Backyard fence to keep chickens in?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HarrietHens, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. HarrietHens

    HarrietHens Just Hatched

    Apr 8, 2017
    Hi all,

    My husband and I are excited to pick up our 3 pullets this weekend and start our flock! We're going to spend the next few days getting the coop and enclosed run all ready to go.

    In addition to the run, we'd like to provide the chickens with opportunities to move around and explore the yard when we're outside with them. The problem: Our backyard is small(ish) and doesn't have a fence. We'll be building them a pen that we'll be able to move to different parts of the yard, but we'd also like them to be able to wander un-penned in the yard from time to time.

    So, for our (and our neighbors') sanity, we're considering fencing the backyard. My question: What type of fencing will contain chickens without being exceedingly high? (We'd like the fence to be 3'-4' tall.) Do the points at the top of picket fences deter the hens from trying to hop/roost up there?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    At 3 to 4Ft tall, I hope you got some fat chickens with one wing feathers trimmed. Mine is 6ft tall and I have to trim one wing----but it keeps them in. The Points will do no good if they can jump/fly over it.
    thunderclast likes this.
  3. thunderclast

    thunderclast Out Of The Brooder

    May 17, 2017
    Portland, Oregon
    My Coop
    My chickens will easily hop a 3 or 4 foot fence, with minimal flapping even. You really need a 6 foot fence if you want to keep them from escaping. You might be able to manage with a shorter fence if you are going to be keeping an eye on them the whole time they are free ranging, but if one does hop the fence, she may be hard to round up again.
  4. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    4 ft fence and you might have to trim both wings, but you could try doing one first.
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    I've had at least one of my birds on top of a 6' fence. You could try doing something like some form of netting, strung wire, or a piece of fencing angled inwards at the top to prevent the birds from being able to gain a foothold, as chickens are more likely to land and springboard over, than fly over in a single huge leap.
    thunderclast likes this.
  6. meetthebubus

    meetthebubus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2017
    Depends on the chickens not all are flighty like my buffs, they stayed in before we did the 360 and it was mostly 5 ft fencing some 4 so they may stay in

    Fencing at tsc works well for cheapish, 5 ft welded wire but u might have to get chicken wire too to go over it on the bottom they can fit through it until their adults or hardware wire fencing
  7. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2014
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    It can depend on whether you have chickens bred to be layers. Layers are smaller, more petite birds than dual-purpose or meat birds and so they can be a bit more flighty since they have less weight to get airborne. Mine are bred as proper dual-purpose birds and a 4-foot fence keeps them contained on the property.

    Since letting them free-range isn't going to be a regular thing, have you considered temporary fencing? There is temporary fencing made of a mesh netting attached to flexible poles. You push the poles into the ground and make a perimeter around the area in which you want to contain the chickens. When free-ranging is done, the poles pull out of the ground and the net is rolled up to put away.
    thunderclast likes this.
  8. wolfinator

    wolfinator Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have woods on one side and bottom side and a neighbor to the other side. When I used to free range my older chickens (8 - mostly Showgirls), I put up a temporary mesh fence on neighbor's side since they have a dog and we'd just planted several fruit trees alongthat side. My dog was secured in the front yard and my chickens stayed in the lower 2/3rd's of the backyard (had to shoo 1 or 2 for coming further up). When I got my chicks this spring, I built 2 large 7 foot high enclosures for all of them and covered the front half over with deer netting to try and keep chicken hawks out. Just remember when free ranging, there are straying dogs and cats that my try to enter your yard and keep an eye on the sky for hawks. I came close to loosing my gentlest hen to a chicken hawk this past January, my RIR mix hen (Red) saved her by flogging the hawk as it tried to take off with her in its talons. They were being watched by my boyfriend and his cousin but it just happened so quickly, I'm greatful Red was there.
    Pictured are my coops and runs. The small coop is where my ducks are within the left enclosure (temporarily until I get their area built and enclosed). A 3 foot high fence separates them from my 8 older chickens. The right enclosure houses 22 chickens, they're only 11-13 weeks old. I have 3-8 week old pullets in another area of the yard closer to the house. Because of all the wildlife and straying dogs in the area, we installed a baby monitor in the largest coop and motion solar lights around the enclosures for night time predators. 20170526_142931.jpg
  9. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2017
    West Tennessee
    I have a 4'fence for their run and only a couple times has a hen flew over but only because she was startled. She quickly realized she was in the beyond beyond and promptly ran to the gate wanting back in.

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