Chickens wandering too far while free ranging.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ptkds, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. ptkds

    ptkds Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 18, 2008
    We have 6 hens. We have a pretty good sized pen for them, but they prefer to be out of it. So we let them out everday and lock them up in the evening. The problem is, we live in middle of town. We have a HUGE yard with a chainlink fence, but they jump over it and go all over the area. We don't know how to keep them in! The neighbors are getting upset with having chickens in their yards all the time. When we leave them in thier pen all day, they start to get bored I guess and start picking on one or two of the other hens and pull their feathers out. So I feel like I have to let them out.

    How can I keep them in the fence? We have already clipped thier wings, and it hasn't helped. Anyone have any ideas? We don't have very much money, so something expensive is out of the question. We love are chickens and don't want to get rid of them.

  2. LyonFuzz

    LyonFuzz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2008
    South Lyon, Michigan
    I had to clip the wings of our newest mille fleur because I found her out of the pen and on top of our barn. Maybe you just didn't clip them down enough? We also let ours out of the pen and we do not have a fence, but do have a couple acres. I just don't want them to go too far and upset anyone either. So far though, they just hang out right around the pen anyway.
  3. cherrychicken

    cherrychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    I have almost an identical situation.
    I do not have a problem with flight though, only hawks.
    I do not want to risk my chickens, so every time they go out, I go too.
    That's right I watch my 6 hens every time they come out.
    I'm sorry I can't be more helpful, but I'm sure you'll come up with a solution.

    Best Of Luck

  4. sunnydee

    sunnydee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2008
    My six girls get out when I am home. Me or the kids are always out with them, too. I have about 1 acre that they are able to roam around, but the seem to love to go into the woods which I have two acres of with thick trees. So, we are always out with them keeping an eye on them.
  5. Barn Maid Ann

    Barn Maid Ann Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2008
    Punta Gorda, FL
    We have 25 acres. Our chickens are fine, so far. They stay in the immediate area of our house/barn. But when we had Guineas last year, they followed the wild turkeys (we assume) to a neighbor who had bird feeders. They were attracted to the fallen seed under the feeders. She didn't mind at all and called to let me know of the situation. BUT my next door neighbor hated them. And they cut through his yard to get to the other neighbors. They ARE noisy by nature, plus he said they were digging up his yard. We finally had to get rid of them. We hated to as we had raised them from chicks. They had never been confined except as babies. So I really couldn't coop them up. We got them for tick control, so it would have defeated the purpose, anyway. It really sucked.

    What kind of chickens do you have, ptkds? I have some flyers, but my golden Comets could never get high enough to clear a 6' fence. If you were to get heavier chicken breeds, you'd probably be okay.

    BTW, I still have neighbors who tell me how much they miss the Guineas. But it only takes one fussy one to cause trouble for you.
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    We do just what Sunnydee and Cherrychicken do. If they are out, we are watching them. If we can no longer watch them, they go back in with a treat to make them happy.

    Even with cold weather, the chickens are out most days - at least, for awhile. They also seem to want to stay around to watch us [​IMG]. And, there's no roo.

  7. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 31, 2008
    i was letting the hens out to free range in the morning and has this problem...i started to let them ut in the afternoon now thay dont have time to wander cause it gets dark early they rarely even make it to the front yard
  8. happyfeet

    happyfeet Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 24, 2007
    We have six acres and our chickens think the grass is greener on the other side. There is a waterpark across the street and the neighborhood joke is: why did the chicken cross the road, to go swimming! HAHA, not funny anymore. my hens free range. unfortunatly one has been hit by a car while crossing the road. i have been told if you clip one wing they will be unbalanced when trying to fly and not succeed. maby try putting electric fence on the top of your fence, it is not expensive at all. good luck, if you figure anything out let me know.
  9. Feral

    Feral New Egg

    Apr 24, 2008
    We're having the same issue.

    We have 4 ft high birdwire fence enclosing their run. They pop over that pretty readily.

    Would running a hot strand of poly-wire around the top of the current fence contain them?

    (I could even run 2 strands of it if I had to.)
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  10. Msbear

    Msbear Fancy Banties

    May 8, 2008
    Sharpsburg, MD.
    I used to let mine out all the time and when they would be up, they would get bored and pick...but now I have three different breeds and three coops [​IMG] with 3 roosters who will fight so I have to alternate them. My cochins only get out a couple times a week now. They are used to their schedule and no longer pick.

    Try giving them an apple cut in half or some other thing they can peck at to occupy themselves for a few days then they should get into a schedule...Also, let them out in the evenings a couple hours before they roost. This will keep them near their coop.

    It's ashame people complain. I'd love to see some chickens frolicking around in my yard...but as we all know, everyone is different....and some are outright strange [​IMG]

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