Free range - within limits?

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Free range - within limits?

Postby stephan » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:24 am

I'm wondering about chickens wandering off...

I haven't bought chickens yet, the section is 1108 square meters. There's a gap in the fencing for the driveway, plus holes here and there I suppose where chickens could get out if they wanted to.

If I put the coop about in the middle, give them food, water, a nice place to live etc, will they tend to stay?

For those of you with "free range" chickens, is your whole property fenced, or do you rely on the chickens not straying too far from their coop?

Thanks :-)
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Re: Free range - within limits?

Postby Marina » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:38 am

For the first few days your chickens won't stray too far from their coop but they are investigative creatures so yes, they'll check out the gaps and where they lead to. There might be tastier morsels on the other side of the fence :lol:
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Re: Free range - within limits?

Postby sewren » Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:43 am

We were in a similar situation when we first got chooks, and yes, turns out they do wander! Ours, unbeknown to me, used to go and hang out on the green opposite our house, and then one day completely disappeared. We found them by walking the local area listening, and I heard them in a neighbour's garden - they had herded them off the road and were waiting for someone to come looking (and thought it was hysterical that the chooks just followed me home).

In the end we put up a fence on either side of the house so they were restricted to the back garden only, although even after that we had a could of fence-jumpers (over the garden fence). To minimised the fence jumping you can choose what are known as 'heavy breeds', so larger chooks which aren't so inclined to jump/fly over fences.

Another note - I also opened the curtains one morning to find someone on the front lawn stealing one of our chooks, so fences/gates can also be useful in keeping people (and wayward dogs) away. Sad to say, but true.

Please don't let this put you off, though - they are relatively easily contained if you get a breed that suits your situation. We are now on a bigger property and the chooks are fenced in a paddock with relatively low fencing (90 cm at the lowest section) but we rarely get escapees - some of them could easily get over but don't bother.
Seventeen beautiful chooks in a rainbow of breeds and Silver Appleyard ducks!
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Re: Free range - within limits?

Postby stephan » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:27 am

This makes sense. I'll get a gate on the driveway. That's the only bit of my place that isn't fenced, so we should be fine.

There's one low wall but the neighbours are putting in a swimming pool so that wall will have a fence above it soon as well.

I think at this rate, we won't have chickens until January or early February, I've got tons of preparation work to do to make my place chicken friendly but it's going to be fun.
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