Outsmarted by escapey chooks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kiwi Amy, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Kiwi Amy

    Kiwi Amy New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Jan 4, 2015
    We live in suburban Wellington and had two chooks in a chicken tractor. They were perfectly happy, but we wanted to give them more space.

    So we made them a portable run which the tractor sits in. And they loved that for a good few days.

    Now they're escaping the run in no time at all and spending their days foraging in our backyard. To be honest, that's fine. If they stay in our backyard I'm happy as larry - the cats don't seem to mind them and there's plenty of space. Our herb garden has taken a pretty big hit but that there is a first-world problem.

    My only concern is that they'll get bored of the backyard and will venture to the neighbours - we have no control over them at all so I genuinely don't know how I'd get them back if they did, and the last thing I want is for their vege garden to be eaten by two greedy girls who are very not starving.

    We're going to clip their wings so that they might struggle to get over the highest fence, but realistically that'll only stop a lazy chicken. Should we just keep them in our tractor from now on? I don't want to but we're sort of breaking the by-laws by having them so I feel a pretty strong sense of wanting to make them as unproblematic as possible. But I also want them to be happy.:cd
     
  2. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    10,760
    4,157
    501
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The first thing that comes to mind is if it's that easy for the girls to escape, it will be just as easy to lose them to predators.

    Are they just hopping over the fence you have around their run? Scooting through a gap at the bottom? It sounds like you just haven't made the commitment yet to keeping chickens. Your setup seems temporary at best.

    Yes, it will be just a matter of time before they decimate your neighbor's garden, and then you'll have angry neighbors to deal with, and will they be mad enough to turn you in for code violations? Huge, cringe worthy snow-ball possibilities.

    Decide if you want to keep chickens on a permanent basis and then take it from there to build them a permanent, escape/predator proof run with a cover on it.
     
  3. Kiwi Amy

    Kiwi Amy New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Jan 4, 2015
    Thanks for your advice - the reason why it sounds a little bit temporary is because our backyard gets very boggy, so we need to be able to move them around to keep them away from the worst ground. I don't think a permanent enclosure would ever work here (at least, not one that's compliant with the bylaws AND keeps their feet happy).

    We've decided to keep them in their tractor until we've figured out how to contain them securely. If we do let them out it'll be after we get home for work so they'll have an hour or two of foraging (at this time of the year) before bedtime, but we'll see.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    10,760
    4,157
    501
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Good plan!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    36,591
    10,270
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Agrees, good plan!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by