Fence hopping and what to do about it

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pinebarrens, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. pinebarrens

    pinebarrens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2015
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    We are new at this, our little flock is around 5 months old, Buff Orps, Speckled Sussex and Easter Eggers.

    Our property is surrounded by woods, bordering a state forest. We have 4' tall fencing, the fenced-in space being around 1.5 acres. Recently we started giving the chickens the run of it, which was always the plan -- we really want them to be able to range the yard.

    Today, they decided it's a super cool idea to fly up and perch on this one section of fence. They are not known as "flighty" breeds or anything and I guess I was hoping it just wouldn't occur to them to try this (please don't make fun of me too much.) Of course somebody ended up on the wrong side of the fence, in the heavy underbrush over there, and couldn't figure out how to get back. Then my husband and son got to crash around on the far side of the fence catching the panicky hen while I worked to keep her sisters from jumping back up onto the fence rail, and meanwhile our young rooster was running up and down the fence line calling the stray. And then after we had finally rounded everybody up for the evening (rooster very agitated, but to his credit still docile with us,) we got to pick the inevitable ticks off of husband and son and feed them to the chickens as a bedtime snack.

    We don't particularly want to do that every day, and we're talking about our options for how to deal with it. Wing clipping? Attaching something along the top of the fence to extend it upward a little? Let them just figure it out on their own (would they ever? without getting eaten by a coyote or whatever first?) Condition them to stay away from the fence, or at least that section of it? What have other people done, and how did it work out?

    Our parameters:
    *We would like to continue letting them roam the yard
    *We can't afford to replace the entire fence right now
    *Our chickens are spoiled pets and we would be sad to lose one
    *We are OK with an "ugly but functional" solution
     
  2. Fatman608

    Fatman608 Just Hatched

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    Clip one wing and that should solve problem.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. ChickenKeep01

    ChickenKeep01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    just clip there wings its really simple we did it to ours for the same reason here is a video on how to clip them
     
  4. MorganC

    MorganC Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2014
    Idaho
    Oh my! Sounds like fun! :)

    So, my first and probably the easiest solution is to trim one wing on all your flock. Don't trim both as this will defeat the purpose. Take a pair of good scissors and cut the feathers on one wing back about 4-6 inches, but being careful not to make the feathers bleed. 9 times out of 10 this will cure the problem....until the feathers grow back in then you will have to do it all over again.
    If this doesn't work, I would suggest a electric mesh to go either along the fence line or a single line to go along the top, very low voltage. But try the wing first.
     
  5. MontanaChickDoc

    MontanaChickDoc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We just purchased electric poultry netting from Premier 1. We have a solar powered battery 4V. I got tired of chasing our chickens out of our gardens and the neighbors'. Then there was the fox that tried to make a meal of one of the girls. The netting can be moved around easily. I used a similar product for sheep before and it's great.
     
  6. MorganC

    MorganC Out Of The Brooder

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    Cool! Sounds great!
     
  7. pinebarrens

    pinebarrens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2015
    south NJ
    The wing clipping seems to be the first choice solution, so we will try that first before we start tinkering with fencing. The electric netting or wire could be a workable backup plan.

    Thank you for the specifics, and the Youtube video, that was really helpful. Guess I'm going to learn a new skill tomorrow [​IMG]
     
  8. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So..you don't want your chickens to fall prey to a predator, but you're going to hobble their chances to get away?
     
  9. pinebarrens

    pinebarrens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2015
    south NJ
    OK... what would you do?
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I would go straight to electrified poultry netting.
     

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