Turnout / Grazing / Free Range Time?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sheribaz, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. sheribaz

    sheribaz Hatching

    Nov 29, 2010
    Again, my thanks to all for the feedback on my "should I ask neighbor" permission post. I just love this website and this forum. Fellow chicken-lovers rock.

    I'm going to proceed with the plans to build the coop and run. It will be on the side of my garage that the bad neighbors won't see. If they never see chickens running around in my backyard (I've really thought about this over the last few days, and it is true that they are rarely in their backyard), then they won't know I have them. So I'm going to go ahead and move forward. IF I see the old man outside, and the opportunity feels right, I may approach him and let him know. I'm still thinking on that...

    Next question is, how much grazing time (if any) is required for the girls? In addition to the Hawaiian-style coop (size for 4-5 chickens, but of course I'll only have 2), there's a 2' high run below it, and we're also going to build an additional, attached, 6' long run (3-4' high -- have to decide) by 3' wide along the side of the garage for them to graze. If I have this, do I need to worry so much about letting them graze in my backyard? If I decide I want to do this with them, I would probably research one of those moveable mesh covers that protect them from birds or stray cats. But I want to feel like I'm not mistreating them if they get virtually no backyard free-range time. Is that cruel?
  2. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    If you have enough room in the run, they dont really NEED ranging time as far as I know. Mine however, have come to expect it, as evidenced by the gathering around the run gate in the afternoon...I love to watch them run around the yard & interact with the goats. Treat time is especially funny.
    Ranging gives them a chance to eat grass & bugs--a 'green' form of bug prevention.
    I usually let mine range from mid-afternoon (after they've laid their eggs) until they roost--generally about 3 hours worth or so.
  3. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    My 23 assorted poultry run from dusk to dawn. But it is not required, but its very good for them.
  4. abhaya

    abhaya Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    no need to free range if they have a good run. I put straw down in part of the run and toss treats in it to give them something to do. They love to dig and scratch.

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