Recommend Test chickens' preference cage or free range

Joan Denoo

Member
Nov 13, 2019
1
3
15
Climate
Cold, Cool, Mountains, or Artic
Test: Do chickens prefer cages or free range?
When given a choice, do chickens choose to stay in cages or to go outside a chicken yard into a free range situation? The chickens will give you the answer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Patty

Ray Speed

Valued Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Aug 28, 2018
261
155
166
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Free range, unless predators and or severe weather
our chooks always want to range
 
  • Like
Reactions: DTK

ClissAT

Valued Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Sep 27, 2015
1,841
885
361
Pomona, Qld
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Yes I agree with Ray.
Chooks always want to move around outside under large trees.
From dawn to dusk and just come back into the pen to lay their egg, get a drink and have a feed of grain.
 

Letsgokate

Valued Member
Premium Member
Nov 12, 2014
910
391
281
SE Queensland, Australia
letsgotravelaustralia.com
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Like is this a trick question, think it’s obvious they would prefer to free range. Who would like to be locked in a cage all day. If they can’t be let out to free range due to space or predators then a coop with a good run attached is also a good option.
 

nzmitzi

Active Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Jun 26, 2020
46
27
31
Climate
Temperate (all seasons)
I think if the cage was big enough and had their preferred environment, with variety of and plenty of food - they might stay in the cage. The reason they like to free range is for the variety and quantity of their preference of food. Mine range - but not as far as one might think.....I think 1 acre would satisfy my small flock of chickens.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DTK

ClissAT

Valued Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Sep 27, 2015
1,841
885
361
Pomona, Qld
Climate
Sub-Tropical
My neighbour's chooks find their way right to the far side of my place. That's well over 300m away from their pen on the far side of their property and they get there very fast.
They are hunting for somewhere to scratch for small invertebrates mostly.
They have heaps to eat in their pen, but chickens are genetically programmed to range far and wide in dim understory jungle.
They have long legs and like to use them, both to walk and run vast distances daily and to scratch in mulch and ground cover.
My place is the ideal habitat for jungle birds. Unfortunately, I decided 3yrs ago I didn't want more chooks because they do so much damage to my gardens.
Now I have the neighbour's chooks to deal with! They are decimating my gardens and freshly planted food forests every day.
It's very disconcerting. It might be tolerable if I was a much younger, fit and able-bodied person but I'm none of those. :mad:
I think forcing them to live in confinement is akin to complete psychological torture.
On the other hand, it is beholden on the owners to keep their poultry at home on their own property.
Those are the council bylaws.
So I believe chooks should have free range in conditions where tree cover is available, but please use wire netting on the fences all around your property to keep them at home!
 

spector

Well-Known Member
Jul 15, 2020
102
83
81
Climate
Temperate (all seasons)
My chickens seem to prefer my home to theirs. They go to the coop at night to go to sleep, but they hang around my house all day long.
 

DTK

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Sep 23, 2019
251
75
136
Brisbane (SW suburbs)
Climate
Sub-Tropical
We have 8 chooks and 2 pekin ducks. They have a secure night cage (quite large) plus a day area (not much green in there now) and then most days when I am home all day I let them out (we have foxes in the area so I try to have them secure between dusk and dawn. When I go to the day area they run to the gate to see if I am bringing them food. I find they are quite social in nature. When I let them out to roam the 2 1/2 acres they will wander off scratching about, but they are often seen back in the day area, sometimes just having a dust bath or simply chilling out.
 

nzmitzi

Active Member
Premium Member
GOLD
Jun 26, 2020
46
27
31
Climate
Temperate (all seasons)
My neighbour's chooks find their way right to the far side of my place........They are decimating my gardens and freshly planted food forests every day......
Hi there ClissAt, if I were you I'd have a little chat with the neighbour... if they are not co-operative, tell them you'll have yourself or someone else trap them and either eat those chooks or take them to the local spca or local market and sell them, whatever it takes and you're prepared to say. Good luck with your problem.