How far will chickens wander?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hangin Wit My Peeps, May 7, 2008.

  1. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    If you are free ranging your chickens how far will they tend to wander? We have 20 acres but on the opposite side of our 20 we have a road and neighbors next to that with two dogs who are free to run. AND they do come visit us...they are nice dogs but I wouldn't trust them around my chickens anyhow! lol I'm going to have a hard enough time keeping my two dogs away! I'm going to try to train them by allowing them to see the baby chicks when they are a week old. I'm going to lay them ON the dogs while holding the dogs down of course! lol We will see how that goes!
     
  2. farm_mom

    farm_mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We only have 2 acres, and our free range birds never explored the whole of it. They like to keep home nearby. And good luck with those dogs!! [​IMG]
     
  3. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience, dogs may instinctively go after something that moves, and runs, and acts like a bird, even if it doesn't attack it initially, or while you're around. On the other hand, I know lots of farm dogs which ignore the chickens and vice versa. It may depend on how active your dogs are. If they get chances to chase rabbits and run free, chickens may seem boring to them. If they are house dogs that get very excited by seeing cats and birds, then not such a safe bet. A chick is very helpless and would get eaten immediately by our cats, but once an adult, our chickens peck at the cats and scare them away. The cats definitely stay away from them now.

    If you want to keep the chicks, I would play it safe... I'm not advocating taking chances, especially with your neighbors dogs, unless you're willing to risk the birds.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  4. farm_mom

    farm_mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot to mention we free range ours with our golden retriever/yellow lab mix and we've never had an issue. She is a well behaved dog who listens well. It really depends on the temperment of the dog. She is more curious about our birds than anything.
     
  5. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    My chickens never roam further than sight of the hen house or barn. Now, I live on open prairie so they often go 70 yards in any direction but that's it thus far.

    I don't trust my own sweet dogs with my chickens. My wonderful 11 yr. old watch dog who stood guard (literally) over my new chicks last year (while they were outside in a chicken tractor) and wouldn't let any of the other dogs or cats near them took the first opportunity he got and grabbed one of my chicks when she stuck her head out of the wire. She was almost two months old at the time. He pulled her through and was eating her when I got there - I was watching from the house and still wasn't quick enough to save her.

    I realize that he is a dog (and a great one) and her jerky movements was more than he could pass up. I didn't blame him at all .... I totally blamed me for not putting 1" chicken wire around the bottom of the tractor over the 2x4 welded wire so that she couldn't stick her head out.

    Anyway - all this to say ... I put my dogs in the garage whenever my chickens are free ranging. It's a bummer for the dogs so the chickens only get to be out for up to five hours at a time but I'm thrilled they get that much time most days.
     
  6. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    My little pom I know I won't have to worry about as he has a hip problem so he doesn't like running a long way. My boxer is very calm in the house but loves to run and run and run outside but he does listen well. I KNOW he will give chase to the birds at first but I don't have any doubt in my mind that he would ignore them after a while. He sits out on the patio with our birds we feed from the bird feeder and he's fine but once he sees a squirrel he wants to chase it BAD! lol I do have hope for him tho. We Love him dearly..he's not quite a year old yet so he's got lots to learn and I think we have a chance to teach him. If he just can't get along with the chickens we will most likely keep the birds in the run for a little while longer until he gets used to seeing them. I won't get rid of either one so we will have to find a way to deal with the problems if they come up. NOW the neighbors dogs on the other hand I have NO clue what they will do! I do plan on leaving the chickens in the run for a month or more...hoping that the neighbors dogs will get used to seeing them as well. I'm sure that the neighbor won't have any problems keeping them chained if we ask but I hate to do that since they were here first and their dogs have always been allowed to run. We love them as well...very good dogs and all four dogs get along very well and have dog parties! Hate to break that up [​IMG] It should be very interesting! We get our chicks on May 23 and the fun begins then!
     
  7. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe your neighbors could put up one of those invisible electric fences at the edge of their property and yours so their dogs could still run, but wouldn't cross over that line. Or, just a regular fence.
     
  8. peruvian_princess

    peruvian_princess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My dogs definately wont hurt my chickens now. When they chickens were younger my chichuahua would grab at their tails and such but now the chickens absolutely hate all dogs and will attack any dog! They even attacked my pit bull mix through the fence! He doesnt even walk near the run anymore LOL! Funniest thing you ever saw a bunch of chickens trying to attack through the fence LOL!
     
  9. Horseychick

    Horseychick New Egg

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    I think most well behaved dogs can be trained not to chase chickens, my old Staffordshire bull terrier has never shown any interest in the hens, but she soon learnt where they lay their eggs!

    We got a new dog a couple of years ago, so I chose a small jack russell terrier, when she came as a pup she could walk under the marans without them noticing, now she's about half their size and the hens find it amusing to peck her tail.

    So the answer I think is to make sure the birds are bigger than the dogs. Of course this means if you have rottweilers you have to farm ostriches.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    [​IMG]
     

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