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Flighty bird!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by raro, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. raro

    raro Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    I have had chickens for about 5 years now and never had this problem before. I got a gorgeous sebright who is a bantam (not sure if all of them are, but mine is). I knew sebrights can fly more than other hens, but this is getting ridiculous! She flies right over our 6-foot fence as if it's not there. I clipped her wing back as far as I dare, but it makes no difference. She also flies up into a high tree instead of roosting in the coop with the other girls, even though I've introduced her to the coop, left her there for awhile, etc.

    I live in the suburbs and have been as quiet as possible about my girls. There's no law in my county about chickens, but the homeownders' association, which is very vague, could be interpreted to ban chickens. I also don't want to be a nuisance to my neighbors. Yesterday my one neighbor (who comes from a country where chicken-keeping was very common, so she recognized the sounds of chickens as soon as she moved in next door) came to tell me that there was a bird across the street that "looked like a chicken."Sure enough, it was my Cissy, strolling along as if she owned the place. Fortunately I was able to snag her, but I don't want this to be a daily occurrence, and there are raccoons out there who would love a chicken sandwich for lunch!

    So I am thinking of getting a little drastic and maybe tying something to her leg(s) that would weigh her down just enough so that she can't fly quite as high (My ever-so-helpful son suggested a banana, haha). But everything I can think of would weigh her down too much. I don't want to be cruel and make it hard for her to walk, just to fly too high.

    Any ideas? Or if it's a bad idea, any alternative ideas to keep my girl in the backyard rather than wandering the neighborhood?!
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Quite a dilemma. Since she's used to exploring, I think weighting her down will stress her out. She may injure herself trying to escape?

    Maybe someone else will disagree with me?

    Can you add coverage on the fencing so she cannot get out?
     
  3. wchepooh

    wchepooh Out Of The Brooder

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    This is exactly what I'm afraid of with my girls. I'm following to see if anyone has ideas. We did add some extra height to our fence by stapling wire to it. But some of these birds get pretty high.
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    I have seen pics showing some chickens sitting on top of 7 foot fence posts, on top of tall coops.

    Someone with similar issue placed bamboo garden posts on top of fence and reported it worked. Won't be attractive, but better than losing the chicken.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Balloonjuice

    Balloonjuice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would it be out of the question to consider clipping their wings? There are probably instructions for it here on BYC. It stresses the bird at the actual time you do it, I'm sure. But they soon lose their desire for flying.

    P.S. I've had some get on the roof of the hen house and go from there to a fairly large post oak. But unlike kittens, they will eventually come back down.
     
  6. Deckgirls

    Deckgirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i believe she did clip the wings and it still was able to fly.

    I feel ya OP because I have a Jap bantam that also can fly with a clipped wing. she has to stay in an enclosed area and can't free range because we too live in the city. Ours flew over a 6ft fence and into a crazy neighbors tree and roosted for the night :/ boy was that a miserable night thinking about the city ordinance getting called on us. good luck
     
  7. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    I have also seen posts about one flighty girl that climbed fences. Bet the real flighty breeds will continue to find ways to explore where no chicken has every gone. If they cannot fly, jump or climb, bet you they will dig.
     
  8. raro

    raro Out Of The Brooder

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    My daughter suggested maybe using zip ties with a couple of regular little bolts on the legs. I don't want her not to be able to fly at all, because it seems to be part of her personality and I don't want her hobbled. But maybe if we played around with it enough that she can hop and jump but not fly 6 feet or more, it might work. We used color coded zip ties in the past to tell my hens apart when we first got chickens, and they never seemed bothered by them at all, although we had to frequently check them to be sure they weren't too tight.
     

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