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Fencing in yard for chickens -- Need advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by citychknraising, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. citychknraising

    citychknraising In the Brooder

    Jan 30, 2017
    Hampton Roads, VA
    Hi everybody! I have 4 chickens -- 2 EEs, 1 cochin, and 1 speckled sussex. They have a 4x5 coop and an 4x8 completely enclosed run, which they have access to during the day. The layout of my yard is such that the chicken setup is tucked into a section where 3 sides are enclosed by a privacy fence and the fourth side is open. Long story short, I enclosed the fourth side of this space with chicken wire about a foot and a half tall so I can let the chickens out into this piece of the yard relatively worry-free while I'm home. This worked great until 3 of the chickens discovered they can fly out into the rest of the yard (poor cochin, she always gets left behind). So my question is - how tall should I make this section of fence to discourage the chickens from flying out? Has anybody else had a similar problem?

  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    The problem is that they already know they want to be on the other side, so they are going to be that much more motivated to try to get over what you put up. I would suggest at least 4 feet tall *if* you also clip one wing on each bird and consider putting an inward leaning angle at the top that is 45 degrees and extends 1-2 feet back into the space -- this works to defeat their natural way of navigating which is to get up to the barrier and then start the "hop" over the top. Because that is how they tend to approach it your inward angle at the top works as a deterrent as they will encounter that part and come back down. While chickens are very intelligent they don't usually apply any problem solving to this sort of setup and work out to start the "over" further back so as to clear that inward angle. Without the inward angle, I would suggest 6 feet and still also suggest the clipping of one wing.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Heck they can probably jump that without hardly even spreading wings.
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I tried 3' high chicken wire to protect the garden, and the chickens had no problem getting into the crops. Mary
  5. citychknraising

    citychknraising In the Brooder

    Jan 30, 2017
    Hampton Roads, VA
    @Ol Grey Mare Thanks, I was hoping for a simpler solution but may have to either use your suggestion in the future or just make my covered run bigger.

    @aart They did exactly that - just hopped over it.

    It was kind of a temporary solution until I got something better put up. As an update, I put up a 4ft chicken wire fence, decided it looked awful, took it down and re-put up the 1.5 ft one. I then got metal wire and strung it horizontally (2 strands, about 8"(?) apart) above the 1.5 ft chicken wire fence to provide a not so ugly barrier. I figure if they try to hop over the fence and run into the metal wire, it will deter them. Anyway, as I stood on the porch admiring my work, I look down and see a chicken standing next to me. Put said chicken back inside of the fence, moved the wires closer together and none have escaped since then.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  6. RPClark

    RPClark In the Brooder

    Sep 30, 2016
    Southwest Iowa
    Stuff I want chickens to stay out of gets a minimum of a three foot fence. Four feet if I can swing it.

    For those birds that are determined to scale those fences, a quick clip of the wing feathers stops that. I've only had two of the 15 birds clear the fences. Hence, only two of my birds have clipped wings. I may clip them all later this spring.
  7. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Songster

    Oct 16, 2015
    In my experience it really comes down to how motivated they are to get over the fence.

    I free range my birds. They have 2+ acres to roam. A 3-4' fence is enough to keep them out of things I want to protect because they have so many other options. It just isn't worth the effort,

    When they are on lockdown, confined to the run, they will try to scale the 6' fence to get out, and if not for the netting over the run, they would.

    With a smallish run, and the oodles of goodies they now know is on the other side of that barrier, you've likely got some determined little escape artists on your hands.

  8. citychknraising

    citychknraising In the Brooder

    Jan 30, 2017
    Hampton Roads, VA
    I do wish I could let them free range, I just don't have that option currently. Hopefully I will in the not too distant future. I may consider clipping their wings, I'll have to look up how to do it. They flap their wings a little getting up into the roost at night so I don't want to hinder them from being able to get on the roost.

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