new run, need a top put on?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Tawodi, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Tawodi

    Tawodi Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2010
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    Hi all,

    new to the chicken scene. Just built my coop and put it in a 6 foot high chain link fence run. i am wanting them to stay in that area (about 2300 sq ft run) so there are no accidents with my dogs. will they just fly over the top? they are mixed birds, 4 phoenix right now and getting a 1 year old flock from a friend that has to move. am thinking the cost is going to be very prohibitive to put a top on. should i try clipping the flight feathers on each one?

    also, read somewhere that new chickens should be kept bottled up in their new coop for a week so they know where home is. i have had them cooped up for 4 days now. since its the only structure in the run, and they have been in it for awhile, think its ok to let them run around yet?

    thanks
     
  2. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Phoenix can fly real good! mine flys way better than any other bantam chicken I have. I would cover the top to keep them in,but more importantly keep hawks out. Especially with smaller birds like phoenix around. I used clothesline and interweaved it making a net like action. This has worked very well and the snow doesn't collect on it.
    I dont like clipping their wings cause if they needed to get away from a predator it could be bad. (my phoenix was the only one who returned after a fox attack and I bet it's cause she so fast and can fly so good)

    oh and 4 days is usually long enough in the coop
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  3. Tawodi

    Tawodi Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2010
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    Awesome, ty. I was going to use string but a friend suggested fishing line. Good to know about the phoenix flight ability. I will get on the stringing and let them stretch their legs tonight
     
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    The run should have a cover. Not necessarily to keep the birds in, but to keep other birds out. Hawks are increasingly becoming problematic to backyard poultry keepers, and wild birds will get into the chicken feed and bring parasites and diseases with them.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Any chicken can get over a 6 foot tall fence if they have enough motivation. Even if they can't just fly over it, they can flap/walk up it and get over a lot higher fence than you would imagine. I've had some do that to get away from an amorous rooster. And once they get in the habit of getting out, they will get out without the immediate motivation.

    I don't know what shape your run is in, long and thin versus pretty square or maybe odd shaped. You may or may not need some support in the middle if you do cover it.

    Good luck on stringing it. That may work for you, but I'll throw out a few other comments just in case.

    I've noticed that plastic gets brittle. I do not recommend plastic unless you are planning on renewing it on a regular basis.

    I've noticed that if they do not have anything to perch on, they are less likely to fly out. If you have a board or a top to the fence, or even just a fence post, they might fly up there just for kicks and who knows which side they decide to come down on. Once they fly out they sure don't know how to get back in. So try to avoid something solid on the top of the fence that looks like they could land on it.

    I had success by having a bit of free-standing fence above the regular fence. I'll try to explain myself. My fence was 5 feet high and some were getting out. I took another section of 5 foot fencing, 2" x 4" welded wire, and extended the fence up another 3-1/2 feet. I attached the new fencing to the top of the existing fence with about 18" sticking down. Then I attached the bottom of the new fencing to the existing fence. I used J-clips instead of hog rings to get a tight connection, though you might be able to use hog rings. Anyway, this leaves about 3-1/2 feet of wire that is stiff enough to stand on its own without any support. I found it to be a relatively easy and fairly inexpensive way to go on up with the fence. Part of the thinking was that if a raccoon or such tried to climb over the fence, the free-standing fencing would bend back under the raccoon's weight so it could not get in, but the real reason was just to get the fence higher.
     
  6. Tawodi

    Tawodi Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2010
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    RR, a lot of what you said happened today. There I am, stringing tight twine every 6 inches. one of the chickens got out of the coop and was watching me. The only thing I think that kept her around was the other 3 in the coop kept calling, she kept calling back. She did fly up to the top, perch for a bit, go to the other side, didnt know how to get back in. Had to open the gate and guide her back in.

    Anyhow, I get done putting up around 800 feet of string, then the chicken flew up between the strings, laughing at me, and perched on the top rung of the fence. so much for that idea. Now I am looking at getting more chainlink or field fence to go across the entire top of the coop. The run is around 50 ft by 50 ft. I can get field fence in 330 foot rolls. I think this is the way for me to go.

    Chicken doesnt know me well enough to come up to me, so I had to wait until it got dark, figured it would settle down and I could grab it. Went out with a flashlight, looking on the ground. No chicken. Its on the fence sleeping. I was able to pick her up and put her in the coop with her buds.

    Thanks for the advice all, I will be fencing the top in tomorrow. This is getting more and more expensive by the day. Good thing I find them entertaining. If one of these turns out to be a little doll like the first one I bought for a friend that would run up to me when I would come over and want me to hold her, it will be worth it. Sadly her dog got hold of her.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't think you will need real expensive fencing up there but you will need supports. I suggest making the supports higher than 6 feet so you will be able to walk under it this summer when it gets hot, expands and really sags. So unless your support material is free, it is going to get real expensive. I imagine you get snow and ice in Arizona. If you cover the top with fencing, both the fencing and supports have to be able to support that snow and ice load.

    As far as fencing material, 2" x 4" welded wire is relatively light and easy to handle compared to some alternatives if you get a light gauge. It will keep the chickens in and hawks out. I don't know what lengths and widths are available in your area. Tractor Supply here had what they call "No-Dig Kennel Fencing", 150 foot roll 5 feet wide for about $160. It is a 17 gauge woven wire that looks like chicken wire. Like chain link, though, it is heavy and hard to handle.

    If I were doing it out of wire, I would use chicken wire. It will not absolutely stop every possible predator, but it will keep the chickens in and should keep the hawks and eagles out. It is probably the lightest and easiest to handle, which would be a real consideration for me if I had to install it. To close the gaps between the individual rolls you can use hog rings or J-clips.

    Of course, I'll remind you that I solved this problem by just going up higher with the fence.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Without some kind of covering/netting, etc... your run with become a bird of prey buffet. I have had losses due to hawks and owls.
     

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