No coop, best variety to let free range?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by McPhersonFarm, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. McPhersonFarm

    McPhersonFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am wanting to get some free range chickens in order to keep pests away around my house mainly and also in the yard. We have six acres and I was thinking I can build a coop only (no run) and let them free range and hopefully come in at night. So, my questions are this. Is their a particular breed that tends to stay close to the house and not roam as much? Should I leave them in the coop/pen for a month or so so they know that is their home?
     
  2. showbarnmom

    showbarnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its said to leave new chickens in their coop for several days to two weeks before letting them out so they know it is home. As far as a breed, I don't have any suggestions sorry.
     
  3. McPhersonFarm

    McPhersonFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok thanks for your help! I guess I am really wondering about best breed for bug eaters as I have a plant nursery and LOTS of insects everywhere!
     
  4. showbarnmom

    showbarnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm no expert, but any birds going to enjoy the bugs, but since your free ranging, I would suggest looking into game birds/mixes. I have about 30-35 game mixes that free range at my work. I've yet to come across one taken down by a predator. They seem to just be "scrappy" and more willing to defend themselves. And they don't seem to wander either. There are lots if different breeds of game birds, too, but it's something to think about.
     
  5. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sure, you could just build a coop, and let them freerange. They'll go back in the coop at night. That's what I did, got away with it for almost a full year. Then Mr. Fox came by and killed 9 one sunny afternoon. Then a few months later I lost another 7. As long as you can take in stride attacks like that, you can freerange. I didn't like it so much, so I bought 400' of electrified poultry netting and surrounded the coop with it. My chickens get out every now and again to freerange the property, but somebody HAS to be out there with them. The fox here have proved to be real opportunistic.
    Jack
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I second the vote for game birds. They're scrappy free rangers, good mommas and decent at avoiding predators.

    If it's mainly insect control you're wanting, you might also look into guineas.
     
  7. McPhersonFarm

    McPhersonFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you mean chickens that are game birds? I'm kinda new to chickens so I'm not exactly sure what you mean. I know my fiance said he doesn't want guineas but I might be able to convince him LOL will they raise their own?
     
  8. showbarnmom

    showbarnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Look up "old English game hen/bird" or oegb in the forums. That's what I would recommend. I've got about 8-10 I'm giving away, to bad your not close!
     
  9. PineTopFarm

    PineTopFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Chickens will be hard on your plants if you plan to let them free in the nursery. They can desimate a garden. My Marans seem to cause the least damage to plants as they are not so aggressive in scratching. I would seriously rethink guineas. Guineas do well in gardens.
     
  10. McPhersonFarm

    McPhersonFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, you think the guineas would be the best bet as far as the plants and they still are good at getting bugs etc
     

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