Need Help Choosing a Chicken Breed That Won't Fly Away

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rivers2011, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. rivers2011

    rivers2011 Songster

    May 12, 2011
    Port Perry, ON
    Hello all,
    I've been letting my birds free-range around our yard a lot lately, however, these girls (Columbia Rock-Rhode Island Red crosses) like to jump on tall structures, and I'm constantly afraid that they're going to fly over the 4 ft tall fence and into the neighbour's pug's paws. Because of this, they can only be let out during times I can supervise them and corral them back to safety. There's also one girl in particular who keeps wanting to wander off into the driveway and down the road - all the other chickens are content to stay in the backyard but she's got an adventurous streak.
    Any advice on what breed to get next year in order to avoid these problems? Perhaps Cornish crosses?
  2. simplysophie

    simplysophie Chirping

    Aug 16, 2011
    I am not an expert but i would suggest getting a broody breed. That way they will stay close to the nest and not the road.
  3. amgreen1980

    amgreen1980 In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2011
    Steelville, Missouri
    I don't think there is necessarily a breed that won't fly. You could clip their wings to keep them from flying out, or cover the top of their pen with chicken wire or bird netting. I believe cornish crosses are strictly meat chickens raised to butcher.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have read that Cornish crosses will die on you at 2 years of life.

    Don't take my word for it, since I have never had them- but please research them carefully before buying as I think they wouldn't live long.

    My large Orpingtons don't like to get far off the ground. (Also Black or White Jersey Giants might be great for you!) [​IMG]
  5. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    Large breeds are heavier, thus can't get as much lift to fly out of a pen when compared to lighter breeds. You can trim the flight feathers on 1 wing to prevent them from flying over the fence, also.
  6. AuberyMirkwood

    AuberyMirkwood Songster

    Jul 24, 2011
    Clovis NM
    Silkies can't fly :)

    Edit: Don't get Cornish crosses. They get so big their skin splits if you don't process them fast enough.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  7. farmdude

    farmdude Songster

    Sep 20, 2009
    NE Wisconsin
    Silkies can't fly and I've never had a Brahma or Cochin fly either.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Chickens don't actually fly over an obstruction unless maybe if they are being chased. As you have seen, they will hop and then down on the other side. I don't know of any breeds except the Silkies that can't do this, even with wings clipped....even the secondary flight feathers. You need to remove all items onto which they can hop and extend your fencing about 4-6 in. above any posts or gates.

    If you don't have your perimeter completely fenced, they will eventually wander off your property and into danger, so best to get it over with now. There are some options for free ranging without these problems.....tractors, electric poultry netting that you move around, etc.

    If not, you can confine them to a run and cover it, as mentioned before.
  9. rivers2011

    rivers2011 Songster

    May 12, 2011
    Port Perry, ON
    Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
    I think I will definitely consider silkies, brahmas or cochins, like one poster suggested...and get some more fencing/netting up

    I don't want to clip their wings because they roost six feet up at night in their coop+run

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