how far will chickens roam from their house

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chicken rover, Oct 19, 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 instintivly won't exceed about 250 feet....
    Given that they have have a house will they instinctivly go in it at dusk and out at first light?
    [E]thernet likes this.
  2. chickmamawannabe

    chickmamawannabe Songster

    Aug 20, 2008
    Canby, Or-y-gun
    Once a chicken gets used to the area, they will start roaming further and further each day. I had 2 on an acre and a half and they roamed the whole area. As for going in at dusk, yes they will go in on their own, but you should probably lock them in the coop at night and let them out in the morning to avoid a nighttime predator attack.
  3. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    I have about 2 acres of lawn around the house and they don't wander any further away than that although I've seen some people around here report their chickens wandering a lot further. As far as their house (coop), yes, as long as they are used to the structure, they will return every evening with no prodding. And I've never seen a chicken yet who refused to leave the coop with the door open unless frightened by a predator.

    Oh yeah, [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  4. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Songster

    Apr 18, 2008
    Kodiak, Alaska
    I think a lot of it depends on what kind of goodies they can find and where. We are on a half acre, unfenced, with a road on two sides and neighbors on the other two. Our chickens rarely left the yard until the first frost, which killed off most of the bugs. Now they seem to drift farther looking for munchies.

    Maybe keeping scratch near their coop would keep them closer?
  5. momma's chickens

    momma's chickens Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    [​IMG] Chicken Rover!

    We have almost two acres and yet our chickens rarely leave my sight from the back porch. I sometimes wish they would go up on the back hill which is right behind their coop but they don't. They prefer to hang out in the back and side yard.
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Our chickens have ranged over anything from 1/2 an acre to 5 or 6 acres, when given access to it. They pretty much go as far as the perimeter fencing. If gates are open to another area, they happily go there. The only fence jumper we've really had is Rita. [​IMG]

    So, I guess we're one of the ones with far ranging chickens. We have pasture/lawn/garden areas, which they spend time eating in every day, foraging for green feed and bugs. Most of our property is heavily wooded and they just wander along, scratching in the leaf litter and eating whatever, endlessly. They often seem to get focused on a particular area and work it over for a few days, then focus on another for a few days.

    I normally like to keep ours on several acres closest to the house, unless they have the protection of livestock, dogs or us, due to predators. I alternate where they forage sometimes, too, as we have different areas fenced off.
  7. ncCHICKS

    ncCHICKS Songster

    Oct 5, 2008
    Hope Mills, NC
    Quote:However far it takes them to find what they want. Honestly. The 250 thing isn't true. They should go to the coop at night. Shaking the food should bring them back and for safety, I'd lock the coop at night.
  8. lovemychix

    lovemychix Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    Some of my hens stay right around the coop and others go far away.
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] It can also depend on the breed. Some tend to stay closer to home while other may tend to wander off further. I saw a thread I'm not sure if it was on BYC or another site that gave some good information on the breeds and their wandering habits. I will search for it and see if I can find it. I fenced in my yard for my birds, because I have so many critters around that would like to make meals of my birds and they were tearing up my gardens. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  10. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    I think both the breed information and the quantity of forage information have a lot of merit. Mine stay very near thier coop/run, within 100 ft or so. Mostly within 25ft because that is where there is a brambly weedy area with lots to sift through and eat, whereas the rest is lawnlike. I have orpingtons which are known as a "homebody" breed.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008

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