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Who has NEVER let their chickens Free Rang?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TonySorrento, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    South Wales, New York
    The reason I am asking this is some folks act like if the chickens are not let out of the coop and run to free range that there will be big time problems.

    I would like to hear from those who only allow their chickens in their coop and run.

    If the run is maintained and is of proper sq/ft (10+ per bird), and they are raised where they never have free ranged before ... will that help?

    I think of Parakeets and the like ... they seem happy ... you don't miss what you never had ..... and they are animals ....

    So to you that have not free ranged ... let your voice be heard [​IMG]

  2. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    I have just recently started adding things to my run to make it more appealing to stay in. I would love to keep my girls in while I'm at work, but I feel bad so I let them roam.
    I added Elderberry starts, to the back of the run with dirt and sand and pine needles. I want to grow peas and such along the fence run. I won't feel as bad when they have to stay in. I don't look down on anyone who does not want their birds to roam. I am interested also in what others have in their runs. I want to set up a water mister this summer. Do you have perches in your run? Good thread to start. [​IMG]
  3. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    South Wales, New York

    I am building my run and coop for my first adventure with chickens [​IMG] My coop will be 9'x12' with an attached run of 10'x28' ... I am getting my first batch of chickens this weekend [​IMG] and I will be having sand in the run ... I also plan on putting perches in it and am interested in other ideas peeps have as well ... so let's hope this thread takes off with some great ideas!

    I will have 20 chickens of all different breeds, so I am sure some will act differently than others ... should be fun! I am still planning on trying to free range for an hour or so before dark, but I don't know if it would be counterproductive as they will be "cooped up" for most of their lives. I wonder if it would make it easier on them to just keep them in the coop and run and to not let them taste free ranging ...

  4. vjbakke

    vjbakke Songster

    Mar 21, 2011
    Our 5 girls have a 12' x 12' run, they have never free ranged because we can't in our town. We have some roosts outside for them, they have some chairs out there that they jump on sometimes. They have their dust bath area. We haven't had any problems with them not free ranging. If we lived where they could go free in the day I sure would let them. They all seem happy and healthy. In the summer we lay down grass clipping for them to scratch in and eat, they loved this last summer.
  5. cooped up

    cooped up Chirping

    Feb 6, 2012
    Portland, Or
    If i was more rural I would let them range a little in the afternoon, but being as I'm in the city I keep them in the run, They are fine without any extras.I had given them the backyard, but in the fall they almost took all the grass. I re-seeded it in the spring last year. When the grass starts to grow again this spring I will let them out on a limited basis, especially when I'm intrducing my new chicks to them. I want them out where there is more room than in the coop/ run.
  6. tweetysvoice

    tweetysvoice Songster

    Dec 30, 2011
    Lawrence, KS
    My Coop
    I'm going to follow this thread cuz I just got my 4 today and they will be in a 25x25 run their whole life. We aren't allowed to have them free roaming in town either, and honestly - I'd be scared to do that with the threat of hawks. My thought on this is if you are getting new chicks - they won't know any different, therefore they won't know what they are missing. It might be different if you get adult birds that have free roamed their whole life and then are all of a sudden stuck in a pen.
  7. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl Songster

    Jul 30, 2011
    I am subscribing to this as well.

    I used to let mine free range, by their own choice, since they flew over their fence all the time, and then had to stop due to dog attacks. I just can't handle that emotional stress!! [​IMG] I had to clip their wings, and now the four of them are stuck in a 12' X 9' run. [​IMG]

    But no worries, I know that's way too small for them so I let them out occasionally with close supervision, and will be expanding their run very soon to about 45' X 20'. That will allow them access to our back deck ( where they love to visit with us ) and will also allow me to get two or three more chicks this spring without worrying about space! Hooray!

    I really do wish I could free range them, though. It was so much fun to go outside at any given time and be surprised by a chicken, running at you full speed, or sitting proudly on a motorcycle, or visiting with the neighbors ( the neighbors loved that! ), but I'd rather them stay alive than have to worry about predators constantly.

    If I could afford it I would fence in our entire back yard, but I'm afraid that's just not going to be able to happen any time soon.

  8. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    South Wales, New York
    This is great stuff and it is what i am thinking will happen if never allowed to free range ....

    When you say "let them out" I am guessing you mean out of the coop and into the run, right? Your last sentence confuses me a little ...

    Exactly my thinking .... I don't want to lose a bird to a predator ....

    I am so torn ... that is the reason for this post ... My wife started a business with plants and trees and she does NOT want them destroying her plants. So she OK'd the chickens and she is excited about them ... but she wants them in a run, or if they free range, she wants them watched .... I could do that and I have gone back and forth with watching them the last hour of light when I can .... but herein lies my concern .... when they cant, are they going to be jerks and not lay for me ... will they pick at each other? Hence my post .... if they have never free-ranged, will they be happier ...
  9. Quote: I think the answer is 'yes'. Folks who are able to let their birds out occasionally and live w/ the consequences (read: the complaining!!) impress the heck outta me. How to live w/ the cacophony?!

    Birds love, love to free range. I understand that not all folks can let that happen.

    So when I let mine out and they get a taste for it, I know I'm introducing them to their idea of Chicken Heaven.

    And when they don't get it, they sure as the dickens let me know about it.
  10. MonsterMom

    MonsterMom In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2012
    Oh! Great thread idea. I would love to know how to keep my impending chicks happy in the run. I would love them to free-range, but we have hawks during the day, owls at night, and coyotes, possums, and skunks to boot. So running around is out of the question.

    I was thinking of planting some sort of edible climbing plant, for shade in our heat, and a treat when it fruits.

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