Jump to content
My4beautifulboys

Free ranging hens around garden

Recommended Posts

My4beautifulboys

Our new home build on our property is almost at lock up stage. Our old house that we knocked down to make room for the new build, had an enclosed back garden fenced with old asbestos corrugated fence. Which was useful when the children were small, as it gave a safe area to play, and protection from winds, snakes etc. 

 We have to decide whether or not to replace the garden fence and have an enclosed garden. We have 5 chickens and one rooster. And previously they were penned up each night,  and then free ranged in the day. 
But if we didn’t have an enclosed garden space, they’d then free range right close to the house. And it’d be a bit of a nuisance. As they’d poo everywhere, on paths and paved areas. And probably destroy my garden plants.

For those that have hens, do you have them in a separate area, and do they free range? 
I’m thinking we may have to build a large enclosure, and not free range so often. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mishu

We have a large enclosure for our girls. It’s a huge space. We let them out a couple times a week because they do dig up the garden. But they keep the grubs and ticks down.

Our neighbour will occasionally borrow them and them them roam in her yard for the day, as a pest control service :lol:

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pinkflamingo

We have an easement at the back of our property so they have quite a large area, we still lock them in of a night due to various predators. The area is currently a barren dust bowl. We do let them out to forage around the other part of the easement. 
 

i do wonder sometimes about getting a playpen where we can take them out on the front lawn to forage, but I would never leave them out there permanently!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SeaPrincess

We had chickens growing up and they had a large area on the property, but they were allowed out. They were pretty fearless - they’d steal food from your hands! I’ve seen hens on front lawns in our suburban neighbourhood.

I’d probably build some kind of enclosure.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My4beautifulboys

I’ll see if I can attach a photo of our current pen. I do let them out each day though, to free range. Im sure they wait for me to let them out each morning, to scratch and forage around for grass, insects etc! 

I think we will have to build a similar type of enclosure for them, with a run so they have some freedom. 

6B60B0A2-7B7C-4542-BF79-1AACC3D73B6B.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
caitiri

I’ve got a friend that free ranged her chickens by day and it did make her outside area fairly unusable due to the chicken poo everywhere.  In the end she divided her outside space with a fence so the chickens have half.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ytt

We have had foxes visit our house and kill our flock, mostly at night even in their locked pen. Foxes are sly

Our last kill was during the day when they free romed.

Gutted :( 

  • Like 1
  • Sad 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ali-song

Our previous batch were completely free range during the day. In addition to the poo everywhere issue, they completely destroyed our screen doors and we had a bird mite infestation in the house. Plus, the foxes got so bold that our last one was taken at 11 am right in front of DS (then 12-ish, not a baby or anything). Current batch are in a large enclosure, and everyone is much happier. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SeaPrincess

We used to live in a remote town and I’ve just remembered that there was one little run of chickens that were used as an early warning system for something (a disease or something - I don’t remember the details). Anyway, there were no foxes, but the chickens got moved whenever the snakes and goannas found them. There were dingoes too, but the snakes were the biggest problem.

Edited by SeaPrincess

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hills mum bec

Our chickens have an area fenced off about 40sqm.  The only time they leave that area is if the dogs make a hole under the fence.  The dogs leave the chickens alone but they are always trying to get through the fence to eat the chicken scraps.  It’s a PITA when the chickens get out because they poo everywhere and eat our good plants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Etta

I recently bought the Omlet chicken fencing. It is really expensive but so easy to move and it gives them a huge area to roam in. I have linked it up to the door of their pen so we can leave the door open but contain them in the chicken fencing. We can move the fencing around too so they have access to different areas and nothing gets too damaged.

When they totally free range they are thugs. They dig up small plants, strip the silver beet and crap on the paving. Which attracts flies! They are okay doing it now and again but not all the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ali-song
15 minutes ago, Etta said:

I recently bought the Omlet chicken fencing. It is really expensive but so easy to move and it gives them a huge area to roam in. I have linked it up to the door of their pen so we can leave the door open but contain them in the chicken fencing. We can move the fencing around too so they have access to different areas and nothing gets too damaged.

When they totally free range they are thugs. They dig up small plants, strip the silver beet and crap on the paving. Which attracts flies! They are okay doing it now and again but not all the time.

That looks like a great option, thanks! How much do you find yourself moving the fencing? How does it go on gentle slopes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Etta
11 minutes ago, ali-song said:

That looks like a great option, thanks! How much do you find yourself moving the fencing? How does it go on gentle slopes?

I was trying to move it once a week but I have a friend who has it in position permanently. I don't know about slopes because my place is totally flat. But the wire is very floppy so there would be a bit of leeway. It might be worth contacting them to ask.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ali-song

Thanks! I have the go ahead from DH, just need to work out how much we’ll need. 
Our biggest issue at the moment is #*#}* ravens stealing the eggs. We’ve got a very attractive but quite open coop, and they come flying in whenever they hear clucking. 🤬

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
YodaTheWrinkledOne

Our chickens have about 150sqm in their permanent fenced area. the area in the coop is pretty bare but most of it is still grassy. The chickens get to free range about 2-3 times a week. 

And yes, we have the crows/ravens steal eggs as well. Cheeky buggars!

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Etta

We had the ravens stealing for a few days but I just made sure I got the eggs first. Poor chooks were under siege from the ravens and from me but at least the ravens have given up. The ravens are often after food scraps too so maybe don't give your chooks kitchen scraps until they cease and desist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
blueskies12

We have our chickens free range in our yard during the day- our dog is ok with them (we only have them out together when we are home/outside). They do mess on our patio, but we hose it and sweep it off. It is a little annoying, but worth it for the way they are improving our soil quality. We also have mesh around our fruit trees and veg beds to protect them from the chickens and pup. I also love watching them walk around. It relaxes me. I love having chickens as pets.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My4beautifulboys

I also love seeing my hens free ranging and happily foraging around, i too find it relaxing. And I’m sure our cat enjoys their company. She’ll often just sit in the sun and watch them 
Thanks for all your suggestions. I’ll have to give it some thought, if I was too make an enclosure for them, it’d have to be big. So they have plenty of freedom. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jenflea

You can buy ready made chicken runs, I think the brand I've seen is Sommerzby on FB. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Demera

We have a large chook yard external to the house yard and our hens free range every day. At the moment our house yard  is not enclosed and the chooks make a huge mess on the verandah.  I previously had to remove all the wood chips from the garden because the chooks kept scraping them out onto the path, but without wood chips they seem to leave the garden in tact.  I'm keen to get the fence rebuilt so we can keep the chooks out of the yard though and just let them in now and then.  They're super bold and walk straight into the house if there an opportunity and they will snatch food out of the kids hands. 

I also want the yard enclosed to keep the kids safe and to be able to get a new dog.  The current dog in residence doesn't go anywhere but a new dog will need to be contained . 

If you're thinking about building an enclosed house yard do you have other reasons apart from just the chooks? 

Our chook yard is four or five times larger than what you have there and includes trees and a shed (originally the dairy for the milking cow) but we still let the chooks out every day... they get so excited  when they see that gate open! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My4beautifulboys

I know mine are the same, they get very cluey, and don’t miss an opportunity to explore when the gate is open, which I love. 
I don’t really have any other reason to fence the garden area. As the children are older now and don’t really need an enclosed area, for safety. I think a fence would also give protection from winds, but saying that I can plant shrubby trees to do that too. 
I think I may have to build a large run, almost like the size of a small paddock. So they have plenty of freedom. But I’d still probably let them free range sometimes too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...