Chickens are hard to contain

Grounded in the chicken tractor

Jane’s entry in our “I
wish I’d known” contest
is a very important behavioral point for those of us who
like to free range our birds from time to time.  She wrote:

“The one thing that we wish we had known
about chickens (and which makes us actually consider giving the
chickens up at least once each year) is that they can be hard to
contain.  We encourage our chickens to free range from late
fall to early spring because they mix up/fertilize the soil and
eat up grubs in our gardens so nicely.  But from spring to
late summer, we really want them to stay in their nice, large
chicken yard.  Instead, and despite good fencing and wing
, they find their way into gardens and flower beds,
eating tomatoes and digging up flowers.

“We can’t imagine life without their eggs, so we keep them but(!)
there are times of the year when it’s a struggle.  We have
found that certain breeds are worse than others.  Both Buff
Orpingtons and Ameracaunas are flyers at our house and often find
themselves confined to our movable chicken tractor when they’ve
been naughty.

“Oh, and I have to mention one more thing.  I wish we had
known that once folks learn you have chickens, they ALL save up
all their egg cartons and give them to you!”

Jane’s points are so
true!  On our own homestead, I’ve found that it’s important
to begin as you plan to go on — if a chicken has been allowed to
free range in a certain area and is then blocked out, she’s much
more likely to fly back there than if she had never known the
free-ranging life.  We do free range our chicks, and have
developed work-arounds to help, but the flying continues
(especially with our
If you move a batch of free range hens across the homestead so
they can no longer see their previous stomping grounds, they’re
much less likely to fly, and keeping their pasture fresh by
rotation also helps.  If all else fails, we put the
trouble-makers in our bellies.

About all those extra egg cartons, though, I have no solution….

Our chicken waterer is
the POOP-free solution to a filthy homestead problem.

Leave a Reply