Hen wandering too much!

Kneedles

Songster
6 Years
Jul 22, 2014
254
108
186
Wellington, New Zealand
For some reason, one of my hens has recently started wandering beyond the backyard to parts of my property that I don't feel comfortable with her visiting. There is a busy road in front of my property and today this hen went very close to my collection of active rat traps; most of which could easily kill her by crushing her skull or slowly strangling her to death. There is also some snail poison lying around on my property, which looks very similar to the pellets that I feed her. She is four years old, and I cannot think of a reason for this new behaviour; she is mostly healthy otherwise, and I have not added more chickens to my flock since she was hatched.
The out-of-bounds places that she has reached do not require flying to access, so I don't think that pinioning will help.
Does anyone know a way to stop behaviour like this?
 

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
3,304
11,493
707
Salisbury, North Carolina
if you have poisons and rat traps you really can't free range them. If its only one hen doing this then this one hen needs to be contained. However with pest killing poisons around I would contain all birds. There are ways to create barriers to deter birds from wandering too far however some breeds are never content with staying close to the coop.
 

Kneedles

Songster
6 Years
Jul 22, 2014
254
108
186
Wellington, New Zealand
You'll have to erect a barrier sufficient to keep her out of those areas, remove the hazards or stop free ranging
I can't control whether there are poisons out, and the traps are a necessity. Keeping this hen contained would make it extremely unhappy, and I don't need it becoming sick again.

Is she going broody?
I don't think so.

if you have poisons and rat traps you really can't free range them. If its only one hen doing this then this one hen needs to be contained. However with pest killing poisons around I would contain all birds. There are ways to create barriers to deter birds from wandering too far however some breeds are never content with staying close to the coop.
The traps and poisons are only put in places where my chickens didn't ever venture to until recently. Obviously, I don't put either form of pest control within their regular feeding areas.
This hen was content with staying close to the coop until a week or two ago, so information about how to construct a barrier is what I need the most.
 

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
3,304
11,493
707
Salisbury, North Carolina
The best barrier is a fence but they are not always practical. I use debris piles on the back of my lot and it stops 90% of chickens, the other 10% do not get to free range. From my experience once a chicken gets it in their mind that something is part of their territory they are very stubborn about it. Something that may cause them to venture into new territories is that they are seeking more natural feeds. a good healthy compost pile in the areas where you want them to stay could keep them happy enough staying where they belong. Chickens tend to stay where the grass is greener because there are are plants for them to eat.
 
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,064
125,833
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Put barriers around the traps and poison stations.
Milk crates come to mind first...rodents can get in but not chickens...not sure how many traps and bait stations you have tho.

She might be looking for a place to brood...it's spring there, right?
 

MANNA-PRO

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