How far do chickens roam?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mister B, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Mister B

    Mister B Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2013
    NW Alabama
    I am thinking of free ranging some chickens on the pasture with the cows. I wonder what the "range" of a free range chicken is. I have about 29 acres they can wander. My plan is to build them a coop near my home, but I want to let them wander freely across the pasture. The pasture is fenced and will keep some predators out, I understand the dangers associated with free ranging them.
     
  2. Sweetbird

    Sweetbird Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2015
    Floyd, Virginia
    I moved to a quiet twenty acres on a mountain in Virginia in August and got chickens in October. My chickens free range. I put them into our very secure chicken barn just before sundown and let them out when I wake up. In the few months I have had them, they haven't gone further then a few hundred feet. They do, however, have their water supply and food at home. The rooster watches out for his ladies and sometimes goes on further forays with them, but usually rounds them back up to stay closer to home. He is a good rooster. Maybe this will change in the summer. My in laws had chickens on this land for more than twenty years and there was never a casualty until one chicken decided she didn't want to go back in at night. Apparently she roosted in a tree and lasted about a week. Pretty good, considering we have visibly active coyotes, wild cats and bears around here.
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    If they're anything like mine they won't go too far afield.

    They tend to only go as far as they need to in order to find food. So when you let them out, they will scratch about and gradually eat their way outwards from there.

    Unless there is a lovely tree way off in the distance, they don't tend to 'run out and away' from their coop and run. It's more a matter of 'how far do I have to go to find the next grub?'

    If you leave water out at the front of the free-ranging area they will probably keep returning to that point for a drink. They can't go too far away as they need regular drinking water.

    - Krista
     

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