Should I let my chickens free-range in a neighborhood?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by EmZoWe, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. EmZoWe

    EmZoWe Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2015
    When I mean neighborhood, I mean houses that are only 30 feet away from each other. Maybe a bit less, even.
    I got some chicks a week ago, only four because that's the max that's allowed in my town. I've been debating on letting them out to roam when I'm home.
    One side has a five foot tall fence, but the other house doesn't have a fence. (Left) They're a pretty nice family, and I know their daughter from school. My concern is if they'd mind my chickens on the backyard.
    You see, if I do free range them, I'm definitely going to try to socialize them and get them to respond to their name. We have a stream and some trees in the back and it's really shallow. Also, you can find many different bugs. (Grasshoppers and crickets are really numerous in there). If they do free range, do you think they'd go back there rather then to the neighbors lawns? Or should I not free-range them at all?
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    You need to try to make sure they stay on your property.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Your birds need to be on your property always. Fencing is key here, and selecting breeds that aren't noted to be good flyers or wide ranging. You need to build another fence! Mary
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.

    Agreed. Chickens can be hard on landscaping. They dig and scratch up yards and gardens and eat plants. I would not be pleased if someone else's chickens dug up my yard.
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    Your neighbors wouldn't mind. Until they started stepping in chicken crap all the time. Your chickens will go over there. If the law allows you to have only 4 chickens it also probably has other restrictions, like keeping them confined.
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X 2 - they can "free range" all you want, within the confines of your fenced property lines. Allowing them to be "at large" in the neighborhood in general is poor form, sets your birds up for poor outcome and also puts another black mark in the "con" column the next time a discussion of local chicken ordinances comes up which puts the rights of all chicken owners in that live in city limits in danger. Chickens have no more business wandering off their owner's property than any other animal, say a dog who might also be out "free ranging" and take a fancy to a nice chicken dinner?
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
    2 people like this.
  7. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    It would be much better if you built them a big pen out of wire fencing to keep them contained on your property. Just use the push-in stakes and you can move it around to new areas now and then. That's what I did when I lived in a neighborhood. It also keeps them safer if you don't have a fenced yard.


    What kind of chicks did you get?
  8. Monguire

    Monguire Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2014
    Manassas, VA
    That this question even needs to be asked truly boggles my mind. That you decided to exercise your lawful right to maintain 4 chickens on your property is all well and good. Your neighbors though should not be forced to deal with the consequences of your decision.

    Your rights to enjoy/maintain a flock end at your property line. Period. Once animals leave your control (i.e., property) they are nuisance-animals and neighboring property-owners are well within their rights to affect their removal.

    There is a reason for the adage "Good fences make for good neighbors." Please be a good neighbor and don't burden yours with your choices. No good will come of it and it's just not worth the stress/hostility down the line.

    That said...Congratulations! I hope that you find this new adventure as fulfilling as the rest of us here on BYC! :thumbsup
    4 people like this.
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    The above posters are correct, but I would also like to point out that the hens will be very vulnerable to the neighborhood dogs. And that will not be good.
  10. vttrissy

    vttrissy Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 21, 2015
    Middlesboro, KY
    In general, I agree with the other posters here. The only exception would be if you have a good relationship with your neighbors, ask their permission ahead of time, and you would all enjoy watching the chickens. You can even share eggs from time to time.
    I don't see much difference between free range chickens roaming the neighborhood and house cats being let outside. Just my two cents.

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