How far do chickens roam?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicken rover, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. chicken rover

    chicken rover In the Brooder

    Oct 19, 2008
    Does anyone know how far a chicken will roam away from it's house? I have heard that they instinctively won't exceed about 250 feet....
    Given that they have have a house will they instinctively go in it at dusk and out at first light?

  2. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH
    This is something I've been wondering as well. Whenever I see a couple head toward the woods, it makes me terribly nervous. So far, though, they have come back at dusk, but I usually have to "help" 5 or so of the 22 who just can't figure out how to walk around to the run door.

    Do anyone else's chickens follow them everywhere? I can't just _leave_ them to range because they follow me back to the house! (not that I'm sure I really want to leave them as a hawk got 4 when they were 2 months old).

    Great question!

  3. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    Mine roam all over the yard (approx 5-7 acreas) and always come back in at dusk. As soon as dusk appears they all head back closer to the coop and are all in as the sun sets. They love the shelter belt around the yard and up on the branches of boxelder trees
  4. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    Depends on what there is to see/chase. Mine have been to the road(I dont think the chicken crossed the road) and that is almost a 1/4 mile. They have also been through the woods to visit the neighbour (the kids next door give them treats, bread and cereal) and that is probably 500 or more feet. I know its a measure of area not distance, but mine have wondered over the 6+ acres that is cleared and then some, so they definately will wonder more than 250 feet from coop. I used to think it was a line of site thing, but through the woods and to the opposite side of barn/house makes that sortof out of the question too. Maybe they are homing chickens and can find thier way home from anywhere. I have a few roos that I should take down the road to test this theory. [​IMG]

  5. When I first let "new additions" out for the first time, they won't travel more than a few yards, then come running back into the run. lol. [​IMG]

    But I let my RIR's free range 24/7 and they are going all over our two acres. So I guess it depends on the amount of land and stuff like that...

    Best of Luck [​IMG]

  6. peggyb43

    peggyb43 In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2008
    I'm interested also. We have an acre and a half, fenced all but in the front. I've let my five girls out once right before dusk, but watched them every minute. They went in at dark by themselves. They are 11 weeks old today. I'm concerned about the unfenced front (road) part of the yard...even tho we live on a quiet dead-end street. Whaddaya think?
  7. ams3651

    ams3651 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    mine stayed in the yard at first, after a couple weeks they were spending too much time in the neighbors yard across the road and they were not happy [​IMG] so I had to keep them in the run. Suprisingly though they never went to the large yard on the other side of the house (no trees I guess) or even behind the house. Most of the land, about 1 1/2 acres is field with tall weeds and they never went in there either. But they always did come back in about 6pm.

  8. DDRanch

    DDRanch Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    Mine don't travel more than about 250 feet from the coop although they could wander over 6 acres. Our property is fenced so I am certain that keeps them in. I let them free range when I am home, keep a window open so I can hear if they get into any trouble. without the fencing, I know they would be across the road, at the neighbors, etc.

    They seems to have a "schedule" and depending on the time of day, I know exactly where they are. The old hens taught the young ones and showed them the routine. I can pretty much see them from my kitchen and living room so I guess I am fortunate they stick pretty close to home.

    They do always put themselves away at night. The darker it gets, the closer they hang out at the coop/run.
  9. ccshambhala

    ccshambhala Songster

    Sep 8, 2008
    I'm fairly new to chickens -(just got chickens in April and didn't let them FREE range til July) but it seems to be related to what breed they are as to how far they'll roam?? My Anconas and Blue Andalusians seem to range out to about 250 feet. My cochins don't seem to go quite that far - but my Brahmaramas (maybe cuz they are so big lol) wandered all over the back yard (which made me worry more!!) I definitely will need to build a tractor to get them to clean the pastures - !!

  10. ccshambhala

    ccshambhala Songster

    Sep 8, 2008
    oh yeah - and mine all always go to the coop on their own as it gets dark - some hardly come out if it is a dark rainy day....

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