How to let chickens roam safely.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by haddiemoo, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. haddiemoo

    haddiemoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2010
    I have recently acquired three year old hens. I built them a nice roomy coop which includes space for them to walk about. I would like to let them roam about a bit in the yard in the afternoons or weekends when we are home. However with two dogs, a neighbors dog and one big cat I am a little afraid.
    I have never owned any chickens and I do not want to put them in any danger but it would be nice to let them wander around and be a little free. I am sure that most people who love animals have chickens, dogs, cats, etc. Is there a way that I get my animals to "all just get along" or am I stuck with keeping the girls in their cage.
     
  2. linben

    linben Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I would think a lot depends on whether your yard is fenced, can you keep your dogs away or supervise? I would worry about the neighbor dog if there is no fence. I have a couple of cats that wander through the yard. They are the neighbor's pets. They don't bother my chickens. If you are scared I would do a little at a time before sunset so that they will go back in easily. You will get a feel for it.
     
  3. churchx3

    churchx3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2010
    Georgia
    My dogs stay out all day until I get home and then the dogs go up and the chickens and goats come out. My yard is fenced though and I do not know that I would allow mine out without a fence because of stray animals. Maybe you could pick up a dog kennel off craiglist and install that so they have time out of the coop. You could always attach the kennel to the coop so they can go in and out as desired.
     
  4. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    I would worry most about the neighbor's dog. the cats are not an issue if you have grown hens. your dog can be contained until you are sure he/she will not hurt the hens. be sure your hens have been in their coop for at least three weeks, so if you do let them out they will know where to return when it is time to go in.

    i am fortunate, both my dogs and both cats ignore the chickens. my chickens free range all day and 1/2 put themselves in the coop the other 1/2 roost in the trees. when i first got my dogs, they did not like the chickens, but i used a training collar on them and they have no interest in the chickens now. when i throw treats out to the chickens, the dogs graze right along. i still keep a cautious eye out though, just in case.
     

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