Advice: chickens flying the pen to dogs area.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by 76972clb, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. 76972clb

    76972clb Chirping

    Oct 11, 2015
    East Texas
    We are new to keeping chickens and are in need of advice.

    We have a coop surrounded by a 4' fence. Now realizing that the fence is not high enough. Our hens have flown out two times today. I don't mind if the forge but we have two dogs that disagree. One is a hearding dog and keeps chickens in pen area. The other is a hunting dog that would enjoy the hunt and a tasty meal.

    My question is would it be better to put a net over the pen or move the coop & pen to other side of garage so they can forge in the front yard (live in country). Can we even move the coop and them still return to lay? What would you do?
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and :welcome. Happy you joined us. Yes, 4' and even 6' is too low of a fence. The safest thing to keep them in (and predators out) is hardware cloth attached to a solid frame. You mentioned moving the coop and could do that and they would adjust and lay just fine....but they would still fly out and range. I let mine free range when I'm home and they will sometimes go 50-75 yards from their coop. Another option is clipping the flight feathers on their wings to keep them from flying out. Still I think the best choice is to cover their run. Just my opinion. Best of luck to you.
  3. Fatman608

    Fatman608 In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2016
    New Braunfels, TX
    Why not just train the dogs to leave the chickens alone. My wife's dog took about two or three weeks to train her to stop chasing the chickens.
  4. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
    Hi and welcome to BYC - thanks for joining us. I agree with Redsoxs.

    Best wishes
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    The best way to keep your chickens wear they belong, and also keep out raptors, etc. is to raise the height of your run( so you don't have to stoop to clean it out & add a solid or mesh run cover.

    If you cut wings you remove one of their defenses against predators and generally they still can get out by stair climbing anything they find in the run to boost them up.
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  7. 76972clb

    76972clb Chirping

    Oct 11, 2015
    East Texas
    We've done this to an extent. We have a chiweenie who goes out side with me to let the chickens in and out or to feed / fresh water. Most of the time when she has a moment to go outside she runs to their fence and waits to go in. All she does is sits in the pen or walks with me. The cats come and go as they please sometime even sharing the chickens food. The chickens could care less if any of them are around.

    Next we have a Rocky a Boarder Aussie (Boarder Collie / Australian Shepard mix). He is very smart and guards the chickens. He lets me know when the sun is up, if I've not let the chickens out yet of the coop yet. As if I need him to tell me but he does anyway. The chickens don't care for him but aren't afraid of him. I think it's because he barks at them when they are doing something that he does not want them to do. He is currently in training to herd and protect our goats to come this fall.

    Then there is Boomer, a Black and Tan Coonhound. He is our concern, since hunting is in his blood. He is a great protector not only for us but our cats and chiweenie, a friend and a alarm when a predator or stranger is approaching. Booomer and Rocky do really good at keeping snakes and predator animals off our land that we occupy.

    Any suggestions or success stories on training the hunting out of the hunting dog. My husband has trained and shown coonhounds most of our married life, in the city. But now we live in the country and have different needs. He does do better now. He seams less occupied / distracted with the chickens and plays more But he will sit at the fence and watch them. If you have a suggestion, I'll try it. We feel that it is best to train a dog to do his job.

    We've heard and read when a dog kills a chicken to put whats left of the chicken attached to the dogs collar for a few days. The dog will learn to not like the chickens. Would this help a hunting dog. On the other hand, I don't want to loose a chicken to try this.

    Thank you for your input.
  8. 76972clb

    76972clb Chirping

    Oct 11, 2015
    East Texas
    Our original goal was to let them free range in our side / front yards. If we move the coop it'll be easier to do this but out of the area our dogs guard from predators. Something about clipping their wings bothers me. I don't know what why. I know it's only their feathers, but God gave them these feathers for a reason and I don't feel comfortable clipping them.

    I guess the cloth is the best option for us.

    Thank you for your time.
  9. 76972clb

    76972clb Chirping

    Oct 11, 2015
    East Texas
    Thank you. I've learned about a new joy / love in keeping chickens. They are fun and peaceful.

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