wondering away

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by graggy, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. graggy

    graggy Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 1, 2010
    Hi, I have 5 buff orpingtons that I keep in a coop with a run attatched. They are about 9 months old and all laying. I let them out of the run once in the summer but after about 2 hours I corraled them back into the run. I'm worried about them just wondering away. Am I worrying too much? I have about 2.5 acres and in the run its just all dirt. They try to stick there heads through the fence to eat grass. I'm thinking about letting them out but just nervuos they will take off. Do I need to be outside walking around with them when there out or can I take my eyes off of them for a while? Thanks for any help
  2. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    They should stick around all day, and put themselves up at dusk.

    Let them run.
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    When I let my hens out of the run they would travel the fenced yard.I don't mind that.Flying over the fence is my concern.You could stick some netting fence to bamboo poles with zip ties to keep them in one area. I got the 4ft by 50 ft fencing for $8 at lowes.Easy to set up and move around.Low enough for me to step over.
  4. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens will always come home to roost, as the old saying goes. That is unless the neighbor's dog or a coyote, etc. gets to them first. I open my run gate as soon as the sun goes down over the trees and give the Gals about an hour of free-range time almost every evening. They'll spread out all over the back yard chasing bugs but they keep the coop in sight. Sometimes they get too close to the wooded area and our Charlie (dachund/terrier mix) will chase them back away from there. But like clockwork when it's about 15 minutes from dark dark you'll see them drifting back towards the coop. With about 5 minutes to go they're all in the run. And just as the last of the light is about to go the hardcore stragglers are in the coop and on their roosts. We've got 3 acres with about 2 of them in the back where they can wander about and I can keep an eye on them. The property is ringed by thick woods with a lot of underbrush. I have neighbors down the lane about a 300 yards and they have dogs but they've never been a problem. I don't let them out during the day because of hawks, coyotes and fox which are all around looking for a quick snack. But overall I say let them out and let them chase bugs for a while.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    As others said, your problem will most likely be predators, not wandering off. I hate the idea of confining them and was so glad when the dogs got trained; lots of losses before dogs, none since.

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