If you buy chickens to keep around the yard, but you don't have them penned in, what keeps them from wandering off?
We own 57 acres and rent an additional 150. The chickens , once they get patterned to stay around will only follow the sheep. The sheep are behind electric fences and the chickens love the sheep company.
We had guinea hens once and they just ran waay far and ranged to the next farms. Several were killed by farm dogs. In this months ATLANTIC MONTHLY, Mark Bowden tells his story of thedeath wish that guinea hens have. Marks wife, GAil, wanted these guinea hens and they went out and bought 30, I believe. She also had a really neat pen and roost for the birds. Thatwas like April when the poults came and they started the guinea experiment. Today, I was talking with him and he said that theyre down to 4 guinea hens.
My theory is that the only defensive weapons that many flock birds of the gallinaceous family are:
1A herding instinct and
2A great fecundity
So, when attacked by peredators the guineas adopt that defense mechanism that protects most campers from grizzlies, that being:
"I dont have to run faster than the bear, I only have to run faster than you"
Chickens are pretty much a home territory bird and they arent really good flyers. They can only fly up to a branch or make a purt of 25 feet or less. Guniea hens can take off like a pheasant and then coats over several tens of acres.
FOXES love guinea hens, they have a great flavor.