Does anyone have wandering hens? How do I control them?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rmurrayslcut, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. rmurrayslcut

    rmurrayslcut Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2013
    South Jordan, UT
    Hello BTC Community,

    My coop is enclosed in a large dog run surrounded by seven foot fences. I let my flock free-range during the day. The side fence is cinderblock, and the other day when I came home one of my RIRs was sitting atop looking out. She jumped back into the coop by the time I got out of my car.

    Tonight, I did a before-bed headcount and she was missing. I searched everywhere, after seeing no sign of a predator attack. My wife and I noticed fresh droppings on the top of the wall and finally found her deep inside the neighbor's hedge, just bedded down. I returned her to her coop, which I close at night once they all go inside.

    Does anyone else have this problem? She didn't go far, and I think she just bedded down because it was dark. I have a light in my coop, so she could have made her way back. For all I know, she goes over the fence all the time and gets back in as easily as she got out. I want to discourage her from leaving the relative safety of my fenced, back-yard dog run.

    All of them like their coop and go in by themselves when it gets dark. I don't want to keep them penned. Is this behavior others have encountered and did you worry about it?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Krischick

    Krischick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2013
    Willard Mo
    Do you have trees near your coop?
     
  3. Krischick

    Krischick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2013
    Willard Mo
    I have one cinnamon hen does the same thing she's always in a tree ..had to close off the hen house for like 2 weeks now she does it less so i think she's learning an so can yours they are so smart...
     
  4. rmurrayslcut

    rmurrayslcut Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2013
    South Jordan, UT
    No, they're over the fence Perhaps that's why she's going over there?
     
  5. Ravenseye

    Ravenseye Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2008
    Pepperell, MA
    Yup, I have this problem from time to time. Especially with the younger ones. They're over the fence and into the dog run; across the yard and into the neighbors driveway, you name it. I found that as they get older they stay closer. But what I found works well is to call them when they get too far and give them treats. After a while, they'll start heading back to "their" yard just hearing the screen door open and close.
     
  6. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    She is just checking the theory of "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence" [​IMG]

    Chickens sometimes just want to see what goodies are on that side. I let mine out into the my fenced yard each evening about an hour before dusk and I have one that immediately heads to the four foot high chain link and over she goes. I have 30 birds and she is the only one that does it. The neighbor could not care less so I just let her do it but she always comes back.

    If she doesn't stop you may have to clip one wing to keep her grounded on your side of the fence.

    I am really surprised a RI flew to the top of a seven foot high fence. Is she still young? Does she get an assist from something, like a tree branch, patio table, something she can fly to then to the top of the fence?
     
  7. rmurrayslcut

    rmurrayslcut Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2013
    South Jordan, UT
    Yeah, she's a youngster - just 15 weeks and the only one of my flock of eight that flies the coop. She doesn't go far. I just worry about predators. Thanks for the reply!
     
  8. rmurrayslcut

    rmurrayslcut Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2013
    South Jordan, UT
    This was helpful. I clip my parakeets wings but hadn't even though about my chickens. I think she's just exploring. She doesn't go far.
     

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