No fence, will they run off?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ashleyadavis, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. ashleyadavis

    ashleyadavis In the Brooder

    Aug 14, 2018
    Hi, I have chickens that are both 2.5 months and 3 weeks old.

    Occasionally I let them out but I stay right with them because they typically scatter into their own groups. Having 36 chickens doesn't make it any easier. I am afraid they will wander off and not come back. They have went into the neighbor's fence but ran right back when the dog went after them.. Any experience or advice?

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    rjohns39 likes this.
  2. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Addict

    Aug 20, 2015
    Smith County, TN
    You might want to consider portable fencing but know in advance that at this age they can fly over it if they want. I buy mine from Amazon sells it too.
  3. snow5164

    snow5164 Crowing

    May 16, 2015
    I would not let them run free , as you said there’s dogs near by one mouthful and you’ve lost 4 chicks ☹️.

    Get a dog crate take the plastic tray out so they’re on the grass. A fence won’t help because they will be flying over it soon.

    With 36 it could go bad very fast! Hope for the best but plan for the Worst
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    People overlook how easy it is to train chickens to come to you on a signal.

    First get them used to receiving a regular treat from you while you make a "signal" in the form of a sight and sound cue. I use a clicker you can get from PetSmart for a buck. Or you can use a special word or phrase when handy out treats. In no time, your chickens will come right to you when you use the verbal or sight cue.

    Also, young chicks want to remain close to cover, realizing they are prey, and they usually want to be in close range of security. If there's a dog loose that has access to the area where the chickens range, that's inviting tragedy. Dogs are predators by nature.
  5. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Free Ranging

    Oct 16, 2008
    what size dog crate will hold 36 half grown chickens ??
  6. imnukensc

    imnukensc Crowing

    May 22, 2017
    SC Midlands
    Mine free range on 2 acres. I let them out of the run about 9:30 AM every morning. They don't run off and are back in the coop to roost at dusk. They visit the run a few times a day to get a bite to eat/drink or go in the coop to lay eggs.
    True Patriot and rjohns39 like this.
  7. snow5164

    snow5164 Crowing

    May 16, 2015
    You are asking me what size of dog crate? Obviously this is ment for chicks , the 3 week old would easily have room in a large crate .

    Your not looking for a permanent solution here, just a run on the grass with safety .Why can’t you put them in your run? You can clicker train them all you want , but when that dog comes over ... good luck they won’t be listening to you

    I have Great Dane kennels that I’ve raised chicks in... do you have a better suggestion ??
    True Patriot and townchicks like this.
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I strongly urge you to put up even a temporary COVERED fence of 1" mesh for their out of coop time.

    Other BYC members have actually had a hawk swoop down and attack a chicken within feet of where the person was standing.

    If that dog were to get loose (I understand there's a fence that separates, but the chicks can squirt through the fence?) or a few chicks were to go through the fence, the dog could easily kill a hand full of chicks before you could respond. And with the fence, there is no way you could go over the fence to save your chicks. Fence is cheap. Especially when comparing the cost of the fencing to the emotional cost of "If only I had"... when a predator kills one or more of your babies.
  9. ShanasCastle

    ShanasCastle Chirping

    Aug 8, 2018
    That's fabulous advice! I'm new here too so appreciate the experience & willingness of others to share their practices! Turns out that I may be doing things right without knowing I was training! I love animals and am one of those people who tend to appreciate the company of animals over people. So, as I walk to the coop I'm already talking to them (trying to get them use to my voice, body language, & quick movement). I'm SURE that my neighbors think I am insane I approach, I call "chook, chook, chook". I say "good morning" when opening coop to the run in the morning and placed solar lights outside run/coop. When they come on, I go out, calling "chook...." & Saying "it's bed time". I've only had them about two weeks now and they are already heading for the coop at dusk. I go out after noon with scratch, again telling them what I'm doing. Same, when it's hot and I bring out watermelon or frozen block treats. So far, so good!
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  10. ShanasCastle

    ShanasCastle Chirping

    Aug 8, 2018
    Darn....I forgot! I also downloaded an app of chicken sounds, when they are restless I play a few of the calm hen noises. Trying to get them use to being handled, I hummed to them last night while petting the One hen who allows it. Today, the others are coming closer to me and not so skiddish! Idk if it's right or not but I just employ the Momma tricks. Repetitive, calm, patience, love.
    tomfromsc and rjohns39 like this.

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