Stopping chickens getting out of yard

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lunarflower, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. lunarflower

    lunarflower New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Nov 20, 2013
    Hi there. We have just purchased a new home and I would finally like to get some chickens. I have two fenced parts of the yard -- back and front. The backyard is for our dog who would otherwise chase chickens constantly (she's a collie lol). Now in the front yard the fences are much lower with a low hedge going around most of it which I think chickens wouldn't jump over (as long as I clip their wing). The gate is so low you can step over it (below knee height)...I assume that will need to be fixed... and the fence is prob more where my hip is. I guess my main concern is how high will they fly or even hop with wing clipped?

    I am going to get some ex-battery hens, the ones they usually kill at 15 months and put into pet food. They wont lay as well but will still lay or at least some of them should :) I am looking at chicken coops at the moment but mainly just want the house part without a run as the new house has a narrow grassy part down the side that I want to put a gate on and when you walk down it theres an area about 2 metres by 2 metres perhaps (havent actually measured it but is big enough) which looks good for putting the chicken house in. im hoping to get 4 chickens
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    2 meters by 2 meters is a bit small for a yard for 4 hens. Different breeds fly different heights. While clipping wings does decrease this some, it's not necessarily by much. A 1.5 meter fence will not stop most chickens even with clipped wings. I have seen leghorns and production reds 15' (5 meters) off the ground.

    Mine are in a yard with a 2 meter high fence which they don't get out of -- unless they really want to. I have seen hens literally walk up this fence, sort of flap and grab with their feet at the same time til they got over. Fortunately my present flock doesn't care to do that.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,532
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Your birds will be able to go right over that. 6 foot is pretty much the minimum for keeping birds contained, and some just need a roof. Even wing clipped birds can and will flap up quite a distance. Sounds like you'll really need to be sure they don't get out of their area and into your dog's area. Plus, I don't know if you have neighbors to consider, but keeping birds off other folks' property is pretty important. Also, do you have landscaping you want to protect? Chickens in a front yard and a dog in the back pretty much equals a house on bare ground, for what that's worth.
     
  4. lunarflower

    lunarflower New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Nov 20, 2013
    The yard is bigger than 2 x 2... I just meant that's the square part then there is a narrow part attached running along the side of the house and that's where I wanted to keep them in at night but I was going to give them the yard during the day it might be bigger il need to measure
    There is a neighbour on one side next to where I want the run
    it will be a much bigger job raising fences hmm..
    No landscaping to protect, theres one overgrown garden I need to turn back into a garden but its mostly just grass and some trees
    it would of been ideal to have them out the back where the fences are a lot taller however couldn't while I have the dog. shes 5 now so still a long while left to go lol :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  5. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    615
    166
    138
    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    Chickens will clear that easily. The heavy breeds (brahmas, jersey giants) can't fly as easily but still, they're really good jumpers. I bet my brahma could just about clear that height without using her wings. One of my wyandottes can get five or six feet off the ground. My dominique can just about make it to the roof of my house. They don't have their wings clipped but I've heard of plenty of birds who figure out how to get around a clipped wing. If they want to be somewhere, they'll figure a way. And usually where they want to be is where you don't want them to be.

    If you want to keep them contained, for sure you'll need taller fences.

    You could build a run for them with an enclosed top and make it a tractor so they can still get the grass. This would give you time to work on your fences.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  6. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

    416
    69
    141
    Jun 2, 2013
    Atlanta, Georgia
    My 7 month BR's can easily jump from the ground to my shoulder...and I'm 6'3" (especially if I have a can of raisins which they love)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by