teaching free-range chickies boundaries?


In the Brooder
10 Years
May 7, 2009
Any way to do this? Hehe I have 2 Barred Rock and 2 Rhode Island Reds. Chickies are about 12 weeks old and live outside in their coop and are getting fat and happy. We live in the country on 2 acres next door to the in-laws who also have two acres.

So every night they put themselves to bed in the coop like the good little girls they are. Then every morning (except the weekends, he says it's his day off) my 5 year old lets them out and they run, as fast as their little legs can go, next door to the in-laws trees and yard.

I go round them up and bring them home but they go right back.

The in-laws haven't said anything but I think they would rather the chickies stay over here. Any ideas?

ETA: I can ask this in the feeding section but they don't eat much chicken food. Maybe 2 cups a week. I feed them fruit and veggies, bread scraps and things like that and I think they eat a lot of grass. Is this okay?
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I know that they say necessity is the mother of invention, sounds like someone would come up with little bitty shock collars for the chicks..... LOL
Really I would like to know also....
My girls do the same thing, run to the neighbors tree.
I have chased them home, blocked where they go under the fence, but they can just run out the end of the driveway. They'll play, eat, scratch under the tree for awhile, then come home. They have done this for years, as they are 7 now, and I still have not figured out how to stop them.

Your chickens are probably fine with what you are feeding them.
I take it you don't have trees in your yard? I think it's instinctive for chickens to have some sort of cover overhead, to protect them from hawks and such. My girls love to hang out under our mulberry tree (once the berries start dropping they will have purple feet and poop!) or under our trailer, where ever it happens to be parked. Maybe you could create some sort of arbor for them, in your yard and encourage them to use it by tossing scratch underneath for awhile.
My girls are pretty good about this, but I need to block them from running around me into the neighbors so I walk next to them and stick my foot out when they start to edge over into forbidden territory. This actually works for the most part. They have stopped jumping into the neighbor's garden, mostly because I always threw a big fit and chased them out and picked them up and removed them from it. They learned that this was not good behavior. They still have some trouble with the other neighbor's lawn and lately they have been edging towards the sidewalk, but it is not too big a deal.

I think they may learn, but it'll take time and patience. Maybe build a big outdoor run for them, to fence them in?
You mean they won't just listen to me if I tell them not to go over there? hehe Not even my kids do that.

Their favorite trees are on the border of our properties and that's fine. It just seems lately they've been wandering over in their yard instead of ours.

When the in-laws get back from vacation I'll just ask them to shoo the chickies back over here when they wander.

Maybe I'll teach the dog to gather them up too!

Thanks for the responses.
I have certain flower gardens that I don't want my chicks in. When they go in they get blasted with the water hose. They're starting to learn not to go near but still need a reminder occasionally. Maybe you could ask your in-laws to turn the hose on them to get them to go back into your yard.

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