Wish we could free-range :(

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by foxyloxy, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. foxyloxy

    foxyloxy In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2010
    Hey all,

    I've been wishing that we could free-range our chickens, but unfortunately we have a fairly small backyard, and a 6-foot fence that some of the chickens could surely fly over. I wouldn't worry so much about them flying over the north fence, but if they flew over the south fence, they'd be gonners because of the german shepard that is out 24/7 in that yard. We have our chickens in a run that is approximately 12 x 10 feet and they're completely enclosed.

    ANYway... I was wondering what some good alternatives are to free-ranging? We do pull grass out and give them clumps. We also give them bugs and stuff to scratch around with and in and play with, along with treats and such. I just wish so much that they could come out and be in the yard!

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
  2. paddock36

    paddock36 Songster

    Dec 24, 2008
    Ocala, Florida
    What type of chickens do you have? I have 6ft tall privacy fence around my yard and I let my hens out to free range in the evening and have never had a problem with them trying to fly out.
  3. buildingmyark

    buildingmyark Songster

    May 2, 2010
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    You can always cut their wing feathers back, especially on your smaller/lighter chickens like Leghorns, Hamburgs,Seabrights, EE's etc... My Hamburgs were up on the roof of my house one day exploring (about 9 feet up at it's lowest point)....I brought out some treats and they flew down off the roof. I netted them and cut their wing feathers back and havnt had a problem since. My Leghorns preferred to go over the 5' fence, they got their feathers cut too. If you have to keep them penned up, get a head of cabbage,cut it in half and hang it in the run just above their head level....that'll keep them occupied for quite awhile.
  5. foxyloxy

    foxyloxy In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2010
    I have several different types.. California Whites, EE, BO, large Cochins, RIR, and a Wellsummer.

    I like the tractor idea... how would I herd them in and out of it? Lure them with treats maybe?

    And I did try the cabbage idea, they loved it! I actually put a whole head in there [​IMG]

    I've just seen them fly to the top of our 8 foot tall run, so I know they could easily clear the fence. At least the CW's.
  6. lovinlife

    lovinlife Songster

    After raking my yard in the fall, I dump my leaves in the chicken run. They love scratching through the leaves. Keeps them occupied for weeks.

    My brother keeps his chickens in his urban backyard. They are behind a 4 foot chain link fence during the day and have a secure coop at night. They don't fly out of the penned area during the day. I agree that you could clip the ends of their flight feathers to keep them from flying. Make sure you read up on how to do it so you don't clip too short and cause bleeding.

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