training chickens to stay out of yard??

chica-z

In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 23, 2008
81
0
39
Northern WI
Hi,
We are new chicken owners, we have 7 Red Star mutts (some are crossed with ameraucana?, etc...)
We have 8 acres of mostly wooded property in the middle of nowhere and I would like to know if it is possible to train the girls to stay out of the yard and in the woods. We have a crawling baby, so chicky poo in the yard+ baby=one big mess. Is there a way to do this? Am I being completely irrational? They do have a fenced "Fort Knox", but I want to let them free range in the woods and eat more bugs, supplement feed, etc. They've been out and do pretty well, but always seem to want to wander into the yard, and I'm NOT going to stand out there and chase them off every time they're out!
Just reaallly don't want poo all over my yard-there's plenty of woods for them to poo in!!!!
Thanks-
C
 

MissPrissy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
24,434
102
371
Forks, Virginia
If you want them out of the yard fence them out. Chickens are not respectors of bounderies in any way - without a fenced in run where they are forced to keep to their own 'yard'.
 

illinichick

Songster
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
311
2
139
SE Il
The standard answer to that question is "no". You either fence your area in to keep the chickens out, or vice versa. You're right, you can't stand out there all day to keep them out of the yard. They will also tear up your landscaping and garden.
 
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chica-z

In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 23, 2008
81
0
39
Northern WI
What are my options? How high does the fence have to be to keep them out? I have four foot fencing around my landscaped area-Is four foot enough if they are able go anywhere else they please?
Has anyone used the premier one movable fencing-does that stuff work??
 

MissPrissy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
24,434
102
371
Forks, Virginia
My chickens can fly over a 5 foot fence, some can clear a 6 foot fence.

If you love your yard and landscaping build the chickens a large enclosed run.
 

chica-z

In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 23, 2008
81
0
39
Northern WI
I LIKE that idea!!! Actually it HAD crossed my mind, we have a little pen that used to be our dog pen, patio blocks and short fencing. Well, we no longer have a dog, but mabey it would make a good play pen!


So what do you do when guests come and have to scrape chicken poo off their shoes before entering the house? Boy, this free range stuff just got alot more fun!! I'm sure my hubby will love that!!
 

debilorrah

The Great Guru of Yap
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
39,693
122
423
The Carpal Tunnel Rehab Center
It would be cheaper for you to build a coop for the chickens than to try and keep them out of the garden. Seriously. They eat anything and everything. One of mine ate something the other day that gave her the hiccups. As Miss Prssiy said, they have respect for boundaries at all.
 

JessaLynn

Songster
11 Years
Aug 7, 2008
619
1
141
Sandusky County,Ohio
I would build a good size run and then just throw your lawn scrapes,weeds in such to them and there will be plenty of bugs for them to feast on.I always throw left overs,stale bread,ect. to em and they love it. Or just get a tractor coop you can move so they can still get some fresh grass and no worries of them wondering in your yard.Good luck!
 

Akane

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
4,654
51
251
A wooded area in the middle of nowhere doesn't sound like a good chicken free ranging area. Most people end up trying to keep their chickens out of wooded areas like that because that's where predators will hide in the daytime. Alot of the posts I've read on chickens being lost during free ranging were in or along the edge of a wooded area. I've actually been debating how to keep mine away from the streak of woods that extends down to the house. Luckily the rest is across a 40acre field so they shouldn't ever reach it.

Chicken poop isn't as bad as dog poop. The farms I've been on with free ranging chickens it wasn't even noticeable. As kids we'd play around in our friend's yard with free ranging chickens and I don't remember ever ending up with chicken poop on us. It does depend how many chickens you plan to have though.
 

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