Please help, chickens invading my front yard

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Fillmore Farmer, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Fillmore Farmer

    Fillmore Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey folks, I've got a doozy of a pickle here, hope I can get some thoughts...

    We've got a 10-acre orchard and we let our chickens free-range the whole property. Chicken coops are in the North/West corner, got about 100 birds, mostly egg layers (big girls, not really flyers). Problem: 600-feet away on the SouthWest corner they recently discovered our front lawn and surrounding landscape, most annoying'; they scratch soil & mulch out onto the driveway and walkways, looks VERY messy....so they have 10 acres and about 10-15 birds routinely visit our front area on a daily basis and even hang-out there, ughh!!!!!!!!

    There are 2 paths/areas leading to the front landscaped yard. One route is a 10-feet opening which I built a 3-foot high wood fence...I've not seen a single bird fly over it, that route is cut-off. The remaining path, on the other side of our house, is our driveway and some open area which measures about 25-feet wide. I'd build the same kind of 3-foot fence but we have to drive up & down that driveway all day long.

    So here's the thing...I was going to buy a volleyball net and string that across the area to block them. It will NOT be fun but I'd create some kind of 'beams' on both sides of the net which detects cars and then releases tension on the net to allow it to drop and be run-over by cars before popping-up again. I'm good with technology, tools and being clever (any good farmer is)...but this is a lot of work....I want to think this through before spending time/energy/money

    My first concern is that, to get to their precious perusing ground they may fly over the 3-foot net. I don't think this will happen, the other 3-foot fence stopped them. Also, my neighbor down the street has 1,500 birds and his similar height net which keeps his birds penned-in. Seems a 3-foot obstacle without a firm perch atop would probably do the trick...you think? (that's question #1)

    Next thought....it's pretty much always the same pack of birds up there...led by a big fat rooster whom I'm not too attached to. Sometimes there's an accompanying rooster but he's also on the okay-to-get-rid-of list. So here's question #2....if I remove the escorting rooster(s) will this stop the pack from going up there?

    I had one other thought...I could run a 'beam' about 4-5 inches off the ground and across that 25-foot wide area...when a chicken breaches the beam I could have a loud siren or something LOUD go off...this may scare them back. That'd be a whole lot easier then that fancy net with the car sensors that lowers/raises the net each time a car comes in or out. I could put it on a timer so it didn't make noise at night.

    I'm not going to let poultry beat me...thoughts? And feel free to be brilliant & insightful! :D
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Forget the siren, but you are on to something. Noise won't deter chickens so much as water. How about rigging a sprinkler to come on and spray the chickens as they try to enter the no-fly zone?
     
  3. Fillmore Farmer

    Fillmore Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Hmmm.....water, never thought of that. I suppose I could rig a solenoid to have water blast out of a nozzle across the area. Only problem is that the water would hit people and cars as they drive or walk by. I think the lowering/raising volleyball net, on sensors, would be more practical.

    Seems to me that chickens are big-time creatures of habit so if I can stop them from going up to the front yard for about a week it should curb them from going there. But using a siren or some sound, you don't think that would discourage or scare them? I'm guessing you have some experience with this.

    What about removing the lead rooster from the pack....without an escort would that deter them from wandering up there...seems they follow his lead.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Wooden fences generally are just hopped up on, 3 feet isn't even a challenge. I use welded wire to keep chickens out of areas or else they are everywhere. I would switch the wood for wire fence and it will hopefully stop.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Google for 'Scarecrow Sprinkler'.

    Can you set up the/a barrier behind the house, maybe far behind the house, so the barrier or deterrent doesn't interact with the driveway at all?

    Seeing a plan view of the site might help.
     
  6. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My sister's condo put in motion activated sprinklers to stop people from peeing on the wall by the dumpsters. Worked like a charm.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Fillmore Farmer

    Fillmore Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    The wooden fence on the East side of the home, 10-feet of it, seems to have stopped them...they've not flown over it. What I was describing was using a 30-foot Volleyball net strung across the West side...it would be 3-feet tall and not have a solid top to perch on...I think it'll stop them. The challenge is that the net would span over a driveway, 10-feet of ground and another dirt driveway...I'd need to create a mechanism that would lower/raise the net each time a car or person approached from either side.

    They were coming up the East side of the house until I put up a 3-foot fence across the 10-foot span and this stopped them...they then started using the West side of the house. The West side has about 30-feet from a stair railing and a fence that runs along the side of the property. From the stair railing there's about 5-feet of landscape, 10-feet of driveway, 10-feet of soil and then another 10-foot of dirt access road....I've basically got 2 driveways with a soil median between them.

    I can get a Volleyball net to span this distance, they run 33-feet long and have tight-enough a net to stop most all my chickens. The height is about 3-feet and for the trouble, I'm fairly certain this will dissuade them. The problem is, we drive up & down this driveway and it'll be a pain to get out of the car each and every time I have to go up or down the driveway. We also have an access road that a private well company uses to get to a well in the back of our property..the old man who drives down it will not want to hassle with a net that he'll have to remove.

    As complex as this sounds, I could place 'beams' on each side of the volleyball net and then use a motor to pull the net taunt. When a car or person comes from either side of the net, it can relax the net and the net could then be walked or driven over. I know, it's elaborate...but I just can't stand the mess they make of our landscaped front yard. We also use the front occasionally for events or weddings so I just gotta get those chickens out of there.

    Is there any hope that removing the escorting rooster from the pack might stop the hens from invading this area? Seems to me the rooster pretty much leads the pack...or is he just following the pack of hens to lend his protection?

    The problem with this is that there's a driveway in this area...people and cars would get sprayed every time while passing by
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Might work for a time.....but I doubt for long, another bird will take over and lead them there...or they'll all just go to where that fun place is.

    If/when you get your auto net rigged, please take video and post here.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    100 birds on 10 acres. That is tight if you want to control ranging habits. Need more useful information. Could you provide a Google Earth image of property with labels of plantings, borders and buildings?
     

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