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Is unlimited free ranging really practical in a suburban garden?

(6 Posts)
BroodyChook Wed 24-Jun-09 09:42:46

My girls have had the run of the garden since we got them last year. I have six pekin bantams, and a reasonable sized plot, but I'm beginning to realise that the quaint image of hens pottering about wherever they please does not match up to the reality of literally mountains of poo. I poo pick regularly (3 times a day) but the garden is still curry poo splattered. I'm extremely conscious of smell/flies, so have decided to fence off an area for them so that we too can enjoy the garden. Thing is, I feel guilty about it because they have had such freedom. Does everyone eventually have to restrict the free ranging unless you have an acre?

paranoidmother Wed 24-Jun-09 13:36:53

We have about a dozen bantams in houses with extra runs and then 5 have the rest of the garden. It means that the houses get moved once a week and then you can rake the poo up and compost it once a week.

Doodle2u Wed 24-Jun-09 19:23:09

Oh, I could have written that op! Think I might even have started a thread on this verry subject!

I used chicken fencing and gave them the run of two borders and under the trampoline, plus their own run. It's worked a treat and we can go back in to the garden with bare feet again. They were arsey for about a day and they've been known to either limbo under or jump over the fence but on the whole, they stay on their side of it. I've had to readjust the fence tension a couple of times, so stop the bids for freedom.

I'll see if I can find the thread on it.

Doodle2u Wed 24-Jun-09 19:28:25

here smile

BroodyChook Wed 24-Jun-09 21:24:46

Thanks Doodle2u wink

hurryup Wed 24-Jun-09 21:29:55

My 18 month dd2 has recently had campylobacter (diarrhoea with blood and mucus in it, stomach cramps and temperature) for a week which she caught from our free range chickens. Ours are no longer free range, they are in an ark with a run and whilst I feel a bit sorry for them I would not risk my daughters health again.

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