IMPORTANT!!! *PLEASE READ* free range or no?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kjpuggles3, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. kjpuggles3

    kjpuggles3 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 24, 2011
    Hi! I am getting 15-20 cold-hardy excellent egg layers soon and want to know whether i should let them roam the huge barn which they have mostly to themselves or let them free range and take care of my major tick issue?

    ps- can chickens get lyme disease [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I don't know if they can get Lyme's disease or not. Whether you free range is entirely up to you. You need to accept the fact that you will face losses. Not always. I haven't had any losses in over a year to predators. Doesn't mean it can't happen... Or you can leave them in the barn and reduce your chance of loss. Free ranging will definitely help with your tick problem.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    As far as I know, chickens cannot get lyme disease, however, they are not the best at eating ticks, certainly not as good as guineas are. Why not let them have pens and allow them to free range when it's convenient, maybe several times each week? Do you mean you're planning to keep them inside all the time or free range, nothing in between? Each flock here has its own pen so they can either be penned up or allowed to free range on our mountain property when we're home.
  4. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I let mine free range and have only seen ONE tick all year.

    We have lots of deer and have always had a problem with ticks on the dogs, so having the chickens and guineas has really been a blessing! (Not to mention the free eggs.)

  5. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2011
    Madison, CT
    Ive had chronic lyme disease for 10 years, so i know a bit about it.
    Ive heard of a few barn animals getting lyme, such as cows, sheep, goats, etc.
    A friends cow of mine got lyme and died from it.
    From what i read, i think birds can get lyme. Its just not that commonly heard of because its not an easy thing to diagnose and comes with a big range of symptoms.
    I wouldn't worry about it "as much" because birds are more likely to eat them. Like Guinea fowl, that is why i <3 Guinea's!
    I had my chickens free range and never had issues with them getting ticks.
    But i have "heard" of chickens with ticks on them, i would imagine it to be rare though, because they prefer hosts likes humans, dogs, cats, deer, etc.
  6. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    My flock gets to free range when we are home to look out for them. Otherwise they are in their big ol' open air coop.

    They are so happy when they get to run loose, scratch in the grass, dig trenches to China, sunbathe, and forage that it is worth the risk to let them have a more enriched life.
  7. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2010
    Mine are back in lock down in their big barn. You will have to weigh the risk vs tick eating/happiness. For me loosing 10 hens in short order and then one day looking up and seeing 5-7 hawks circling above the lawn waiting for me to release the chickens made me decide free ranging is not worth it this year...

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