Which breed is the best about not being flighty? I would like to get a batch of hens that will basically stay in my fenced in yard and not fly over the fence and go over to the neighbors. Any suggestions?
Silkies cant fly because of the feathering and the shape of their body. Cochins cant fly well(they usually just fall and use their wings as a parachute) because they are to fat and to feathery for their wings to do much for them. Frizzles cant fly wither, and thats of any breed, because of the feathering as well. Most of the heavier breeds cant fly because of the weight they have to get off the ground.
I find my silkies and cochins are pretty calm... with the exception of one silkie hen who is a major freak out. However, they have all be able to clear a 3-4 foot fence if provoked. Even my flighty leghorns will stay inside a 4 foot fence to do yard duty if they felt like it... or fly to the roof if the moment strikes them.
I would say cochins and silkies are a good bet to prevent flying out, however, you will have to make sure nothing from above flies in to get an easy meal.
I have a new set of 10 barred rocks which are about 8 weeks old-tomorrow and hoping they will stay in the fenced area when I let them out of the coop. I have 5 Danish Brown Leghorns, don't know about their breed much except they are white egg layers. My older breed of hens are the most flighty birds I've ever seen. They are a mixture of red, black and gold sex link and Easter Eggers. There's about 3 that stay inside the fence, but the rest just make themselves at home over in the neighbor's yards.
I've got a newly planted garden which is reason for the hens being cooped up. I'll have to check out the silkies and cochins. Do they lay small eggs?
Chickens are pretty good at squeezing under a fence or between the boards if given enuf time and inclination even if they don't fly over. Still, there are some hens who would not consider leaving a backyard under most any circumstances.
My Australorps have been capable but hardly inclined to escape the backyard. Brahmas were perhaps a little more inclined than capable. I think I'd almost have to "boot" the Buff Orpingtons I've had to get them over the fence and out of the yard
. And yes, I very much value a stay-at-home hen and wouldn't have a flightly, light-weight breed if only for that reason.
Edited to say . . . oh yeah, that one cochin hen I once had - I felt lucky to get her out-from-under-foot so that I could walk thru the backyard