me

Grammapat

Chirping
5 Years
Sep 21, 2014
10
1
64
I used to have chickens, also had incubator and hatched various birds. I had a small covered area, but mostly they were loose in my back yard and veg garden. Don't know why I never worried about them getting over the fence. That was a regular residential house; I'm in another house now, and am only allowed three chickens. NOW I'm worried about them getting out, and worse. I had a hawk take a squirrel out of some brush - bet they could take a chicken too! So now I don't know if it's a good idea to have free-range chickens.

Also, I just started volunteering at a "petting zoo" - it's not really. They have a dozen or so TERRIBLE looking chickens in a big dirt enclosure - not anything you would want to hang out in. I know this is moulting season but mine never looked that bad. They even have a pathetic turkey; his tail and rump feathers are almost totally incased in that sheath they grow in (what's it called?). I've tried to find out about it but can't find any reference. There is a disease that causes that...or has he just not pecked it off?

OMG and they feed the rabbits layer's pellets (and they call it "layered pellets" - or is there really such a thing?)
So much to find out..
 

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
28,457
6,115
677
Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

Like your avatar!

Yes, free ranging is good and bad. Bad because you will loose more birds and good because they will be exercised and happy.

Here's a good pros and cons list to consider

Pros

-Happier chickens
-Generally healthier chickens
-More room=exercise and ability to have more chickens
-They will eat less food

Cons

-Easy targets for predators
-Generally more prone to diseases and parasites
-Can get hurt and killed more easily.

Good luck!
 

TwoCrows

🌻🐣🌻
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,959
107,306
1,712
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Hello there and welcome to BYC!
frow.gif


Yes, free ranging can be a scary affair! I can't let my birds out without supervision because of all the predators.

As for the Turkey, yes there is a disease that can cause these feather skins not to fall off at all. I am not sure of the name of it. But being kept in poor conditions will make this disease worse.

Have you talked to the management about these birds? Maybe you can bring them home and give them a cleaner and nicer place to live.
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Enjoy all these adventures you are on and welcome to our flock!
 

BantamLover21

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 24, 2013
23,660
1,554
426
welcome-byc.gif
Glad you joined us!

X2 on Mountain Peeps' and TwoCrows' advice. I free range a few large fowl chickens, but not my bantams. Hawks are just too much of a problem in my area.
 

Wyandottes7

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 24, 2013
20,586
1,312
401
Welcome to BYC!
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We're glad to have you.

I don't free range my birds, either. There are way too many predators that could get my little bantams easily. Even my large fowl could be carried away by a fox or attacked by a raccoon.
 
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Grammapat

Chirping
5 Years
Sep 21, 2014
10
1
64
Thanks to all. I'm new to the ha ha "petting zoo", and already ruffled a few feathers by examining their rabbits (they told me I could) and saying one had "snuffles" and should be separated. I dare not say anything else. I have dreams of changing that nasty dirt chicken yard into a lush garden, where people could sit and enjoy some REAL chickens. I think every animal there should go to a "rescue" place (they are all pathetic). Would like to see Silver Wyandottes, Rhode Islands, Brahmas. Beautiful, healthy, friendly animals. Like THAT would happen! But I realize I don't know enough about food, enriched environment (yes, even chickens need toys!), medical stuff. I've been all over the site and looks like I need to find some books. I remember painting my roosting bars with something to kill mites. THOSE poor chickens don't even have anything to roost on. It's just so nasty, and the people are so arrogant, don't know if I can work there long enough to get any cred.

PS that's a butterfly bush in my yard.
 
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LIChickens

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 8, 2014
780
22
88
Long Island, NY
Welcome to BYC!

You will find a lot of good information here. Keep on asking questions and you will get many good answers.

You may also want to read the FAQ below.

The petting zoo is sending the wrong message. If that is what kids think chickens are like, they will become vegetarians.
 

Grammapat

Chirping
5 Years
Sep 21, 2014
10
1
64
I've had a few nice talks with the volunteer coordinator - who for some reason is the barn manager even though she doesn't know anything about the animals. She says the prior 2 woman who used to"run the barn" told her how to care for them, but refused to tell her anything about where they came from or when. She said they acted like it was their personal back yard, then emphatically told someone that the 4-H animals (which the park council wants to use these facilities) will just have to share quarters with the animals there now because "They are MINE!". So she disparages them, but follows their advice and is as bad as them. She said she took the 3 rabbits to a vet, who said they had snuffles, and did I know how to give them antibiotics... it was all I could do to not say "That's what I TOLD you". At least he told her to stop feeding them chicken food and let them have all the timothy hay they want. When I told her that, she said "That's what they've been eating for years and they're not dead"."
But the sadist is the lonely donkey -- I didn't know until I did some research that they should have other equines with them; this poor guy hardly even gets any human interaction. They are like so many other people - have an animal with no thought about what the animal needs.
 
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