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How far will chickens typically range?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BobLoblaw, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. BobLoblaw

    BobLoblaw In the Brooder

    Mar 11, 2009
    River Falls, WI
    I'm wondering how far from the coop they will range, we have a lot of open area, but there is a thick treeline a couple hundred yards away with lots of critters.

  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    mine go 3 yards/1 acre down from the coop. They don't tend to go out front but do go into the woods about a half acre of so
  3. ashley12

    ashley12 In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2009
    You can't really measure distance by acres. I would just about bet my paycheck that they would go to the woods. A couple of hundred yards isn't really that far. Any time I have seen (free range) chickens around woods they go to them. They might not spend all day there, but I would say they will go there.
  4. loverOFchickens

    loverOFchickens Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    Ours go into the woods but not more than about 5 yards. Other than that they just cover the entire yard.They are more careful at first but will go farther as they get used to free range.
  5. montcapu

    montcapu Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    laingsburg, MI
    my chickens love the woods next to there coop, they have favorite spots in it, (the wood is not very big, probabbly 200+ft x 50+ft)
    but they are always in it and every where else, lol
  6. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    Ours travel quite far. So we leave them locked up til afternoon so they don't have time to travel as far. They do keep the hedgerows cleaned out:D
  7. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Quote:Yep, I'd bet they end up in the woods too. Mine can always be found in the woods. They love the cover and the deep layer of leaves to dig through and the bugs and insects they find. Even the babies run to the nearest woods. All of our chickens, ducks and peacocks freerange but it is the chickens that love the woods. Sometimes they stay near the edge of the woods where the woods meet our backyard area and sometimes they go really far into the woods. We also have every predator known to man but we also have 6 free roaming dogs on our farm who do a great job of keeping predators at bay. Out of 200+ chickens, we do lose one every now and then, mostly to a bobcat who has gotten very brave and actually runs up into the yard area when the dogs are elsewhere and grabs one and runs. But I wouldn't change their freeranging ways - they love life and get to live it the way they were meant to. I do know they are quick learners. If a bunch of chickens were in the woods when one got grabbed by something, the rest tend to stick really close to home after that so they do learn from their experiences.

  8. BobLoblaw

    BobLoblaw In the Brooder

    Mar 11, 2009
    River Falls, WI
    Thanks, I'm also assuming that most of the predators that we'd have back there operate at night, so unless one is really hungry the birds should be okay during the day.

    How far up into the trees do your birds go? We have a lot of low hung trees with easily accesible branches, will the chickens end up 50 feet up?
  9. If I am not mistaken, I think the scientific research shows that on average chickens will stay within a 200 yard radius of the coop, or nesting area.
  10. shawnm2639

    shawnm2639 Songster

    Apr 13, 2009
    Woodlake Ca
    Mine 10 wk old BR's haven't gone more than 20 yards from their tractor coop since I put them out there. I only let them out when I am there so maybe thats why? they tend to follow me around. I live on a river which is dry now. I have a pretty big yard though and was hoping they would at least cover the yard...but instead they range behind the coop in the high grass uuggh!
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009

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