Chickens Starting to Wander


In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 26, 2009
I have 4 14wk old pullets. They have been free ranging in my back yard since I got them. They love foraging, and playing in this very safe environment. Until yesterday.....

Yesterday my kids found the chickens had gotten on top of the fence, via some clever climbing. Now in California where we live, all the yards have wooden fences that are connected together from yard to yard. Once on top of the fence you have a virtual fence highway to all the yards in the neighborhood. This highway is great for squirrels, but not so great for chickens. Many of my neighbors have dogs what would love an afternoon pullet snack. Now the chickens stayed on the fence and didn't fly down into a yard, but it caused quite a stir with my kids hopping from yard to yard trying to get them back home.

So, I think I have now 4 options:

1) Confine my girls to the run. It is an 8x8 foot run connected to the coop so they will find it very confining, but safe.
2) Feed them until they are so fat they can't climb out of the yard. Clipping the wings won't help. These girls are not flyers; I have never seen them get more than 2 feet off the ground with their wings. They are climbers, hopping up bushes and structures in the yard to explore.
3) Try to find all paths of escape and block them. I am concerned that their little bird brains have a genius like capacity to find ways out of the yard. This escalating war of wills is likely to end up with escape.
4) Only let them out for supervised ranging. If we are not out there to keep an eye on them, they are in the run. Seems like a pity, but probably the safest compromise.

Anyway, any suggestions?


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