How much Free Range Area Per Bird.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Makrs, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Makrs

    Makrs New Egg

    Sep 12, 2016
    Birds will be supplemented with kitchen scraps (from a small family) and feed as needed.

    I read some interesting things about placing a hay bale or two in the area to get bugs for them.

    Don't want to kill all the grass, and want the chickens as reasonably stress fee and healthy as possible.

    Anticipate starting three birds, small coop, protected area, and going from there. Want them and their area to be robust, but land is finite.
  2. PingoBags

    PingoBags Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2016
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    They say 10 square feet per bird but more is better.

    In my enclosed run, they have 5 square feet each and seem very happy and relaxed.
    In my open top run, which they don't like for some reason, they have about 90 each.
    Most of the time I just let mine free range, they usually stay within 100 feet of the coop.

    I also have a coop which is smaller than the recommended size (4 square feet per bird) and they seem happy with it.
    They only go in to sleep.

    I think people suggest bigger coops in case you need to put the birds into lockdown.
    I'm new too so don't take my word for it.
  3. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Free range = un-restricted
  4. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2014
    Where we live, free range is letting the flock go whereever they wNt to go. Our flock goes into the woods around the farm so we don't have a limit on free range space. Depending on where you live, predators will be a problem when free ranging. We loose chickens and turkeys to hawks, eagles, foxes and coyotes. We let them free range to help cut the feed cost. There are plenty of bugs and other things they eat while free ranging.
  5. I have a large coop and run...I also bought a 120 foot electric poultry fence that I use to free range my birds in...I have a Fox problem...My birds never get out of the mesh fencing and I can move it around my coop and run area...Right now I have it so they can dig around under the spruce trees and yet sun bath and dust bath...Last time I had it so they could eat grasshoppers on the lawn...I just make sure its set up so if they want too, they can get back into the coop...Anytime they are out of the coop and run and able to forage is free ranging....
    I give mine during the winter, a flake off an alfalfa bale and sprinkle scratch and raisins in it for then to scratch around in...
    Sometimes a bale will harvest fleas so I never put in a whole bale...

    Good Luck
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    The amount of land that a free range flock needs can vary quite a lot. Mostly it depends on how many birds you have, and how much variety of forage and cover they have. If your property consists of a fenced in lawn, they will destroy the grass in about 3 to 6 months. You will also have to be willing to deal with chicken poo everywhere. I have just under an acre with a variety of trees, shrubs, berry patches, grass, and overgrown pasture for my flock of 18. They don't stray, and they usually find plenty to eat. My feed bill is cut in half when free ranging.
    Honestly, I wouldn't recommend trying to free range on a property under a 1/2 acre, unless you expect them to eat mostly feed and you want them to wander.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016

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