Ideas for Keeping Chickens INSIDE the Fence

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wolfrosie, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. wolfrosie

    wolfrosie Out Of The Brooder

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    So I've been having a problem with all of my chickens deciding they're nice big yard wasn't enough for them and they’ve been hopping the fence so that now I've had to keep them locked up for over the winter while I've been saving for a new type of fencing situation.
    Now originally, this might not have been a problem. But these ladies moved in downstairs and they are the snooty, inconsiderate/rude types of neighbours, who act polite with others only to get their way and seem nice when really their not, with 3 vicious dogs to boot, and well… we’ll just leave it at that…

    With my chickens, it’s gotten to the point where the very minute I let them out and go inside to look out my window… I see all of my chickens running around outside having a good ol’ time far from home! It’s only lucky for me that all of my chickens are well trained enough so that they came running right back as soon as I called them with a grain bucket. Also lucky that my black Australorps which I had just bought and didn’t get to associate much with before this happened followed suit with the others no problem. That being said, I need ideas to help me figure out a way to keep these pesky chickens inside their own pasture!

    These chickens have so far jumped as much as up to a 7 ft wire fence, by accident, and regularly jump 6 ft to get into my horse’s pasture and they’re original fence line which is a wood frame and netting type of cheap fencing I measured to be only about 4 ft. My yard is basically a square, with the 7 ft wire fence at the back over majority of the section, the 6ft wire fence on the left side, and the rest of the pasture surrounded by the 4 ft wooden+wire fencing.
    The original fence will have to stay there, and I do not want to stay in this specific house forever so building a new and expensive permanent fence is not ideal. I have various breeds, most of them supposedly heavy-weight breeds from what I’ve been reading, but yet they are all capable of flying such great heights. Rhode Islands, Wyandottes, a Cochin, Americaunas, and my Australorps so far. 21 chickens in total, so cutting wings is not an option. [​IMG]

    I've been looking at this type of fencing, see here for a picture:
    http://www.profence.org/products/woven-wire/nggallery/slideshow/

    Which keep in mind is the same type of fencing that is at the back of their yard, which my baby Australorps had no problem flying to the top of. In my coop my chickens also like to squish themselves up to the roof and fly that very same distance from the ground to the top, onto some sort of support wire that sticks out and runs through the entire building. They sure are silly, having themselves crouch up in there like bats when they could just skip down a level onto a proper perch. So my concern is if I plan to get the 8 ft version of this do you think that they will still jump over it too? The wire fence is strong which makes me think that the chickens should have no problem just chilling up on it as they've already proven that they don't seem to mind the wire on their feet too much. But I’ve seen many places use shorter versions of it as well who have never even heard of chickens jumping over fences.


    I’ve also been looking at some deer netting, which would be more desirable because you can't see it as much. I’d hate having my yard look like a big ugly prison!
    I actually just got some today, but I think the measurements on the package are wrong as it says it's 7 ft tall but standing it up in its package it’s only about 3 1/2 ft?? I hope that it’s just packed really well, but if it’s only so tall I will try to make it work by putting it over top of the existing fence. [​IMG]
    But I have to wait until I will be able to have enough time to set it up either this weekend or the next to see for sure. With a 30 day guarantee that should be enough time to see if the chickens will try and trample it down. [​IMG]
    As well as see how well it holds up in the rainy weather.
     
  2. TOOCLOSE

    TOOCLOSE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know this probably won't solve your problem? But it's something to think about?

    We use pop up tents around here. Then we put the green garden fence around the bottom of it. Put a netting around the tent (they have them that are made for the pop up tents) and let your chickens roam around in those! They won't be able to fly out of that! :)

    We also bought a large black thick netting to go over the top of a stationary pen. It works great!

    You can let them graze inside the tent and then move the tent to fresher grass a few days later. They love the new small shoots of grass coming up. I keep seeds tossed out in the yard so there's always new grass coming up.

    TC
     
  3. wolfrosie

    wolfrosie Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, I've never actually heard of those!
    They wouldn't work for my situation though, one of my neighbours likes to steal chickens and I would be too worried to leave them out in there where someone could easily get to them even if I was home to watch. But don't get the wrong idea though that neighbour is, actually, really nice... they just for some reason prefer my chickens on the idea to eat even though they have tons over on theirs! (or eggs, as the case may be)
    I wouldn't put it past my downstairs ladies to not want to go stealing eggs or nosing around either, or anybody else full of themselves deciding my driveway was a nice shortcut to the trails, as well. Some people just really are inconsiderate and stupid!
    Which is precisely why I have a lock on my chicken house, so no nosey neighbours. Both with two legs or four-paws... [​IMG]
    We also have very strong winds...

    But I'm sure somebody else who might be reading this would think that this idea is really useful! I know several people who could do this. Which is what I really wanted this topic to do, open up a lot of ideas not just for me but for anyone else who needs help brainstorming ways to keep pesky chickens inside.


    --
    I've not been able to set up my chickens new fence yet, but I opened up one package and the fence is about 7 ft so I am glad. I have a few posts set up outside and have been imagining how it's going to work, looking at the texture of the netting I can see how my chickens might be deterred about the thin-ness and the visibility of the fence and not want to attempt to go over it. The more daring ones I am not so sure though. But so far I love the plan.... so far... I won't be able to see the fence from my window or farther away so that is great. [​IMG]
    I could always use it for some garden plants if it fails.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Your deer netting should accomplish your objective of keeping the chickens inside their yard. It's folded in half, by the way, and then rolled up into a 100 foot roll, if you have the same stuff I've bought. It's a hassle to unroll the whole thing and straighten it out into it's full 7 foot width, but if you've got two people working together, and you fasten it to your posts as you go, it's not an impossible feat.

    The reason it ought to work to keep your wandering hoards in, is because, unlike a rigid wire fence, the deer netting does not provide a solid landing at the top, and that's what is required if chickens are going to be successful in leaping over a high fence. They don't actually fly over the high fence. They need to pause at the top before continuing onto the other side, being the less than graceful creatures that they are.

    So, they will make a few initial attempts, a couple may even be successful in making it over, but I would bet they find the experience too uncomfortable and will soon decide that trying to get over the deer netting is far more trouble than it's worth.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    A neighbor of mine uses deer netting. The birds do not even attempt to fly over it I think because they can not see it clearly. It provides very little protection from hawks and based what I see should be replaced once every 6 months. If you can keep predators away, then it will work very well.
     
  6. wolfrosie

    wolfrosie Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh thanks everyone!
    I just put up 2/3 rds of the fence up yesterday, before I found myself in the dark. Conveniently the roll I was using ended right where I would've had to cut it anyway to go around some obstacle. So that was nice!
    Now this morning it almost seems like the birds are attracted to it, seems like they know bird/deer netting when they see one. I imagined them saying = oh look, some bird netting! I bet they have lots of good vegies that they don't want us to eat over there!
    Although nobody in my area uses this stuff. But I don't mind the birds. [​IMG]

    They always fly so high when they want to get in my yard anyway, so I expected them to be able to get over it. Putting up the rest today and then if it's early enough I will test the chickens while I will be home to watch them.


    --Update--
    Fence is up and so far nobody's tried to jump it yet. I will post back if anything changes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The aggregating near fencing may be because they consider it cover. My birds do such when pasture is short.
     
  8. clucking hen

    clucking hen Out Of The Brooder

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    You may have found a solution that works, but if not you could try clipping their wings. I know someone who had a four foot fence that kept their chickens in because they couldn't fly. They had a lot of chickens, it takes less than a minute to clip a wing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  9. wolfrosie

    wolfrosie Out Of The Brooder

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    UPDATE ---
    I thought if somebody was still reading this then this would be useful. Saddened to see that you can't update your original posts unlike most websites, anymore - apparently. It would make things so much easier and definitely more of a benefit to be able to have one post versus a million of others.

    It's Apr 5th, 2015 and the chickens haven't jumped the fence yet. It was a bit nerve wracking as they did jump on the fence before a week or 2 after I put it up, they were able to land on the old wood through the netting but they looked pretty squished. Good news is despite the material the rascals didn't get their nails or any of themselves caught in it, if that were an issue somebody was wondering about, and not even a scratch or breakage in the netting. It's tougher than it looks. The chickens jumped back on again a couple of times throughout 2 days, insisting on defeating this troublesome thing that was blocking their way but eventually they sighed in dismay and defeat. [​IMG]

    My one complaint I have is I used a type of twist ties to clip the fence up, stretched it out all perfectly neat, it looked beautiful, and very sturdy but I guess after it's been about 2 months? the fence has now fallen completely a part!
    It looks to me like the ties I bought are a cheap product because the fence looks fine as I didn't see any breakages in the one section I picked up, but I put the long tie's tails through the extra loops they had and it seems like they've all loosened because they're all sprung out and one tie in particular seems to have fallen down the top of the post it was on, but the fence is still up attached to it. So I guess that's something to watch out for. Next time I get a chance to go to the home improvement store I will see if a 'heavy duty' slightly more expensive package of ties will work better just so I can rule them out.
    It's not a hassle to put up though, I managed quite well by myself with just a chair to stand on.

    A large section of the fence is actually down right now, but it's not in too bad of a spot(s), and despite it simply being curled around the old fence they still haven't even attempted to jump it so it seems the whole vision thing really works for their chicken mentality. I put a perch out there to help give them something to crow on as a substitute to help deter them from jumping on anything else that they shouldn't eons ago and whenever they look at the fence wanting to jump on something now they always go and jump on the perches. [​IMG]
    Nice to have chickens without having to worry so much about them anymore.
     

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