Good laying breeds that are too fat or lazy to fly over electric netting?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MontanaChickDoc, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. MontanaChickDoc

    MontanaChickDoc Songster

    Jul 2, 2016
    central Virginia
    We are having a real fox problem this spring. I've lost a dozen hens and at least 6 chicks - 4 of which were with their moms. We have electrified poultry netting, so only the hens that fly over are taken. The littler chicks can of course fit through the fence so they've all been picked off as they explore or are led out by their moms. The fox (pretty sure it's a mom feeding her kits) watches until one flies out or wanders out, then nabs her. It can be any hour of they day. I have stopped letting the chickens out to free range as the fox will try to take them even if they are only out for 20 minutes and I'm watching them closely.
    My question is, since the fenced in area seems safe, are there good layers that are too fat/ heavy or lazy to fly over? I like cochins but they are not very good layers and it gets pretty hot here in the summer so they get very heat stressed. Any other ideas? The EEs are the worst at flying over, and my nosy hen Bianca Castafire the leghorn was the first to go in March :(
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  2. Leahs Coop

    Leahs Coop Free Ranging

    Nov 5, 2018
    I would recommend you clipping their wings. It's always worked well for me, there are a lot of youtube videos on how to do it
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  3. Rivington

    Rivington Chirping

    May 17, 2017
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    You may want to cover the area/run to keep them from flying out. Only clip one wing because they will figure out how to fly.
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  5. MontanaChickDoc

    MontanaChickDoc Songster

    Jul 2, 2016
    central Virginia
    Unfortunately, neither clipping nor covering are good options for my setup. The fenced area is 368 feet around (2 sections of electrified netting each 184' long) with bushes, scrub trees and bigger trees throughout. Even I clip their wings, I believe they could hop into a bush or onto a stump or their run-in roof or into the grape vines and flump themselves over. The cedar trees, although excellent hawk protection, are also easy to "climb" for the agile ones. That is why I am asking about fat and lazy breeds of chickens that just aren't interested in working that hard to get out :)
  6. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

    May 1, 2019
    North of Seattle
    My barred rocks could get to the moon if so inclined but my Buff Orp is vertically challenged. Her general figure and shape make it harder for her to keep up with her flockmates nutty roosting places (mine free range during the day).

    She's very sweet, docile and a good layer of very large brown eggs. She lays about 5x a week.
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The largest breed is Jersey Giant. I had a JG hen that would fly over a 6' fence to get into the garden on the other side
    Fat hens are not good layers.
    The breed I raise are prolific layers and don't fly over fences. They are so respectful of fences I confine them inside 3 and 4 foot fences. I've even kept a flock of roosters inside a 2' fence. They may sneak under a fence but won't fly unless cornered.
    I can ship you some hatching eggs or chicks.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 9:47 AM
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  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Ah.. I was going to recommend against these... but I see you already know that. :barnie

    I have raised so many different breeds... and the EE are the absolute worst for wanting to roam AND teach others to do the same. :he

    Funny.. all the wing clipping stuff I read... and it comes down to what works individually may have no effect for others. Clipping my rooster ONE wing only.. had NO effect. A close bi lateral clip kept him on his side of the fence as it took away his lift.

    I thought the leghorn would be the first gone. Nope, it was the EE. By gone I mean insistent at roaming and I culled from my flock before taken by a predator. :smack:tongue

    Maybe Australorp is a good choice? Here is a couple breed comparison charts for what it's worth..


    Chicken Chart

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  9. MontanaChickDoc

    MontanaChickDoc Songster

    Jul 2, 2016
    central Virginia
    Are these the penedesencas? How much are chicks? PM me! I might consider it. I have a lot of hens to replace :(
  10. harveyhorses

    harveyhorses Songster

    Jan 16, 2010
    Powhatan Va
    My Buff Orps were never inclined to fly, I think they thought it was beneath them.

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