Chain link fence and full grown chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by amaranth320, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. amaranth320

    amaranth320 Chillin' With My Peeps

    36
    2
    92
    Sep 23, 2009
    I'm wondering how much you guys would trust a small flock of three full-grown Easter Eggers in a yard with chain link fencing. We live in south Louisiana in a neighborhood in the middle of town and have had these girls for about a year and half. They have a coop and a small run that are pretty much predator proof, but my husband is putting up a 4' chain link fence in the yard, and I'm wondering if it would be okay to let them roam around unsupervised during the day, as long as they are locked in the coop before nightfall. There are few animals in the neighborhood - a few dogs in fences and the occasional cat, but we've never seen any sign of raccoons, possum, coyote, etc., and certainly not in the day time. I would never want to leave them out there at night because I'm sure there are raccoons and possums *somewhere* around, but I'm thinking during the day would be fine when the most they're likely to run into is a curious house cat. What do you think?
     
  2. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    633
    6
    131
    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    I have 9 pullets (13-16 weeks old) and they free range my backyard which is enclosed by a 4' tall chain link fence. I've never had any problem keeping them in (except when someone left the gate open).
    They have never flown over it, but my BO did fly over a 4' netting. They are now too big to get very high off the ground.

    I don't know about keeping dogs out, I've been lucky that no dog has tried so far. Cats are another issue but my chickens are too big for a cat to mess with.
     
  3. amaranth320

    amaranth320 Chillin' With My Peeps

    36
    2
    92
    Sep 23, 2009
    Quote:I've never seen these girls get more than a couple of feet off the ground, even when our dog or toddler is harassing them. ;-) So I don't think they'll bother trying to fly over. And they're pretty big girls (they're bigger than our full-grown house cat, that's for sure), so I doubt your average cat could do more than scare them back into the coop. If there were feral cats around here, I probably wouldn't feel comfortable leaving them out, but there aren't any - not really even any neighborhood cats stalking around, at least not that I've seen. My gut tells me it would be fine to leave them out during the day, but I'm not 100% sure. Also - in the year and a half we've had them, we've seen absolutely no evidence of any predator - large or small - trying to get to them, and I've been watching for signs pretty religiously.
     
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I pretty much do the same thing. I have 5 ft chainlink and 6 ft wood fencing. I don't think they have ever gone over the fence. They have wiggled under and at first they got around the ends. It's amazing how they can squeeze through the smallest places. I try to be careful not to have anything too close to the fence so that they could jump over.
    I would say that cats and possums are not a big worry. I have both living in my yard with the chickens.
    I had no predator attack for about 7 years, even from the occasional raccoon that would pass through, till about 3 weeks ago. It's a myth that raccoons only come out after dark. I have regularly seen raccoons during the day. About 3 weeks ago 1 of the raccoons got one of my hens. They got locked up while I dealt with the raccoons (I hope). So now they are back to ranging in the yard all day.

    Good luck & have fun,

    Imp
     
  5. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    4,445
    16
    213
    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    My biggest issue with letting my birds freerange inside the fence has been hawks/eagles. I've had a few fence jumpers too. [​IMG]
     
  6. Buff-Island-Australorp

    Buff-Island-Australorp Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
    9
    101
    Apr 1, 2011
    Bixby, OK
    I have (9) large breed birds (BO, RIR, BA's) and a 4ft high chain link fence as well.
    They are 12 weeks old this week. They roost at night on a 4' high board in their coop. Most will fly from the floor to the roos, but a couple will use a step board I mounted for them to get up a little easier.
    Now, at 12 weeks, they are maybe 2/3rds full grown? So I'm hoping that when they're full grown, they have a harder time making it 4ft without using the step board. Maybe that will give me some piece of mind and I won't worry about them going over my fence.
    But, someone on here will tell me that it's hopeless and that they can go over, which I'm aware of. Depends on their determination. They range in the evenings in a fenced in area approx 1 acre.
     
  7. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    691
    5
    128
    Nov 13, 2010
    Alabama
    You might want to put some chicken wire on the inside, so they can't stick their fool necks out for anybody to bite off! [​IMG]

    A determined cat or dog could get over the fence. I would prefer 6-8 feet myself, with razor wire and motion-detector lights, but since I can't afford that, just have to use a regular fence. [​IMG]
     
  8. Nigellas

    Nigellas Chillin' With My Peeps

    542
    4
    148
    Jun 14, 2008
    Ann Arbor, MI
    My hens free range our yard during the day in our chain link fenced yard. A few have flown over, but were easy enough to round back into the yard. We (knock on wood) haven't had much trouble with air-predators, ours all come at night, when they are locked in their coop.
     
  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    23,342
    1,231
    448
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I have a 5' chain link fence around my yard. The only predator it has stopped are dogs. I lost a Barred Rock to a hawk back in January. I've had cats in the yard, coons, and possums. I lost a coil spring trap to either a coon or possum this past winter. You could see the drag marks in the soil where the chain was dragged off somewhere. I guess I didnt have it properly secured. I never found the steel trap, nor what was caught. Now I'm fighting off snakes. The Hamburgs USED to fly over the fence with ease, up on the roof of the house too, but not anymore since I trimmed their wing feathers. I also supervise the chickens during the day when they free range with the help of my ever watchful rooster. I didnt have a rooster when my Barred Rock was attacked. When we go anywhere, they are locked up in the pen. Inside the pen are pens within pens...almost impossible for a predator to reach the chickens. Nightime they are locked inside their house. The chicken house is inpenetrable.
     
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,747
    1,392
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    A racoon in the daytime is often a sign of rabies. You should notify your sherriff's office or animal control.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by