Keeping free range chickens out of the garden

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mcbondurant, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. mcbondurant

    mcbondurant Hatching

    Aug 7, 2011
    Any suggestions on a visually pleasing way to keep f.r. chickens out of the garden and how high does it need to be?MCB
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    :frow Welcome to the forum! :frow Glad you joined us! :frow

    I'm not going to get into visually pleasing. My fence is pretty ugly, but it goes up 10' to keep deer out. It works, so to me, not seeing my garden destroyed by deer is visually pleasing.

    Chickens can clear a fence quite a bit higher than many people think, but whether they do or not depends on motivation. I have 4' high electric netting that I use and they do not fly over that at all. But one time one got out and she easily flew over that fence when I was trying to "herd" her toward the gate. They can clear it any time they want, but they never have in trying to get out. If yours are used to eating in the garden, they may try to get in, but a 4' high fence will probably work. There is probably nothing to motivate them to clear it.

    One thing I'll mention, and this may make it a little harder for you to make a pretty fence. Chickens like to perch. If you have a top rail on the fence, the chickens may fly up there to perch and who knows what side they will come down on. And if they come down on the wrong side, they will not know to get out of there the way they got in. This is usually much more of a problem around a run where they are confined, not a fence like a garden fence where they have a lot of other options. But all my fences do not have a top rail.
  3. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I have three gardens & 4 ft fence around them. One garden has only a two ft gate & the flock never bothers my gardens. I never let them in the garden. If I leave the gate open while working the garden & I see one trying to enter I kick her out.[​IMG]
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    A line above the top of the fence wire works wonders if they still fly into a 3 or 4 foot fence. I use weed wacker line strung about 4 inches over the top. This keeps them from landing on top of the fence, and they can't perch on the line. Chickens don't normally (at least none of mine do) fly completely over the fence in one flight. They perch on top of it then jump down the other side. With the line they can't do that. So Jojo my barred rock is finally forever banned from the side garden. The Orps are too fat and lazy to even want to do it lol.
    1 person likes this.
  5. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    I've heard chickens don't like to perch on pointy things - like fence pickets.
    so a 4' picket fence would look nice and (hopefully) keep them out.
    I was going to put one up last year but the quote
    I got from my handyman was [​IMG]
    This year I may try cobbling one together myself as I do not share well (my veggies) with others (the chickens)
  6. The breeds of your chickens matters a LOT on this. Heavy, calm (lazy?) types aren't near so likely to even think about flying a fence, while lighter weight flighty birds (they don't call them "FLIGHTy for nothin!) that are determined to free range far and wide and roost in treetops present very different problems in this.
    A bit of wing clipping may be in order, was well. Definitely agree, no solid top rail for them to fly up to and perch on! The single strand of wire or weedeater string along the top sounds good, too, though I've never tried it. But am going to tuck it back there into my info files in my head, just in case I ever need it!
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010

    The odd part is, those fat lazy orps will fly up to a few structures that are around 4 feet tall inside their area sometimes. But it just doesn't occur to them that the outside fence is almost the same height I suppose, because they never do attempt it. I don't know, maybe it's the stickies on top of the chain link part that put them off it but I've never seen them do it, or be outside it.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012

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