How high can hens fly?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NoelC, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. NoelC

    NoelC Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 8, 2011

    Still moving along at a snail's pace on our chicken project! I have the coop & pen built now and am about to set up some chicken wire fencing to contain the birds away from the main landscaped areas of our 1 acre property. We hope to have 3 or so hens forage over about 1/5 of the lot. Two sides of their forage area have our lot perimeter fence consisting of secure 6+ foot cyclone or wood fencing, the remaining two sides will be chicken wire held up only by metal fence posts. We had assumed we would need to wing clip them, but then wondered, how high would these fences need to be to contain the hens w/o clipped wings? We are not averse to wing clipping if needed, but if not why bother!

    Thanks in advance!

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
  2. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2008
    Mature Orpingtons-- maybe 5 feet if they can get off the ground.
    Young orps- definitely 6 feet if they want out.
    EEs- 8 feet if they want out
    Leghorns-- I don't think we've reached that level yet if they are determined.

    It's like asking how large a pop door they need. Depends.
  3. fowlsessed

    fowlsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 16, 2011
    east Tennessee
    What breed are you going with? It pretty much depends on that. Light or heavy?
  4. NoelC

    NoelC Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 8, 2011
    Quote:Either Leghorns or Rhode Island Reds or New Hampshire Reds I believe.
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Okay.. So I have 4 ft fencing and none of my girls jump the fence. Not even my hamburg, who can easily do it. They want to land on a railing before jumping over, so this is something to avoid. If you can, make the fence as high as possible, if not.. Well I'm one that can say none of my 18 chickens jump my 4ft fence!
  6. NoelC

    NoelC Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 8, 2011
    Fascinating. I think I could do 5' without much of an issue. Maybe I should just try that and see what happens. I can always clip if need be. They will be in a quite secure area as far as day time intrusions go so I am guessing they may not have a lot incentive to go elsewhere, though I could be completely wrong on that guess! Their foraging area will be black oak canape with filtered sun, mostly shade. Lots of vinca ground cover and various native weeds that things along those lines commonly found in the low Sierra in Northern California. If they begin to get an eye for the landscaped area, could that be incentive enough to fly out provided they are well fed and foraged?
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    All of the breeds you mentioned COULD fly up onto a 6ft. fence if they really wanted to. But as aoxa mentioned, just because they CAN doesn't mean they will. We have 4 ft. fence around our property too, and none of mine have ever flown over...and I have breeds that I've watched fly a good 12-15ft into the air when startled (my little d'uccles). IMO, you can go lower with fence that doesn't have a top on's like they can't really tell how high it is when there's no 'ledge.' I used 24" chicken wire around my garden, and not one chicken made it into the garden (unless we opened the 'gate' to let them come in and peck around). When they can see the top (like board fence, privacy fence, chain link), they have a goal to shoot for.
  8. NoelC

    NoelC Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 8, 2011
    Quote:Cool, keep 'em comin'! What a great forum to get diverse perspectives on this n that!
  9. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    The Peak District, UK
    My Sebright once stole my breath when she took off, swooped over the coop, then up and over the washing line before coming to land neatly in front of me. The coop roof is 5ft off the ground, the washing line is a way over my head and I'm 5'7. She's never tried to get out of the garden, though and that's only a 4' fence.
  10. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 5, 2011
    two of myne get fly about 4 metres high

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by