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What to do with my free range chickens???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Toi-toi, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Toi-toi

    Toi-toi Songster

    May 12, 2010
    Central MA
    I got 6 of 9.5weeks old SS. They are staying outside since end of June.
    July 4th, I started free range.
    First week, they stayed around coop. It was hot week, everyday like almost or over 90F.
    Most of the time, they didn't come out from under the tree near the coop or stayed under the coop.
    Last a couple of days, we have cool weather with rain, they started roaming around pretty far.

    The coop is in the backyard. The land is butt to high way so back side is all fenced and tall bushes.
    The left side of yard is fenced in and right side is open.
    They started going left side of yard and yesterday they got in to neighbor's yard [​IMG]
    Good thing the dog wasn't out!!
    They didn't jump, they sneak in thru between fence....
    Now they don't spend time around coop any more, they stay under the tree near my house.
    Then when sun is not out, they start roaming around to front yard!!

    Between coop and my house is more than 100ft.
    I don't think it's not like "I don't have space to play" yard.

    Whole yard fenced-in is only my choice for this situation ??
    Or when they get old, get better to stay around coop???
  2. WingingIt

    WingingIt Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    If you free range, they are going to wander, it's just their nature. If you want them to stay in one place/area, you're going to have to contain them in a run or tractors or fenced in area.
  3. Toi-toi

    Toi-toi Songster

    May 12, 2010
    Central MA
    I thought they don't go far out from where the water/foods are.... No??
  4. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009

    Chickens are curious. You will need to fence them in if you don't want them in certain areas.
  5. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Songster

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    My chickens travel 300 yards , ducks 500 yards
  6. TheMainException

    TheMainException Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    Lebanon, PA
    My chickens roam pretty much all over the place on our 2 acres. I thought they'd go on the street or the neighbors yard or around the fence or further into the field...but we only had to chase them back into the yard a few times when they went on the street and out of the neighbors yard. They seem to be pretty content to stay in the yard now although I have only had them for about 2 months.
  7. Toi-toi

    Toi-toi Songster

    May 12, 2010
    Central MA
    I only have little over 1 acre so they will be all over the place, I guess.
  8. Keara

    Keara Songster

    Sep 24, 2009
    My chickens roam about 4 square acres. They love the nieghbors bird feeders in the winter..... good thing my neighbor likes them too!
  9. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chirping

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    Mine *could* go anywhere they want on our couple of acres, but much of it is wooded. One girl likes to explore the woods, but she stays close to the driveway. The rest of the birds strut out of the coop and immediately march up a couple sets of stairs to my front door. The rooster sits for awhile on the top step, at the door, and crows. (And craps - which really annoys the spouse!) The rest mull around in my flower beds out front for a bit, then settle down to dust-bathe in a secluded spot they dug under a bay window, sheltered by a big burning bush. They've done a number on my mulched beds. [​IMG] C'mon, chickens! You could go ANYWHERE in this yard, and you hang out near my front door??? The UPS guy was pretty amused - until the rooster decided he was a threat...

    If they're not hanging out there, they slowly circle the house, hugging the foundation and staying under cover of the plants. They're never interested in going further afield. Weird birds.
  10. Keri78

    Keri78 Songster

    Oct 17, 2009
    I enjoy having mine free range too so I can understand your delima. Is the neighbors dog a "Free ranger" too? I have a neighbor (through the woods) and she has 3 dogs but they stay on her property b/c she has the "invisible electric fence" for them. My chickens will avoid "Dog turf" by all means once they realize where the dogs are. I own a cockapoo(she's harmless...loves to protect our chickens and occassionally chase one for fun)...what breed of dogs they own will help you make this decision too. However, a friend of mine has a big farm with three different breed dogs(weener dog, austrailian shepherd, and a mastive) and all 3 of her dogs live very happily with the chickens. The mastive initially killed a few when he was first introduced to them but after that incident they kept him on a leash while he was around the chickens and he learned that he could be close to them and he didn't have to EAT them![​IMG] Anyway, if you have understanding neighbors I'm sure you can make this work out. If the neighbor was willing to keep her dogs on a leash for a week or so or if you would do the leash "training" with her dogs and introduce them to your chickens while on a leash the dog may understand. I keep my dog on a run(for potty breaks) and the chickens just naturally avoid her when she's outside. On occasion a chicken will get too brave and my dog will chase the chicken away. Hope you can keep free rangin...it's the best! Keri

    PS. When introducing your delima to your neighbors it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a fresh basket of eggs in hand! Fresh eggs go a LONG way in negotiations![​IMG]

    PSS. Mine do stay on our property(5 acres) the also like my flower beds and shrubs to hang out under! One easy solution is a single strand of electric fencing...that would keep the chickies in and the puppies out!
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010

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