Super free range hens — help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by greytgrey, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. greytgrey

    greytgrey Chirping

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    We have a small flock of five hens, who are getting more and more brave with exploring our neighborhood. We have 1 acre, and a 4 to 6 foot fence that surrounds about 1/3 acre in the backyard. When we first moved here, ours was the newest house in the neighborhood, built in 2007. Since we got here, construction is going up everywhere and I think the chickens see people building and because they’re social they want to hang out with them. Anyway, I know that once these new houses are finished, the neighbors won’t want chickens eating their new landscaping. We do not have a budget to secure the fence part of our backyard, or really even to build a run. Also, I think it would be a lifestyle worsening for the birds to shut them into their small coop. Any ideas how to encourage them to stay in our yard, other than consistently walking them back when they get out? They have started crossing the road, they can get fly really high, and they seem very comfortable with strangers and pets.
     
  2. ButtonquailGirl14

    ButtonquailGirl14 Crossing the Road

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    A fence is the only way... have you heard of electric poultry netting?
     
  3. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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    You could clip their wings, but that might make them more vulnerable to predators. You just might have to squeeze a fence or pen into the budget.
     
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  4. Dog kennel fencing is relatively inexpensive. You can check Craigslist for bargains. There are also cat kennels that have tops. Good luck!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Yep.....poultry netting is to keep predators out won't likely keep chickens in.

    Best way to go...start saving your pennies and scavenging materials.
     
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  6. Perris

    Perris Crowing

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    they will range less far if you offer them more food, and if you do it little and often at irregular intervals during the day, then they'll stay in earshot longer in the hopes of an easy meal. That's been my experience in a similar situation.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    I use plantings of my own that provide cover well away from property boundary. Multiple plantings. Also have more than one feeding station, possibly with something different in each. Fencing / electrified poultry netting can work to contain birds when birds also properly clipped. The overwhelming majority of people clipping are not doing it correctly. See linked thread below.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...with-perimeter-fencing.1261276/#post-20243847

    A 1-acre plot is a bit tight even for five birds. You can make it appear bigger by providing a compost bin to work on for insect forages. I have about 20 birds that will stay on about 6 acres if fed about 3/4 what they want in feed. The balance they make for by foraging. Acreage required varies with season, locality and how landscape is managed. I am blunt so if you disagree, then shut up. LOL
     
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  8. greytgrey

    greytgrey Chirping

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    Jul 25, 2019
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    My Coop
    Thanks, everyone, for the ideas!
     
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  9. sorce

    sorce Songster

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    I used this fencing to make my run for mad cheap.
    Capture+_2019-10-18-08-49-18.png Capture+_2019-10-18-08-48-51.png Capture+_2019-10-18-08-48-03.png

    Reckon you can make a decent sized run/tractor with that last bit.
    Maybe trade some eggs for the negotiation!

    Sorce
     
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  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    Your new neighbors are likely to have dogs, and without fencing, one 'free ranging' dog will wipe out your flock in a few minutes one day.
    Sooner or later every possible predator will show up, and the birds do need a safe place to 'roam'.
    Mary
     
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