Not sure this goes here, but it might...

missnu01

Songster
7 Years
Nov 16, 2012
2,749
147
226
We live on 4 acres, perhaps half wooded, and half not...My chickens will not go into our large open field...which is where I always envisioned them being...but they leave the coop and head into the woods...they basically follow the same path each day...they come out of the coop and go up and left into the woods and they slowly keep heading left and follow the slope down to the field, but they stay on the wooded bank, then they come up the bank into the yard in front of the house, and then go to the back of the house, and then they head back to the coop. I have a lot of chicks getting ready to go into the coop and i was really hoping that having so many chickens would keep the grass trimmed, and also get some of the 4 million spiders out of the field down there, but they won't go into the field...even though it is nothing but grass and bugs. I am assuming because it is so open, and the woods are so covered...Is there anyway to entice the chickens to go into the field other than fencing them in down there? Perhaps if everyday I go down there and toss their scratch around...
I also assume it is chicken survival instinct keeping them out of the field, it is the only place on the property they don't have absolute cover, but I have seen very very few threats from the sky and I want them to control the grass and spiders. So any suggestions on getting my chickens to head to the field would be great.
 

GoldDogsMom

Songster
8 Years
Aug 10, 2011
850
13
111
Indiana, PA
It's natural for your chickens to choose the safer area-I doubt you will be able to "convince" them to go in the open field! I don't know where you are lcoated but here is western PA we have issues with hawks and I am happiest when I see the leaves on the trees and my chickens happily foraging under them!
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
526
328
Ohio
Your open field doesn't feel safe to chickens. Also, ditto cafarmgirl above--our hens won't go near the pasture unless it's mown. Ours will range all over our yard when we they can find a way to sneak out of the pasture, however...
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Hens won't keep your grass short--they don't graze--so there's no way they'll keep your field trimmed for you. Instead, YOU have to keep the field trimmed for THEM. Invest in a couple of goats, instead. They will keep your grass trimmed and seem to deter hawks, at least at our place.
 

missnu01

Songster
7 Years
Nov 16, 2012
2,749
147
226
Well they keep all the grass near the house low, and the grass in the field is still low right now...it won't be for long though... Everything has just started growing really
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
526
328
Ohio
Huh? Mine constantly eat grass. I'd call that grazing. I don't think they'd keep a field mowed, but they definitely eat grass.

They sure won't keep the grass trimmed. They only eat the tender and sweet bits while everything else grows tall until it overwhelms them.
 

missnu01

Songster
7 Years
Nov 16, 2012
2,749
147
226
I figure that they avoid the field because it is the only open space...everything else is woods...the chickens do seem to love the woods...
My chickens seem to graze a bit...they walk through a patch of grass snipping off the tops of all the grass...if I'm sitting close to the ground with them it literally makes a snip snip sound like scissors..
 

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