In need of some ideas to entertain my hens that are accustomed to free-roaming

BrittneyGrasher

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 9, 2013
13
0
22
Hello! I hope that I am posting this thread in the correct forum. If not, I apologize! We live in a suburb of Kansas City and due to the very large size and seclusion of our fully-fenced backyard, our hens are able to free-roam. We recently had some dogs jump the fence into our yard and proceed into full blown attack on our 4 girls. I looked out just in time to see a them dash by and run out back barefoot, in my pajamas screaming like a mad woman. They had just gotten a hold of my buff orpington, and if I hadn't gotten out there when I did she would've been history. They did, however, have her feather strewn all over the yard. After finally running them off, I found my silver laced wyandotte with a puncture wound and a broken wing. She passed away shortly thereafter. Needless to say, I now have my remaining girls secured in their run. While the size of the run is more than generous, they are MISERABLE. All they seem to do is pace near the door. I've thrown some scratch among other scraps, hung some cabbage for them to jump and eat off of, and added weeds and dirt clods to scratch through. Does anyone have any other ideas to help them adapt to this transition? Thank you and sorry for the lengthy post!
 

earlybird10842

Good Morning!
7 Years
I am so sorry! I have had some predator problems, and therefore my gals who were previously free-rangers all day, got cut down to a few hours free ranging a week, max.
They didn't like the snow during the winter, so I put up some boardwalks. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/over-the-snow-chicken-playground
They eventually got used to the smaller run.

I would put some loose dirt in the run so they can dustbathe, and add some outdoor roosts, maybe stack some old wooden boxes, give them something to hop on top of, or crawl under.
Did you report the dogs to animal control? You probably should so this doesn't happen agian.
 

LauraSac

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
145
7
78
Sacramento, CA
I have a mirror in the run and the girls love it. It's a hoot watching them check themselves out. I had a little hand mirror hanging up before, but found this larger one at a yard sale.
 

LauraSac

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
145
7
78
Sacramento, CA
Also, I hang their greens in a suet feeder. It's a bit of work to get it, which I think helps. My girls are pullets, though, and they haven't free ranged yet. They even like to hang out in the coop more than I would have imagined. We'll start free ranging them in a few weeks, with supervision, and when our own dogs are not out back.
 
Last edited:

BrittneyGrasher

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 9, 2013
13
0
22
Thank you for the suggestions! And yes, the dogs have been reported to animal control. They've actually been reported by multiple people over a duration of a few months. I just found out from a neighbor that some people have a security camera recording of the same dogs ripping their smaller dog apart.
 

earlybird10842

Good Morning!
7 Years
Thank you for the suggestions! And yes, the dogs have been reported to animal control. They've actually been reported by multiple people over a duration of a few months. I just found out from a neighbor that some people have a security camera recording of the same dogs ripping their smaller dog apart.
Ugh! Sounds like animal control needs to get their act together.
 
Top Bottom