Breed advice: Need large, gentle, good layers who can't fly over a 5 foot fence...Brahmas, Buff Orps

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by JoeOxfordCT, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Hi All,

    I currently have 6 Black Copper Marans hens. I keep them in a 8'x8' coop. I have a small run that is both fenced and covered on top. Then I have a larger run that is just fenced, 5' fencing with an additional layer of chicken wire lapped onto the ground. I work from home full time and prefer to let my birds free range in my 1.5 acre yard. However, over the winter I lost 3 birds during the day to what I believe is a fox. Only found a few feathers...2 of the 3 happened right close to the coop too.

    Anyway, each time after losing a bird I would then keep the remaining birds unhappily locked in the covered pen for a week or so until they "begged" me to let them out again. I tried keeping them in the uncovered outer pen but once the first girl figured out that she could fly over the fence it didn't take long for the rest of them to follow suit thus rendering my large outer pen useless. I like having them in the yard but I would also like to make better/more use of the fenced pen. I am now preparing to order birds for this year. I am thinking about perhaps larger less flighty birds. I did some reading over the weekend and came up with Buff Orps, Brahmas, & Australorps. I am looking for a large, gentle birds that still lay well. I loved what I read about Brahmas being extremely gentle & friendly but perhaps not the best layers ? Buff Orps about the same as Brahmas with maybe being slightly better layers...and Australorps being the best pure layers of the bunch..?

    Are there other breeds I should be considering ? In the meantime I am considering clipping the wingtip feathers of my existing marans so that they can't fly so high & far...?
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I think you should try some netting for the top of your run. Then you could get whatever breeds you want. Buff Orps are wonderful, large hens. They're not the best layers but they are good layers. I've heard good things about the Astrolorps, and I personally would recommend the red pullets. Right now, you can buy them at the farm store and they're fabulous layers, and I think they're pretty. They're usually a hybrid, a white roo with a red hen....Say a leghorn with a NHR, or a leghorn with a can't miss with those if you want a fantastic egg layer.

    Good luck, whatever you decide,
  3. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Thanks ChicMom, however covering the top of the large outer pen is not really practical at this point. Plus I am rather headed in the direction of fencing off a larger portion of our yard as a run later this Summer. :)
  4. stoneunhenged

    stoneunhenged Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Brahmas, Sussex, Orpingtons (the larger the better), Shamo. Of these, I think you'll get the most eggs out of the Sussex.
  5. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    You could clip their wings. [​IMG]
  6. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Orpingtons, Jersey Giants, Cochins, Brahmas, Sussex, Plymouth Rocks, Dorkings, Malays, Langshans, - All gentle, decent to good layers who won't fly much at all IF you get them from stock that does not relate to hatchery lines. (in other words, birds who are either from imported or true show stock)
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    I've had brahmas and plymouth rocks go over my 5' fence. I think the orpingtons did, also. Cochins never did, nor has my langshan. I've never had the other breeds. The fence-hopping rocks have been from both hatchery and exhibition lines. Maybe try tanglefoot or pigeon spikes and see if that helps?

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