City Chicken Keepers, I Need Advise

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AshlyMommaWard, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Hello all,
    I've had chickens before, but have always lived well outside of town on acreage. We bought a house in town this spring and sold our mini farm and my chickens, our new town didn't allow chickens but is going to change the law effective this year with gender and number stipulations. We have a 6 foot wood privacy fenced large back yard, and while my soon to be new flock will have an incline run, I'd like to be able to let them have the run of the yard for multiple reasons including bug control. Are there any of you with privacy fences who have any advise on keeping them in? I have a person on speed dial to acquire 6 pullets from, but am wondering if I will have trouble keeping them in the yard, since they'll know about flying & life more than if I wait until spring and get chicks. I can clip wings and intend to keep them in the coop& run for a couple weeks to learn "home".. I just don't want to set myself up for failure by getting birds who may be more likely to try to escape. On the other hand, if I get chicks I'm inevitably going to get cockerels in the mix (I am opposed to sex links as I prefer a colorful mixed flock) and will then have to get rid of them, which could be problematic.
    Basically I'm just looking to hear from some of you literal back yard keepers and how you do it with obtaining birds and keeping them in your backyard. Am I over thinking this?
    Thanks so much, and I just can't wait to have feathers in my family again!

  2. Leihamarie

    Leihamarie Songster

    Jul 28, 2016
    San Diego
    I have 4 pullets in a 700 square foot back yard with a 6ft privacy fence and so far, no flying. They aren't allowed out of their run when I'm not home but they seem to be perfectly content foraging within the boundaries of the privacy fence.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Clip both wings closely, then you could keep even my very flight capable games inside a 4' tall privacy fence. They could like clamber up with only one wing clipped.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd wait until the law is actually changed (maybe it has?) so you don't put it's passing in jeopardy.
  5. mclanea

    mclanea Songster

    May 19, 2016
    San Diego
    We live on a city lot with 6 foot concrete block walls. Our chickens probably can... but they've never flown more than a couple feet off the ground. I don't know if it's because they just haven't done it before or if the wall dissuades them from exploring or what. But so far, it's not been an issue.

  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Songster

    Dec 15, 2014
    I have a 6 foot post and rail fence with 2x4 welded wire attached. My hens can see everything on the other side and have never flown over. No clipped wings either. Get yourself some docile, fat-bottomed breeds and you'll have no issues.
    1 person likes this.
  7. PaulaMc

    PaulaMc Chirping

    Oct 29, 2016
    Bolton, England

    I have a 80 x40 foot garden in the middle of a housing estate in the north of England, 10 miles from Manchester. I have 3 ex battery hens and 3 silkies-2 miniature.

    My fence is 6 foot on two sides and 5 on the other two. They flap about and hop on coops etc but have never flown over the fence. Even before I had it enlarged it was never an issue.

    Just get your little city flock and enjoy [​IMG]
  8. ambe0487

    ambe0487 Songster

    Jul 6, 2015
    Urbandale, IA
    I am a backyard flocker with now 14 birds (grew fast in the first year from 3 originals). I have a backyard and useable space just over 7,000 square ft. My birds free-range frequently but I have now 3 hens that can hop over our 6 ft fence by jumping on adjacent things. I find them frequently in the neighbors yards enjoying their green spoils. My neighbors don't seem to mind much as they do well with bug control. I feel that as long as you don't have things that they can use to help them up and over the fence you should be okay. [​IMG]
  9. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy AshlyMommaWard

    If you are not too worried about the amount of eggs you get have you considered bantams? I have Pekins [bantam Cochins] and a couple of other breeds and they are also quite content to stay within the back garden; it helps that they fly like bricks [​IMG]

    Our back fence is definitely not 6 foot and after their initial 3 week confinement to the run nearly 4 years ago, not one has ever tried to jump the fence. We have also had a couple of hatches here and the youngsters we kept from those also have not tried to leave home; I guess just following the lead of the existing girls.


    One of the things I think that keeps them happy is lots of interesting places to explore and hide. Besides the lawned area, we also have a mini-jungle/rain forest plus large dust bath where they seem to spend the majority of their time.


  10. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Songster

    Dec 15, 2014
    My bantams are my best flyers. I've got some bantam Rocks and had some bantam NH Reds and at various times would find them up on a cross member of the rafters in my run. They've also at times decided to just up and fly on to my shoulder for no apparent reason. I'm 5'10" so I'm sure they could make the top of my fence just fine if they wanted to. By comparison, my standard size, hatchery sourced Buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks got startled once and all took off but only got high enough to hit me squarely in the chest.

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