Free-Range Chicken Problems

They Want to Be Free, But That’s Not Always Good for Them

Free-Range Chicken Problems
By Donna Insco, Missouri — I have kept a flock of free-range laying hens for 20 years. Allowing poultry to roam can cause problems, but there are reasonable solutions to those problems. Some things must be considered before letting your flock out of the coop. A free-ranging flock is not recommended if you have close neighbors. Your birds will not recognize property lines and you can’t expect a neighbor to fence his property to keep your birds out. Some breeds of poultry wander farther than others. I remember my grandmother’s guineas out in the field 150 yards from the house. However, my New Hampshires and Rhode Islands never get more than 50 yards away. Another thing to consider is the proximity of neighboring dogs, since they will likely be the predators that cause the most concern. In many areas, free running dogs outnumber the local population of wild predators. Advantages of

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