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Fence height question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by littlelune810, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 chicks a few days old now, 2 Australorps and 2 EE's. We are trying to do this on the lowest budget possible. We will build a run if truly needed but what we would like to do is give the hens free range of our yard. We have slightly under 1/4 acre lot that is fully fenced with 4ft chainlink. If we clip one wing of each bird should this be sufficient to keep them in our yard? They will have a secure hen house for nighttime. Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Whilst wing clipping may help, doing so reduces their ability to escape from predators. I'd suggest reading up on predators in your areas (joining your state thread will put you in contact with other BYC members in your area who will be able to advise.

    (https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/270925/find-your-states-thread)

    All the best
    CT
     
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    My run is about 4 ft high. If you clip the feathers on one wing of each bird it will help.

    Make sure there is no blood in the shaft of the feather before you clip or your bird may bleed to death.

    On some birds you may even have to clip a few secondary flight feathers.

    One wing throws the bird off balance and is more effective than trimming equal amounts off both wings.

    Feather shafts containing blood.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Read my post in this thread. That will save me a lot of typing. Post #4.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1087140/large-fenced-in-area

    I understand your desire to do this on a low budget, this stuff can get pretty expensive pretty quickly. But I suggest you come up with a reasonably secure small run for emergencies. Some people will tell you that you absolutely have to have a Fort Knox that nothing can get in but you don’t. Even a run built out of chicken wire offers a lot of protection against many predators, it’s better than nothing.

    But predator protection is not the only thing I’m talking about. There are a lot of times it comes in handy to be able to keep them locked up, it just gives you so much more flexibility to manage them. Say they are not laying in the nests. You can leave them locked up in the morning until they lay until they get in the habit of laying in the nests (or at least in the run where you can find it). Maybe you are having some work done or doing it yourself that you don’t want the chickens around, they will get in the way or maybe be at risk. Maybe your fence does not keep them in, you can keep them locked up until you fix that problem. A place to put them gives you a lot of extra flexibility so you can work on things on your schedule, not always have to take a day off work to immediately handle something.

    I suggest you look on Craigslist or such for free or really inexpensive dog kennels or something similar, maybe free materials to build your run. You can sometimes get free scrap material at construction sites, such as wood used for cement forms. It may not be pretty but it works. With only four chickens it does not have to be huge. And you only use it when you need it.
     
  5. BertandMary

    BertandMary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ours did a lot of time free ranging on a sinilar sized lot. We clipped one wing on each, but don't go deep with it. They stayed in the yard. We built a raised coop with a run under it. That comes in handy. We moved last winter and are starting over. I am almost done with a new coop on a budget. I've spent 60 bucks but haven't built a run yet. I could have gone cheaper but didn't want to keep searching for free stuff. As the poster above said, they need safe places. Trees, bushes, a shed, an old portable gazebo, etc help give them places to scurry to for cover. A pair of Hawks have moved in around here so I have to build cover for our birds this time. Agri supply has good prices on chicken wire.
     
  6. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    I think you need a small run, as others said, there are times you will not want to let them out. A small run will make them happier birds, you are not going to want to let them out every morning at sunrise. They can go into the run until you decide to let them out.

    Also if they get out too early they will not learn where the nest boxes are.

    I would not clip their wings yet. Wait to see if they cross your fence or not. My chickens are not much for flying over fences. If they have enough to scratch at they may not go over the top. I have no idea what your budget or idea of the lowest possible budget is. But know you will be spending money on them.
     
  7. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for the great feedback! I do think I will make a small run for them. I did get a roll of chicken wire for free and I have some 2x4s, Im sure I can get creative with that. I was thinking and as some of you mentioned, that when they first leave the brooder I want them to stay near the hen house so they learn that it is "home base" so to speak. Also like the idea that if we need them out of the way for something. Thanks again!
     
  8. BertandMary

    BertandMary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A great place for free 2x4s is shipping and moving companies. I got some between 4 to 10 feet in length. I had to pull staples and nails but I got enough to frame out my entire coop with 2 ten footers and 2 six foot ones left over. They often just toss out old shipping crates and pallets. I am going back to get enough to do a shed next.
     
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