Roaming Free Rangers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TammyTX, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. TammyTX

    TammyTX Crowing

    Feb 16, 2009
    I thought that free range chickens stayed fairly close to their within a couple hundred feet? Well, not so say my birds!! They are ranging into the neighbors yard (they don't complain but neither can I if their dogs snack on my birds...) about 400 foot from their coop. Yet they avoid the shrubby cover and prefer to dig around cleared areas under trees...and my landscape beds. Why? I thought they would head toward the cover of undergrowth...

    Do you think it's because I have 3 roosters ? I've noticed that they all take off in different directions.
  2. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Do they know to go to the coop at dusk? If not, try confining them to the coop so they know it is their home. When mine slip past me at the gate to the run, they never get further than 5 ft from the fence surrounding the run. They just eat the grass and follow the fence around their run (190 ft) .

    I do not do free-range because I cannot watch 24 chooks and also because I do not want their poop on our porch, sidewalks, and lawn furniture. They are all like pets so no doubt they would soon learn to hang out near to back door for treats and for our company. And, I do not want them ripping up my shrub beds either. Free ranging does have the advantage of lowering your feed bill as well as giving them a variety of living protein in the form of bugs to eat that are not in their run. Unfortunately, it also guarantees flock losses, not if, but when. [​IMG]
  3. TammyTX

    TammyTX Crowing

    Feb 16, 2009
    They come back to the roost in the early evening. They are nearly a year old (I need to update the bottom of my signature line) but they have only been free ranging for about three months.

    You mean I should have lower feed bills???!! [​IMG] ...yeah, no.

    They have a 50x50 chicken yard but the chickens all pile up near the gate just waiting to be let out (they usually only free range from 2:30-5:30/dusk except on weekends, then it's all day). [​IMG] ....frustrating.

    My husband complains daily about the chicken poop in the yard but they are doing the weed whacking for him around the buildings.
  4. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    Oh we used to find my grandfather's hens a quarter mile up the road. The little buggers.

    I guess it's just like anything else -- if they feel comfortable in a place, and feel they have enough cover, they'll go as far out as they can in the time they're given.
  5. big medicine

    big medicine custom Brahmas

    Mar 6, 2009
    Having multiple roosters may be somewhat of a factor. Often the subordinate roosters will each try to lure hens out of sight and hearing range of the "boss" rooster, or each other, for a little, quality, private time with the ladies.

    The breed also may determine to a certain degree their natural ranging tendancies. Some breeds are known to be wide foragers. Do you notice any variation in your flock by breed?
  6. rosaline

    rosaline Songster

    Dec 14, 2009
    How many hens have you got? Having three roo's and a small amount of hens may mean that your girls are been pestered a little too much. There is only so much a girl can take [​IMG]
  7. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Songster

    My neighbors have chickens that get into my yard, and because I keep purebred birds that I don't want mixing with thiers, it drives me crazy. I just wanted to add that you might want to talk to your neighbors if you havn't already and make sure your chickens are not bothering them.
  8. GrannySue

    GrannySue Songster

    My approx 1/3 acre lot is completely fenced and holds 8 ducks plus 8 chickens. No roo.
    When the chickens were younger they used to get through the fence and wander around. Fortunately no car hit them (it's a very quiet dead end) and none were ever taken by a dog.
    They always come back before dark and put themselves to roost.
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I agree. I only have one rooster, but my chickens have been known to range to the other side of the farm - 40 acres away. They roam more in the wintertime it seems.
  10. TCLynx

    TCLynx In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2008
    Central Florida, USA
    I use cheap plastic fencing, netting, shade cloth, whatever to create "paddocks" for my chickens to range around in. That way I can kinda keep them from going where I don't want them. I don't think the neighbors would appreciate them in their yards much and I don't want anyone complaining about the birds cause then I would probably have to get rid of them.

    Anyway, the plastic fencing isn't a fool proof way to keep them contained since any of my girlz can flap jump their way over a three foot high fence but as long as I move it often and give them plenty of space/variety with some fresh green, they are usually content to stay in their paddocks. They really love it when I move the fencing around, it's like the best treat ever to explore a new area.

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