Are my chickens going to escape?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gophert, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. gophert

    gophert Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2011
    I have 3 chickens thatwe got from someone who is moving--two Barred Rocks and one RIR. They haven't been out of their chicken ark yet because we hadn't fenced the garden in, but it is just about finished now so I am ready to let them free range my small back yard (probably about 1/3 of an acre). We have 6' wood privacy fence on two sides (no footholds) and 4' field fence on the other (the house forms the other "side" of the fence). The field fence is very overgrown with vines, bushes, trees etc and is almost kind of invisible behind all the vegetation, but if they hop it, they will be in a power line easement and then the woods.

    We plan to clip their wings, but should I worry? I will be annoyed if they hop it and come back, but I will be really and truly bummed if they hop it and vanish. Do I need to put something else on the (ugh....many feet of) field fence? Should I worry that since they have only been here a week, they may tend to want to wander?

    The chickens free-ranged a smaller yard in their previous life but seem very tame.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  2. cravenchx

    cravenchx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I might be more worried about predators!
     
  3. gophert

    gophert Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2011
    Well, yes, I am worried about them--specifically hawks. We also have coons, but those are mainly a concern at night, yes? No dogs likely to get in, no coyotes. There are cats in the nieghborhood--hoping that is not an issue, but we don't see them in the yard much due to the fences.

    I am sort of planning to only let them out when I am in the backyard, which is often. Is this a crazy plan? Will I be able to get them back in the ark with food when I need to? They actually seem pretty happy in there, but it isn't what they're used to.

    The yard is pretty heavily wooded, which I imagine will deter hawks a bit. Red-shouldered hawks don't get chickens, do they? I would think it would have to be a redtail.

    We do of course plan to put them up at night--they have a nice secure area in the top of the ark.
     
  4. cravenchx

    cravenchx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Piedmont of NC
    A hawk is a hawk is a hawk. If they can seek shelter,
    even if you are there, they may be OK.
    You will have to continue to clip wings.
    Are they full grown?
     
  5. gophert

    gophert Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2011
    Yes, they are full grown. The Barred Rocks are 3 years old (supposedly--they lay pretty well for 3yos, almost daily) and the RIR is 1.

    They have some heavily shaded areas and they could also go under our treehouse.

    A hawk is a hawk, huh?--don't let my obsessive birdwatcher husband hear you say that. [​IMG] Although I asked him about it and he says maaaaybe a red-shouldered could do it. We def. have them around.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011

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