Keeping Chickens Free Range

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LadyBroody, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 17, 2012
    Ozark, MO
    Mine didn't work out so well. After not having a predator problem for several months, something got her and 2 of her eggs. Later we trapped a raccoon. These are pictures of the 2 I hatched in an incubator. A boy and girl, the girl has the darker head. Buff Orpington for mother and Crested Polish for dad.
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    1 person likes this.
  2. cglessner

    cglessner Out Of The Brooder

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    I free range my chickens during the day. I feed and water them in their run and they always go back to their house to roost at night and to lay their eggs, which makes me very happy. Their egggs have very rich, orange yolks and are delish! They love the freedom and rush out when I open the run gate. I am concerned about hawks and eagles and now I have a new worry - coyotes , my neighbor saw 3 coyotes in the field next to our run. Are coyotes nocturnal predators? Should I keep my girls penned up?.
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  3. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler extrodinaire Premium Member

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    Jul 11, 2014
    Orrock township, Minnesota
    I know this will not be popular in some segments of the population here, so please just take it as an idea.

    If predators become too big of a problem, I suggest a predator call, which sounds like a wounded rabbit or some other small game a predator cannot resist. I use a 17 cal. rifle with mine.

    Just remember they always come in up wind, so be aware of your placement and concealment spot. They will pull a predator from a fairly large area, larger than the area our chickens roam.

    ( also make sure it is legal where you live, it is here)


    Coyotes are early morning and late evening feeders, but I have gotten them in the middle of the day too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  4. farmlady1

    farmlady1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is a tip on calming your chickens after you catch them.

    Once you catch your chicken, turn them over, laying their back in the palm of your hand. With the other hand gently stroke their tummy. For some reason this puts them into a calming trance and you will see their heads fall forward and rest on the upper chest.

    Our chickens love this. It seems everytime they are touched they want to be held and when you hold them they want to lay on their back with their tummy stroked.

    It does look peaceful and probably is a de-stresser for the chickens. Try it, if you have not already done so. The chicks will thank you.
     
  5. vpatt

    vpatt Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am letting mine out for the first time right now. I have had them for either three or four weeks now. The five doms and the Partridge Rock came out....but the Phoenix stayed in the coop. Guess I better go keep an eye out. They have about an hour and fifteen minutes before bed time. So far so good.:yiipchick
     
  6. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler extrodinaire Premium Member

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    Jul 11, 2014
    Orrock township, Minnesota
    For me the best part of free range chickens is seeing this every morning:

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  7. vpatt

    vpatt Chillin' With My Peeps

    They all went back in their pen a bit early. I will go lock the coop up at The regular time.....yay!
    :weee
     
  8. vpatt

    vpatt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Duluth, I love your video......you have some happy chickens there!
    :cd
     
  9. holm25

    holm25 Jr Chicken Wrangler

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    MN
    Looks just like when I open the coop . Beatiful flock!!
     

  10. I'm just over 100.... :gig
     
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