Is A Wooded Lot a Good Place To Have Free Range Chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ravenvalor, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. ravenvalor

    ravenvalor Songster

    Aug 1, 2008

    I have a half acre wooded lot and would like to use it to free range my chickens. Is this a smart move?

    Thanks and have a great weekend !!!

  2. SilkieSmoooth

    SilkieSmoooth In the Brooder

    Feb 23, 2014
    Hello, I live in the woods and my chickens do great, they do however still have places to get into the sun and bathe in the dirt. I also do live in New Mexico where even in the woods it is still warmer then lots of places. More predators live in the woods to though.
  3. BYfamily

    BYfamily In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2014
    Northwest Arkansas
    You can probably get away with that if you have good dogs to keep critters away even so you have to be careful for owls and hawks
  4. I live in the woods.
    Pros: Great free-raging areas, lots of forage, happy chickens, lots of dust bathing opportunities.
    Cons: Predators, risk of impacted crop if there is really long grass, predators, its hard to find and gather up the chickens, the risk of them wandering off your property and annoying a neighbor, predators, and predators.

    So really, if its fenced or you don't think the chickens will wander off the property, great, as long as there is low predator risk. If you have no clue what the predator risk is, ask neighbors who keep small animals. If you play a radio, that may help with some predators.
  5. ravenvalor

    ravenvalor Songster

    Aug 1, 2008
    Thank you so much for all of the excellent replies. This forum is uplifting.
    I was thinking that maybe I can fence the half acre in, add a couple of Maremma dogs and a couple of pigs.
    Would this arrangement work? I visited a farm on Thursday and saw chickens, goats and Maremmas all in one fenced in area as one big happy family.
  6. What are Maremma dogs? Supervision while free-ranging for a while would be good so you can be sure they all get along
    Fencing would really be a good plan.
  7. ravenvalor

    ravenvalor Songster

    Aug 1, 2008
    • [​IMG]
      A Maremma is a livestock guarding dog, bred in Italy for centuries to guard large flocks of sheep on the plains and in the mountains. Other Old World breeds with similar temperament are the Great Pyrenees in France, the Komondor and the Kuvasz in Hungary, the Tatra in Poland, the Shar Planinetz in Yugoslovia, the Anatolian and Akbash in Turkey, and the Tibetan Mastiff in Nepal and Tibet. The Maremma originally lived day and night with its flock, and its white coat mimics the coat of the sheep in its flock. It was bred to take responsibility for keeping the flock safe from 4-legged predators, primarily the wolf, and from 2-legged thieves; and kept proficient at its job by frequent life-and-death battles with the wolves.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    1/2 acre is probably not enough room for a Maremma.
    Don't get an LGD, or any dog, unless you know how to train and handle dogs....and know that it can take months to properly train a dog before it can be trusted to guard your livestock.
    1 person likes this.
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Go with electrified netting. Avoid hog in woods as it will be hard on trees, especially with only 1/2 acre to root We used to free-range hogs on about 80 acres that was approximately 50% wooded. Damage to tree under story there likely a lot less than you will see and repaired slower than what you see in a grass pasture.

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