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Locking up previously free ranged hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AuroraofEarth, May 16, 2016.

  1. AuroraofEarth

    AuroraofEarth New Egg

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    May 16, 2016
    I've had my flock for 3 years, and they have always been free range. This winter my neighbors got a new puppy. They complained and said that they no longer want my hens walking around because their dog is going to break it's chain trying to get at them.

    I'm crushed. Technically I am in the wrong because I can not stop the hens from crossing the property line. I feel like it would be too cruel to contain them to a fence after being free range for so long. Plus, the whole point of raising the chickens is for the health benefits of the eggs which can only be obtained if the hens are forging for bugs.

    So I guess I just need someone to tell me that it's time to give it up and send my flock to a new farm. I'm out of other viable options. The only other thing that I can think of is maybe a portable fence that I can move around the yard, but I'm not sure how practical that would be.
     
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ? Why is fencing in your yard not an option? If the chickens are going onto your neighbors yard, you are correct you are in the wrong. However chickens (even free range) will not bother with a fence unless they have good reason. Fence in your yard or do a large portable fence around your birds. You do not have to give them up or contain them in a run, there is a happy middle here.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    You're the only one who can decide what's best for your f'lock. If you don't want to make the effort to keep them contained on your own property, then by all means you need to find them a new home. It won't kill them to be fenced in, though. They may grumble and grouse for a bit, but they'll get over it. There are many people on here who use a portable electric netting to contain their birds. You can't put up a fence between the property lines? There are options out there if you want to keep them badly enough.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  4. AuroraofEarth

    AuroraofEarth New Egg

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    Fencing the whole yard is not an option, given that most of my open yard space is shared with the park behind me, and the property line kind of zig zags through it. We have an agreement that I just mow to the tree lines and I can use the yard as I please.

    I'm just bummed out. I wish that the chickens had just been a problem from the start before I invested so much into them, and became so attached.

    Would it be more humane to lock up an animal that's been free it's whole life, or send it off to a new farm where it might have problems integrating with another flock? I can expand the outside area of the coop more, but the hens are so neurotic to get out every morning and pace the gate for hours, I just feel bad..
     
  5. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    just get portable electric poultry fence and move it around the yard every couple days. no big deal. it is really rude to allow your animals be they dogs, goats or chickens to enter someone elses property unless they ask you to allow it
     
  6. AuroraofEarth

    AuroraofEarth New Egg

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    They did allow it.. Until they got a new dog
     
  7. AuroraofEarth

    AuroraofEarth New Egg

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    They did allow it, until they got a new dog.
     
  8. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    no not tolerate, ask. I mean neighbors see you have chickens and saw "hey it's ok if they come into our yard to eat bugs" NOT oh geez there's the neighbors chickens again in the yard
    THEY are doing the responsible thing by asking you to keep your birds home so their new dog does not kill them. They could just be jerks and let the dog slaughter every bird that wanders on their property and they would be in the right to let that happen
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    Either way it's change, and chickens hate that. You have to consider the pros and cons of both options. If you keep them, you will need to fence them in somehow and they will be in a dither for a while. They'll get over it, but until then, they'll pace and grumble about it. However, you will know that they are still getting the best of care, because you will still be caring for them. If you send them somewhere else, you don't know how they'll be cared for, or if they'll end up in the freezer. You don't even know if the person you give them to would allow them to free range or pen them up.
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    I really don't think OP is upset about the neighbors asking her to keep her chickens on her own property - she's just trying to figure out the best thing to do with her chickens now. OP, correct me if I'm wrong...
     

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