Question about free ranging and children

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SandraMort, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    I'm trying to grasp the logistics here. I'm probably moving to a rented apartment in a house with a beautiful big (eight acres!) yard & giant barn w/ more space than I need. The landlady has expressed a preference that I free range the chickens to help kill off the ticks on the property and I agreed gladly.

    Then I got home and it occurred to me that if I have a rooster or two, they'd be free ranged, too. I've got four kids. The two little ones would never go out unsupervised, but letting my older two (7.5 and almost 10 when we move) go out and play unsupervised safely is part of why we're leaving the city! I can't tell them they can only play when I have time to go out with them.

    I could not free range the birds. I could build a smallish (aiming for 10 square feet per bird) fence around the door to the barn and shoo them inside before the schoolbus comes home and not let them free range on the weekends and holidays. I could skip the free range idea altogether. I could free range them and worry a lot. Or... something else I haven't thought of.

    Please, any voices of experience?
  2. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Heya -

    Having a rooster doesn't neccesarily mean it will be a mean rooster.

    I have a few roos, and I have had a lot of roos before, and the big roos all free ranged (too many of them for the girls). They were aggressive to other chickens, but never to humans (well, one got aggressive, and I kicked him over the fence - he never tried it again).

    Editing to add here -- MOST of my roos are real sweeties - it was only some huge NH Reds who were aggressive - might have been the breed.

    I would say just try to find a good roo - there are many more of them out there than most people think - roos tend to get a bad rap.

    Peace -
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2008
  3. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I assume your conflict is because you're afraid the roo might hurt the kids. Some roos are quite sweet. If you get a mean one, replace him.
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    7.5 and 10? they can be taught how to deal with a roo if he is assertive of his territory (thats what he's doing by the way - not being mean).
    Chances are good that if the birds are not confined, there will be little issue... if the kidlets stay away frm the hens and chickens, in general.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Question about free ranging and children

    Yes, I think children grow best when raised free-range [​IMG]

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Advice-wise, what the others have said; you have lots of options but why close them off til you see what kind of roos you end up with.

  6. serendipity22

    serendipity22 Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    I haven't had a problem free ranging my chickens while in the proximity to my 3 year old. Only ONE of my roosters ever showed any aggression and it was removed from the property on the same day. It was Black Jersey Giant.

    I currently have a splash Marans rooster and a cuckoo Marans rooster running loose. But I've also had a RIR and a Delaware rooster. None of them were aggressive. (But maybe they know that I will 'put them in a pot' if they turn mean.) [​IMG]
  7. TheKidAndDame

    TheKidAndDame Songster

    Aug 11, 2007
    Gator Nation, FL
    My roo lets my 6 mo old baby pet him. He has never been aggressive to us, only the one hen he does not get along with. Then again, I have had him since he was 2 months old. We held him regularly and now a 1.5 years old he still has no problems with us picking him up. Unsocialized roos or ones I was not familiar with I would be a little wary of however.
  8. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    With that much room, the children will probably not be bothered by the roosters!! Give it a try. Roosters usually are not out to get children, only if they feel extremely threatened or their flock, they may attack. Usually.
  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    SandraMort said:
    Question about free ranging and children

    Patand chickens answered:
    Yes, I think children grow best when raised free-range smile

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I let my chickens and Rooster free range all the time with my children (even my three year olds - although, like you, they were always under supervision by older people). I did end up with an aggressive Roo toward my children. The first day he went for my 8 yr. old daughter was the day I started looking for a new home for him.

    I suggest you sit down with your children and explain that sometimes a Roo can become overly protective of his girls and that he may decide to try and "get" one of them. Then, tell them how to react. In other words, prepare them ahead of time. I didn't talk to my kids about it before hand because he'd been such a nice Roo up till the day he 'turned against us!' -- that was my mistake. I then did sit down and talked to my children about his behavior and what they could and should do. That gave them 'power' over him and they weren't afraid to go outside if he was out. We weren't able to find him a new home for several weeks but my kids were Ok with him being around since they knew how to be top Roo and/or they would just plain old stay away from him.​
  10. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    How bout a bantam roo?

    I have a bantam roo - I can't let my 4 year old walk around without being supervised (with or without a rooster! [​IMG] ) but my 8 year old son can handle him!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: