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How to keep hens from flying over a 7-ft fence?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DeedeesInn, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. DeedeesInn

    DeedeesInn In the Brooder

    Hi, my hens have a very secure chicken coop and run, and in the daytime I also give them access to their chicken yard. The chicken yard has a 7-8 ft fence all around it, but it doesn't have a roof. My best flyer, Amelia Earhart, age 5 months, flew over the fence a few days ago....! Any ideas on how to keep her and her friends from flying over the fence?

  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
  3. sniper338

    sniper338 Songster

    Dec 15, 2013
    San Antonio, Texas
    Clip a wing.. yes one wing only...

    Put a roof on it...

    Put wire over the top...
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    You could add an extra 50cm - 1m to the top of your fence, but fix at so its angled inwards - say 30 degrees from vertical. I have a much shorter fence but have around 50 cm of inward facing wire and none of my flock can fly over it.
  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

    Oct 24, 2009
    Just clip her wing.
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    As CTKen says, add posts angled inward and use a few strands of string. Likely find flimsy short metal posts that once screwed to top of fence side can be bent forward. Then attach two rows of string. I'd think cheap metal fence posts cut in thirds would work.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I’ll bet your fence has a solid top, something that looks inviting for a chicken to fly up and perch on. That’s how chickens normally get over a tall fence, they fly up to perch and who knows which side they fly down on. There is another possibility though. If a chicken is trapped against a fence or wall in a conflict with another chicken, they might go vertical to get away and get over the fence that way. Even flapping their wings they look like they are walking up the fence, well more like running. There is another similar situation, a hen trying to get away from an amorous rooster can go vertical like that too and get out. Seven feet is pretty tall for that but sometimes a chicken gets desperate.

    I’m not sure which of these caused her to get out and I don’t know what your fence looks like. I used a version of CT’s idea. A hen learned she could get out when trying to get away from an amorous rooster and soon taught a couple of buddies to come with her. My fence was wire so they were not perching on top and getting out that way. It was only five feet tall.

    I took a five feet high section of 2x4 welded wire and attached that to the fence about 18” down from the top, then again attached it at the top. No support posts or anything up there. The stiffness of the wire caused it to stand up on its own 3-1/2 feet, attached like that. I did not angle it in but I wound up with a fence about 8-1/2 feet tall straight up with no top rail. It kept them in.

    Angling it in is a standard method for a fence top but depending on your fence that may be a bit challenging. Going straight up can work too, especially if they are just flying up there to perch. It doesn’t have to be expensive wire either, you are just trying to keep chickens in so chicken wire will work.

    It doesn’t look that bad in my opinion but if you want it to pretty much disappear, paint it black or maybe really dark green. A roller seems to work best but you can still have a lot of wasted paint. I used dark green because that’s what I had on hand. It doesn’t reflect sunlight and cause glare. You can pretty much see right through it. It’s a trick that can help you see inside your run from the house if you sometimes get a glare.

    Good luck.

  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Run is not secure if it doesn't have a roof around here with hawks being the prime predator.

    How big is run(feet by feet)?
    Pics might help....you've already gotten some good suggestions, depending on birds method of egress.
  9. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada

    My run is about 4 ft high. If you clip the feathers on one wing of each bird it will help.

    Make sure there is no blood in the shaft of the feather before you clip or your bird may bleed to death.

    On some birds you may even have to clip a few secondary flight feathers.

    One wing throws the bird off balance and is more effective than trimming equal amounts off both wings.

    Feather shafts containing blood.

  10. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chirping

    Nov 24, 2013
    I put a top on my fence all way across, I was worried about them flying my main reason was to keep hawks out and keep from losing any chickens

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