How do I keep my chickens in my yard?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by misidawnrn, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. misidawnrn

    misidawnrn Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    We live on an acre and yet the little buggars were 2 houses down today (we all have about the same sized lots) and the neighbor lady was herding them home. How do I keep them in? We have a fenced yard but the back part of the fence by the shop in the back is open. Today they got grounded to their run and they were sad!
     
  2. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    The only way I think you can keep them in is to make a secure fence. Probably not the solution you were looking for, but I think it is the only real one that will work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  3. GreenMum

    GreenMum Out Of The Brooder

    We had a similar problem only our neighbour's dog enjoyed "playing" with the girls and each of the four times ended in a fatality [​IMG]. We ended up building a new coop with a rather large yard to it and even then, they still got out over the 8' high fence. I can't tell you the number of times that I found anywhere from one to four of my girls up in a tree roosting for the night! Was always a relief to find them there at dusk after my head count, but was still a cause of concern. Our final answer to the ordeal was to put bird netting across the top of the fence. They seem to have adjusted well.
     
  4. I recommend either electric poultry fence, or just poultry fence. The electric fencing mesh is more expensive, but it protects the hens better. You can also move it so the poor chickies aren't stuck in one place all the time. In fact, YOU HAVE TO MOVE IT. This is one drawback - but, it doesn't have to be much, just a foot over to a freshly mowed strip. The taller grass interferes with the current in the fence. We got ours from Premier One . . . they have an installation video and demonstration online, as well as lots of feedback from people. I imagine there are other good brands, that is just the one we found. The great thing about it is that shipping is free, and once it comes you can have it up and running in an hour -- no fence post holes, no rolls of wire, no nailing . . . it is lovely. The drawback is that it is expensive - especially if you need a good charger, and I highly recommend a GOOD (ie - expensive) charger if you decide to go with an electric fence. The cheaper feed store models just don't have the oomph for all the wires in the fences.

    If you are very sure that there are no predators (stray dogs, coyotes, foxes, opossums etc ) in your area, you could try just the poultry netting. It does the same thing, but doesn't have electricity. I haven't actually used it myself, but I imagine that once the chickens get used to it they would just stay in their area. I had to clip several determine hens wings but now everyone is used to the electric fence and they leave it alone. I think they all got shocked at least once -just startled them.

    Here is a picture of our fence around our orchard. I moved it the next day - so you can see the grass was getting a bit shaggy. Here in the Pacific North West, I have to move it every 3 to 4 days, but it would vary depending on how much the grass grows I imagine. Moving it takes anywhere from a half hour for two people if I am just mowing a path along it, and moving the fence over to the cleared spot to an hour or more if I am relocating the pasture to a fresh area. And it is really a job for two people, no matter what the website tells you [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We are working on a permanent fence but this has worked VERY well since we got it. It does keep all the chickens in - even my little banties.

    Hope it helps! I think they sell the plain poultry netting at feed stores and large hardware stores . . .
     

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