    a guardian dog can only do so much if more than one predator - a few coyotes working together / pack of dogs, you are still going to have losses.
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us! I used to free range my chickens on about 7 acres and they usually stayed pretty close to the coop, not wandering further than say 100 yards away. Have you looked at the discussions here on LGD training? You'll get some very good advice there. Just type in key words like "train dog" or "livestock guardian dog" in the search bar to pull them up. Enjoy the site!
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X2 check on the electric poultry netting for portable fencing, helps deter predators ... if you free range they will eventually find their way over to the neighbors if they are close.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop

    Good luck with your new babies. I have never been able to free range due to all the predators. Occasionally I will go sit with them while they are out so they get some out of the run time. So just be careful with your birds and predators. :)

    Great to have you aboard and enjoy BYC!
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Good luck at getting those rules changed - welcome to BYC.

  8. [​IMG]
  9. Cheri14

    Cheri14 In the Brooder

    Mar 3, 2014
    Wimberley, Texas
    I'm brand new to BYC also and am from the Texas Hill Country, Wimberley to be exact. This is my first year to have chickens and am doing it with my daughter who is in her second year with chickens. They care quite entertaining!! I can watch the chicks play in the dirt and sun for hours.

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