i feel guilty


11 Years
Apr 26, 2011
live in the country but only have one acre.and have houses all around.any given time you see dogs running loose.live next door to inlaws.they have jack russles feeling guility because i have to keep my chickens penned.i do let the three hens out for about 30 minutes before dark.i have to guard them with stick in hands at all times.does anyone feel bad because they have to pen their chickens.i kinow to some they are only chickens but they have the right to be rome and be free.
I actually moved my backyard chickens to the front yard becaus of my own dogs. Until I get tjeir coop and run done. I will spray bitter apple spray on their fence to keep my dogs out. I sit out with my birds for aboit 1-2 hours a day. You could build them a big pen with hardware cloth, I hear that keeps predators out better.
I keep my chickens and ducks in runs. It would not be safe to do otherwise. We also have Jack Russels, and although some are very tolerant of the poultry, and ignore them, others would give them no peace at all. Don't feel bad. You are doing the responsible thing. The time to feel bad would be if you exposed them to the danger that neighbourhood dogs can pose.
My are also in a run. I'd feel guilty if they were hurt or worse
if they were attacked because I let them out. They seem
happy to me. They don't know any difference.
bunch of thanks to all you folks.i thought about putting a chain link fence around my yard.dh said i had lost my mine.
I live on 36 acres and can't free range my chickens because of the predators-fox, coyote, neighbors' dogs, hawks, owls. They do get occasional 'field trips' with an armed guard, but seem happy in their run. I do bring natural food to them-clover, grass including the seed heads, and otherwise enrich their environment.
we free range them when we are outside...workin in the garden etc...

we do NOT let them freerange freely unless inside our fence/gated..even then we still keep an eye on them...

otherwise they would be dinner for predators...
I have to stick close to the chickens while free ranging them. The coyotes are so bold here I had to throw rocks at one to get it away. I carry mace in my pocket now. I recommend the mace!
You are keeping them safe. I live in the country and can't free range due to the high numbers (and variety) of predators. It is very tempting to let them out into the tall grass for a bit but I know I would feel horrible if (when) something happened to any of them.

On the other hand weeding now has a purpose! Every day my ladies get a fresh delivery of dandelion leaves and grasses plucked from the lawn.

Build them a nice run (at least 10 sq ft/bird), keep it clean and enjoy your birds!

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