Escape Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KFox, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. KFox

    KFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    My chickens have just decided that every morning, when they are let out into the run, they are going to escape. They go over the top, snack on some bugs and then they go back into their run. I'm not sure why they have decided to start doing this. Are they missing something in their diet and feel they need to go find it? They have a five foot fence around the yard where they roam. I am home and only let them free-range when I can supervise.

    I know I can cover their run and keep them from escaping. I am just wondering if they will eventually get too heavy to do this or stop on their own? Maybe they will get more comfortable and not only cross the boundary of their run but also start crossing the fenced boundary of the yard. We have one acre for them. If I am not home, they are in their coop and it is locked up and as predator-proof as I feel necessary.

    They don't get really excited or out of hand. Actually, they are pretty calm about the whole situation. They go about their business as if they are on a mission. One hen in particular seems to be the ring-leader. She is a Buff Orpington and is always everywhere she needs not to be.
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio

    They probably have just figured out that they can fly up to the top of the fence. And you know, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence! [​IMG]

    You could clip the feathers on just one wing if you don't want them to do makes them off balance, so they can't fly well.
  3. TeriS

    TeriS Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 28, 2010
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    I have a hen that does the very same thing- we DID clip 1 side of her flight feathers and she STILL manages to get over the run fence. The others haven't figured out yet how to do this.
  4. Tripp16

    Tripp16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    I had the same problem with my girls. All I did was go to TSC and buy a roll of deer netting (sorta like cloth fence) which is only like $20 and just put it over the top of their run. It worked great!! [​IMG]

    Hope this helps at all! [​IMG]
  5. RapidEye

    RapidEye New Egg

    Aug 4, 2010
    Quote:Yup - I tried it on 4 or 5 RIR hens to try and keep them penned up and it didn't work. They really can jump pretty high and the wings just sort of give them a little extra umph.
    Top netting is the only real way to keep them penned.
  6. KFox

    KFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    I have two rolls of netting. It is too hot to mess with today but I think I'm going to have to make their run more secure and net the top.

    I was trying to avoid this and if they behaved, I was going to extend the run and give them a corkscrew willow tree as a jungle gym. Maybe I can extend the run a different direction. [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the comments.
  7. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    We have our birds trained to an electric fence. It is only 42 in high, but they learned that it hurt at a very young age, so they do not attempt to leave their protected area.

    Except of course for one.

    She is laying under the bay window in the flower bed. She allows us to put her back in the pen when she has made her deposit.

    If we do not put her back right away, she comes in the garage calling to us and generally makes a pest of herself.
  8. KFox

    KFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
  9. fresheggs4u

    fresheggs4u Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2007
    when i built my first run i put a net on it. It didn't last through the first snow. I had escaping birds the following spring so I purchased nylon fencing from Lowes and put PVC pipe over my post and raised the fence another 4 ft. I used zippie ties to attach them together. So far no escapees [​IMG]
  10. Popcorn

    Popcorn Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 25, 2012
    I have an EE hen that likes to get out constantly. She flew over at first so we put a roll of snow fencing on the top of the fence to make it scary - no luck. she also squeezes under the door (when the door to the enclosed run is opened it closes the fence of the open run). My dad was going to clip her wing when she CLIMBED straight up four feet of fence using her feet and beak and wings to steady herself. She wins.

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