If you love your chickens, fence them in

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fiddleblue, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. fiddleblue

    fiddleblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    Last week I heard another story of someone in my area who thought it so romantic to let his chickens out of the henhouse to strut at random in the open backyard. THey started with 7 chickens and now are down to 2 due to predation by cats, one black cat in particular. From all appearances it seems that it is only a matter of time before the remaining two chickens, wonderful bantams, are picked off as well. They are making no efforts to enclose the chickens, perhaps hoping that thinking bad thoughts about the cat will keep it away. For God's sake if you love your chickens do something to protect them. It saddens me to see those pretty bantams and to think of what lies in store for them because their owners prefer the romantic image of chickens roaming free in a yard to the point where they can't seem to take in the reality of local predators plucking them off with the greatest of ease.

    My chickens are very happy in a run that is totally wire-enclosed, sides and ceiling, which is an attractive space that is kept clean and in good order. I can sit and observe them with much contentment. I don't have to put their lives in jeopardy to fulfill a pretty romantic fantasy.
  2. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    Quote:I have the same setup. And I never have to worry about coming home to a yard full of decapitated and bloody messes!

    If you LOVE your chickens, protect them!
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. valerieb

    valerieb Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 14, 2009
    Richwoods, Missouri
    My chickens free range all day from dawn till dusk. They have been doing since last April and I haven't lost any to predators. I do have a chicken hawk that flies over now and then but the chickens know his sound and they run for cover. I am not saying this is good for everyone, but my chickens love free ranging. We have 296 acres but they usually stay within a hundred or so yards of the house. I do not feel that letting them be free to enjoy the land around the house means that I don't love my chickens. I love and enjoy them immensely.
    2 people like this.
  6. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I hate to say it, but it's true. I used to free range my chickens. I just loved having them strolling around the yard. It was so quaint.

    Then the predators discovered them.

    They are now locked safely in pens. It did take them a little while to get used to the confinement, but the pens are large enough to sustain some forage for them. They seem happy enough. More importantly, they are safe.
  7. vstoltzfus

    vstoltzfus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2009
    Lancaster County, PA
    I agree with valerieb. I let my chickens free range for about half a day. I actually feel bad if I don't let them out! While I know it could happen, I haven't lost any to a predator yet. But predators can also get into the best chicken runs. And I love my hens. I think it's just two different views on the same subject.
  8. Iowa Roo Mom

    Iowa Roo Mom Resistance Is Futile

    Apr 30, 2009
    Keokuk County
    I free range [​IMG] Have for over a year without issue. But only while I'm home. Which, sadly, hasn't been very often lately...
  9. Megs

    Megs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    i would say it probably depends where you live and what birds you have if it is nessicary to enclose them, but msot of the time i would say it is needed. where i live i have to fully enclose them, as we have eagles/hawks/ravens/owls/vultures, and then we get the occasional raccoon/minx. I let my standard size chickens out occasionally to free range in the spring/summer/fall when the weather is decent and im home to keep an eye out for them.
  10. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008

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