How far do chickens wander?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by n8mont4, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. n8mont4

    n8mont4 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2012
    New York
    Last year I raised heritage meat turkeys and let them free range. This became a problem because they would go to the road or into neighbors yards. My neighbor got really upset, so i had to keep an eye on them when they were outside. Do chickens do this? I heard they dont wander too far away.

    My yard is about 7 acres by 1 acre (rectangular and long) . Woods seperate our yards, but my turkeys still found their yards
  2. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 1, 2013
    Smithville, Missouri
    I raised 100 plymouth rock last summer and the range was about 5 acres, tending mainly to head toward our house from the coop, they liked shelter, edges of bushes, under trailer, between air conditioner and the house. lots of damage to our flowers. you might need electric poultry net fence
  3. lahowardjr

    lahowardjr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2012
    Bache Oklahoma
    My BO girls will cover three acres in an hour or two. I let them out late in the evening so they wont get too far from the house.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Yes they can wander. Don't know how wide your acre is, but it isn't uncommon for them to wander more then a football field away from the coop every day and further isn't unheard of. Fencing to keep them from the neighbors should be considered.
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    My chickens wander and think nothing of scooting under the neighbor's fence. Fortunately, he has a huge lot and doesn't care a bit. But yeah, I'd expect a similar experience as the turkeys.
  6. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I think it depends on the makeup of the flock, the personalities and their cumulative experience with danger.

    I've had chickens for five years now. I just have one hen left from my original bunch. Those guys would wander far and wide, and scare the daylights out of me that they'd wander into the clutches of the many wild animals always lurking in the surrounding forest of thousands of acres. I was always hunting for them and finding them at the far edge of an acre from the coop.

    My present flock, however, including the one veteran of the original flock, all stick very, very close to home. It may be that half of these chickens have had experienced the trauma of bear, hawk, and bobcat attacks, with the attending deaths of two of their mates. They convey their caution to the newer members of the flock, I assume, and I never see any of them farther away than a few yards from the coop. And they almost always just spend no more than an hour free-ranging before they're all back in the pen on their own.

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