So, if you are planning to get a bird pet as I was, you want to gather all the required information so that you can create a healthy and happy environment for your feathered friend.
As I live near open fields I was worried my chickens would run away, and I started researching how far chickens actually roam.
Chicken can roam up to 200 yards (180 meters) if given enough time. They will normally not walk more than forty to fifty feet at a time. With practice, they easily find their way home again. The size of the roaming area is dependent on the type of vegetation, trees, houses and the chicken breed.
Once they will start recognizing you, your work is done. You will not have to be bothered much about losing them. You just need to take some precautions to create a safe and secure living place for them.
Make sure that your bird pet is familiar with your home and neighbourhood. Chickens are sociable and intelligent creatures.
When trained properly, they can take care of themselves and can protect themselves from much harm. So, you will have to focus on the training. You do not need any rigorous practice or spend hours to train your tiny friend.
All you need to do is to repeat some commands. It will serve the purpose. Keep reading to know more about how to protect your chicken from unpredictable dangers.
How far will a chicken roam?
As supported by experts, a chicken can roam up to 200 yards (180 meters). They can hide in tall vegetation. Many things will depend on the breed. Some might prefer to roam around and others might love to be free-ranging.
So, you will have to understand the breed first. Also, you will have to consider fencing to prevent them to cross your boundary. It is more important especially when you have bought a new chick and your pet is not familiar with the surrounding. You will have to restrict the movement and confine your pet to your home or surrounding. This is required to make your pet familiar with the coop.
Once your chicken will be able to recognize your home, you can trust your friend a little bit.
Also, you will have to take care of the health of your chickens while allowing them to roam around. Some areas might attract bacteria, mould, and that might cause some severe infections. So, you will have to take care of the hygiene of the roaming area to prevent such an infection.
You can build a separate structure for your chickens so that they can freely and safely roam around. Always remember that more is better. When they will have access to a large area, they will happily enjoy and play.
How far can a chicken walk?
Here again, the breed will have a role. All the breeds are different so their unique needs. Therefore, you will have to research that particular breed to have more accurate and exact information.
On average, a chicken can walk up to forty to fifty feet. Chickens mostly tend to get around by walking. However, they can also fly. They cannot fly very high. But they can fly up to ten feet. Also, your tiny friend can run.
They can run fast up to 9mph for a short burst. Their agility makes them fast while running. This ability protects them from predators.
Can you train chickens to stay in the yard?
Like any other pet, you can train birds. Chickens can be trained. Training is important for your pet friend to make them obey your commands. Chickens are intelligent and they can understand your instructions when trained properly.
They have great motivation and keen eyesight. Training can be helpful to manage them and to guide them to stay in the yard. While training, you can prepare them to obey your instructions and return to the coop whenever you want. They should be trained to respond to a particular instruction.
Though chickens can be trained, they are not fast learners like dogs. So, you will have to work with a little patience. You will have to make the training gradual and slow.
Whenever you find an opportunity, you should train your pet bird to come out of the coop and not to leave the yard. You will have to confine your chicken in your fenced-in yard for a couple of weeks. This is the crucial period and they can easily be lost when they do not know the return place.
During this period, you can train your pet and make them road around the yard. After a few weeks, you can consider free-ranging. They will return on their own. But make sure that the door is open. Otherwise, they might be misguided.
How to confine chickens in initial weeks
The easiest way to offer a comfortable place to your new bird pet is to invest in a good coop. Make sure that the coop features locking doors. Whenever you are around, you can allow them to come out of the coop and spend some time in an open space in your yard.
After a few hours, let them take a rest in the coop. A coop can offer the most deserved privacy and optimal protection to your chicken even in adverse conditions. However, they will not be protected outside the coop and you will have to secure the roaming area by adding some security features.
You can consider installing a fence. The fence will enable your chicken to move freely and to play in your backyard. There will be no fear of predators as well. They can enjoy their activity and jump and run whenever they want even in your absence.
Can chickens find their way back home?
As stated earlier, chickens are intelligent creatures. They can easily recognize their coop and owner. However, they will need some practice and time for this.
For example, if you get a new chicken and leave your pet for free-ranging and expect that the bird will come on her own, then you are wrong. First, your pet should know where your home is and how to cover the distance.
You will have to familiarize your pet with the living space, food, and shelter so that your feathered friend will be motivated to return to your home. But, when they cover a wide distance, they might not find their way back home.
But this is rare.