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unfenced suburban chicken possible?

 
nustada adatsun
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I have been toying with the idea of keeping chickens. I live in a small suburban area. But I don't like the idea of fencing. Can chickens be trained or kept by keeping attraction on your property? How far will they roam? Will they stay on my property if I plant clover as a lawn? My neighbors have "steral" lawns.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Unfortunately, for chickens (and every other animal, including humans), "The grass is always greener..."

We used to live in a community that didn't allow chickens. That never stopped the neighbors across the street, who had a small flock (with roosters) that they tried to keep in their backyard. Since we had a variety of fruit trees + several kitchen gardens, it didn't take long for the flock to find our backyard.

They also loved our garage, which usually had an open door. I just built a couple nest boxes in the garage. While coffee was brewing, I'd go to the garage to see how many eggs they had left me...usually 1-4 each morning.

The birds preferred our lush yard over their over-grazed yard. They 'thanked' me for letting them have free range.

 
Craig Dobbelyu
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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forest garden hugelkultur
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I'm with John on this one. Once they find something they like, you'll need a fence to stop them. I use the poultry netting so they stay put when I need them too. Most of the time they run free, but once the gardens are planted they go out to the pastures in the electric fence. They'd rather eat my food than theirs.
 
nustada adatsun
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Thanks. I may go with the tractor aproach then. But probably not this year. Too much needs to be done as it is. When I plan on removing some more of my lawn in favor of garden.
 
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