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Can I trust them to stay inside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by alessadry, May 15, 2011.

  1. alessadry

    alessadry Songster

    Mar 3, 2011
    I have 10 weeks old layer chicks that are kept free range in a one acre yard with a five foot fence. So far I am not sure if it is because they were never interested in exploring as of yet, or if they are just happy where they are and feel safe, but they have not given thoughts of flying over it. I am sure if they wanted to they could fly over as they fly up on some wood perches near the ceiling of the coop. People have told me that I will have to clip their wings or they will escape. Is it true? If they are happy and have lots to explore, can't they just stay within the fenced areas? In Italy, people just kept their chicken without fences and they always used to stick around..

  2. franklinchickens

    franklinchickens Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    We have 4 hens that free range in the backyard with a 6' privacy fence, though at the deck gate, it's only about 4'. There's even a bench near it so they could hop up and on over pretty easily. Has never happened. They never try to leave the yard. I don't know if this would be true for all but in the year we've had them, the only time we lost one was when someone left the gate open and one headed down the driveway!
  3. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hagerstown, MD
    Well in my opinion it is better to be safe than sorry. we have a covered run so they can't fly out, but that's becuz of the hawks around here. If we didn't have it covered I would definately clip their wings rather than take a chance of loosing one. That's just my personal opinion. I have a lot of emotion, time, and money invested in my chickies and would be heartbroken if something happened to them that I could have prevented. [​IMG]
  4. SIMPleChick

    SIMPleChick Songster

    Mar 10, 2011
    I clip the wings, they can still jump and flutter and goof off but not fly or go very high. Some people don't know what "clipping wings" really means. It's just trimming the first few (up to 5 I think) feathers on each wing, or just one wing, depends on what you want to do. Just doing one means the bird jumps up to fly and goes sideways and it freaks it self out, or both and it's like trying to fly heavier, like us running through water. I did this on my cockatiels when I was younger. It doesn't hurt them, their feathers are pretty much hollow and do not have nerves in the feathers themselves. I was worried they would jump into my big tree in the back that has low branches that go up like steps on a ladder....So far so good! I'm keeping an eye on them!
  5. Endur50

    Endur50 In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2011
    North Carolina
    Mine roam the backyard during the day which is unfenced. Though they LOVE being outside (they pace the run until I let them out in the morning), they never go further than 50 or 60 feet from their tractor, and never leave our yard. They are buff orp, RIR crosses and I've never seen them fly higher than 2 or 3 feet. They are respectful of fences of all sorts. I have little 1 foot fences around my raised bed boxes and they never go in them anymore. I think there are probably breed differences. My friend's game hens range very far, flying over the fence and up into the rafters of the barn. They always make it back to the coop to lay and to sleep though.

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