Roaming Chickens

wlightning3

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 14, 2014
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Does anyone have advise on how to break in chickens slowly to stay in the yard when not in the coop ? We added a run yesterday to the surrounding coop area we built and they have many avenues out of the inclosure. Is it necessary to fully enclose the top as well ? I have concerns of wandering dogs.
 

TwoCrows

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10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
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Welcome to BYC!

Yes, you will need to close off these escape routes out of the run if you want them to stay in the run. If they can get out, they will. And be very careful letting them roam with loose dogs. Most dogs see chickens as dinner and you can lose your entire flock.

Good luck and welcome to our flock!
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
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Mar 9, 2014
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Does anyone have advise on how to break in chickens slowly to stay in the yard when not in the coop ? We added a run yesterday to the surrounding coop area we built and they have many avenues out of the inclosure. Is it necessary to fully enclose the top as well ? I have concerns of wandering dogs.
Are you in an area with a decent population of predatory birds? If so, you have the concern of attacks from above, so a cover will help to protect against that. The other benefit of a covered top is keeping your birds in - if the fence is high enough and/or if you clip one wing (one is better than both) you can reduce/eliminate that issue, but there is still a risk - it's a matter of how much risk you do/don't want to accept - really that comes down to a lot of issues in chicken keeping such as free range/vs fenced run, top cover or no, confine to coop at night or not, building with the intent of fencing in (containing your animals) or fending out (keeping predators away from yoru animals) etc - it's all a matter of a series of personal judgment calls.
 
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Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
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Feb 18, 2011
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Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Some good points above. X3, you will have to make them stay in the yard/run via fencing, wing clipping etc if that is where you want them, they can not really be "trained" to. Netting is used to keep chickens in and birds of prey out, it doesn't do much good against other predators. You might want to check out the Predator forum for ideas on dealing with dogs or whatever is in your area https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/13/predators-and-pests
 

wlightning3

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 14, 2014
14
0
24
Thanks everyone for the good advise on many levels. I live on the edge of a National Forest so yes everythings here somewhere. Havent seen any pred birds in my general area but their here and of coarse owls. Most dogs here are old, deaf and blind describes 3. My own dog and a couple younger that live around here that waddle in are concerns. IDK guy right up the road has a turkey 7 roosters and many chickens that stay there and roam. Seems like their fine but am sure not without some loss. Guess Ill just have to cover it. Wanted to give them more freedom. Thanks.
 
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Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
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Oregon
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Thanks everyone for the good advise on many levels. I live on the edge of a National Forest so yes everythings here somewhere. Havent seen any pred birds in my general area but their here and of coarse owls. Most dogs here are old, deaf and blind describes 3. My own dog and a couple younger that live around here that waddle in are concerns. IDK guy right up the road has a turkey 7 roosters and many chickens that stay there and roam. Seems like their fine but am sure not without some loss. Guess Ill just have to cover it. Wanted to give them more freedom. Thanks.

You can offer the best of both worlds by having a secure run for them to be in for times when you are not present and then let them out to "free range" during times that you are home and can offer an ear or eye to bump up their security by being able to intercede should something start to go amiss.
 

subhanalah

Crowing
5 Years
Electric netting as a fence. It's portable and keeps the chickens in and dogs out. This is no substitute for a proper and secure coop at night though.


If you have a lot of raptors, you will either need to fully enclose the top (netting, wire, pvc) or provide many low shelters/hiding spits for your chickens in addition to a roster to watch the flock as well as ceding to the losses you will encounter.
 

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