How to keep my chickens from ranging away too far, along with a question about the ranging behaviors

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Blackberry18, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,795
    109
    186
    Mar 25, 2015
    Minnesota
    I have two 5 1/2 year old hens (Red and Black Sex-Link), five 3 1/2 -year-old Barred Rocks, and six 1 1/2 year old White Leghorns. I like to allow them to free range, but it's so hard to keep track of them all! The Sex-Links and Barred Rocks, are pretty easy, but the Leghorns are so hard. They split up individually and wander around in the woods and thicket. I've lost and found one once of twice, but I'm always so worried that I won't be able to find one. How can I keep them from wandering?

    Also, I'm planning on getting Buff Brahmas and Black Australorps, how is the ranging behavior of them?
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,544
    17,479
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Not sure about what breeds make the most "containable" free-ranging birds, but maybe a mature cockerel would help in keeping the flock together a little better?


    CT
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,795
    109
    186
    Mar 25, 2015
    Minnesota
    Maybe. I'm getting a couple of Buff Brahma cockerels, but will sell them after my show is done because I don't care for keeping roosters, since I just don't want mating within my flock. Thanks anyway though.
     
  4. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,220
    465
    231
    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Unless you fence them, they are going to roam. That's what they like to do. But, even so, unless a predator grabs them, they are going to come back to the coop for the night. I used to freerange my flock, and they really liked it. But they were discovered by a fox, and freeranging could not be continued, for their own safety.
     
  5. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,795
    109
    186
    Mar 25, 2015
    Minnesota
    I also used to free range my sex-links, but one never came back, so we thought something got at her. We have coyotes, foxes, bears, possums, racoons and other predators, so I only let them free range when I'm watching, but I still can't keep track of them.
     
  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,220
    465
    231
    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.

    Something probably did get her. They just won't leave their home and buddies for nothing. I tried supervised freeranging after our first attack. But, I didn't want them to be cooped up all day, when I was at work, or just couldn't be out there with them. I know this, after a predator finds the flock, they won't go away, from the easy meals the chickens represent. I have read where a fox will come in and grab a bird, with the owner standing right there. What I ended up doing was buying 650' of electrified poultry net . My chickens get out everyday, and have a pretty big area to roam around in, and I don't have to worry about them anymore.
     
  7. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,795
    109
    186
    Mar 25, 2015
    Minnesota
    I have an area for mine, too, but allow them to go freely once in a while, like when I clean the coop.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by