Letting them in my back yard

tec718

In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2019
10
17
29
I currently have 6 chickens in a 8 x 20 pen with nesting boxes and a coop. I have a large yard and I want them to be able to come out of the pen an get some open air. I have a 6 foot fence around the yard and plenty of space for the. My concern is them going over the fence. They just turned a year old and do not know anything but the pen and coop they live in. What do I have to worry about if I let them out into the yard???
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
2,053
2,819
337
Commerce, Texas
Below you can see an aerial view of my property. The pale pink area was previously the pen where I kept the chickens and geese. (They've just been moved to the barn with the light blue area showing the runs for the various varieties. The larger black area is a fenced in backyard with five foot fencing. I used to open the gate into the yard every morning to turn them out for "free-ranging" in a large grassy area. Just recently I've had issues with hawks in the yard (there's no cover) but the tree prevents the Red-tailed hawks from hunting them while they are penned.

I agree though that it will depend on what breed/s you have. English Orpingtons are not inclined to fly which is why the set up works for me. Something like the Black Penedesencas the breeder above has might very well fly out of a six foot fence.

map.png
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,717
20,017
917
St. Louis, MO
Below you can see an aerial view of my property. The pale pink area was previously the pen where I kept the chickens and geese. (They've just been moved to the barn with the light blue area showing the runs for the various varieties. The larger black area is a fenced in backyard with five foot fencing. I used to open the gate into the yard every morning to turn them out for "free-ranging" in a large grassy area. Just recently I've had issues with hawks in the yard (there's no cover) but the tree prevents the Red-tailed hawks from hunting them while they are penned.

I agree though that it will depend on what breed/s you have. English Orpingtons are not inclined to fly which is why the set up works for me. Something like the Black Penedesencas the breeder above has might very well fly out of a six foot fence.

View attachment 2029712
I do appreciate your knowledge of what others say about Mediterranean breeds.
Most are considered flighty. However, flighty is either misunderstood or is a gross mischaracterization.
After over 30 breeds of chickens, I've had several Meds. Minorcas, Anconas, Buttercups, Penedesencas and several varieties of Leghorns.
People say flighty because they are wary and skittish, not that they will fly out of a fence. They don't normally appreciate human contact. That makes them skittish. When pressed, they will definitely fly out of almost any enclosure. However, I've kept flocks of Penedesencas inside a 2' fence. They would rather crawl under a fence than fly over.
Being wary, aloof, skittish, "flighty" makes them very predator proof.
On the other hand, I've had Jersey Giants fly over a 6' fence to reach the tomatoes in the garden.
 
Last edited:

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
2,053
2,819
337
Commerce, Texas
My Penedesencas stayed in a six foot fence, but they never free-ranged either. My Buttercups were great at staying in their pen, but were great foragers. I got rid of my Dominiques because I couldn't keep them in a five foot fence. Even after clipping, they'd walk the wire, beating their wings until they cleared it. Surprisingly, I had some bantam Cochin cockerels that would also get out of a fence that was over six feet tall. Honestly I'd assumed that because of the way you raise yours, that if there were very confined they'd clear the fence in order to get out as they were used to more space.

I should also say that I've never equated the term "flighty" to mean actual flight out of an enclosure. After working with Light Mediterranean breeds flighty is just as you described. Although defining it mentally and seeing it in person can be two different things.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,717
20,017
917
St. Louis, MO
My Penedesencas stayed in a six foot fence, but they never free-ranged either. My Buttercups were great at staying in their pen, but were great foragers. I got rid of my Dominiques because I couldn't keep them in a five foot fence. Even after clipping, they'd walk the wire, beating their wings until they cleared it. Surprisingly, I had some bantam Cochin cockerels that would also get out of a fence that was over six feet tall. Honestly I'd assumed that because of the way you raise yours, that if there were very confined they'd clear the fence in order to get out as they were used to more space.

I should also say that I've never equated the term "flighty" to mean actual flight out of an enclosure. After working with Light Mediterranean breeds flighty is just as you described. Although defining it mentally and seeing it in person can be two different things.
Very well said.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom