Need advice on transitioning away from free range

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Emilyrich, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Emilyrich

    Emilyrich Just Hatched

    Mar 28, 2017
    Hello, my husband and I have a small flock of 5 laying pullets, soon to be hens. They have a small run off their coop (about 8x10) but we let them out to free range for at least 4 hours per day while we are home. Unfortunately our yard is very small (1/4 acre) and neighbors are close. They are now going well into neighbors yards and into the road so we decided we can't let them free range here anymore. We were thinking about making a pen to go around the coop and run because extending the run with all that hardware cloth and making it predator proof would be too costly. So essentially instead of letting them out into the yard when I get home, I would let them out into the pen. Does anyone have any suggestions about this or the construction of the pen (height, materials, size, etc.). Also any ideas on how to keep them happy would be great. They love to free range and we really don't want them to be miserable. This starter home is just not the place for free ranging, as we've come to realize. Thanks!
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Peeps are a-peeping Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    That's a great idea. I suggest 4-5 foot welded wire and t fence posts for and economical bigger run to surround the secure run. They will be okay with it.
  3. AkChris

    AkChris Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2014
    SE Alaska
    You might try a temporary fence that you can use paddock style. You can move it around your yard so the chickens can have the benefit of ranging in different areas without visiting the neighbors.

    There are various poultry electric net systems. I don't have much to offer on advice since I don't use them but I know I've seen lots of post on here about them so a search should turn up good info.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC @Emilyrich !

    I'd go with 50' roll of 6' tall 14ga 2x4 welded wire fencing.
    If you set it in a roundish foot print it will help to stand on it's own.
    Then just a few Tposts or large garden stakes,
    especially around a 'door' area, should keep it place just fine.

    I've done this several times to extend my birds run area and to let them till the garden.
    I just roll it up and put it back in the shed when not in use.

    The portable poultry netting is more for keeping predators out,
    might not work well right off the bat with birds that are used to free ranging.

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