They are trying to dig to China!!

NJbirdlover

Songster
10 Years
Mar 16, 2009
276
1
129
Salem County, NJ
I think I may have future escape artists! My hens are digging holes in their run right up against the fencing 1-11/2 ft deep. I am afraid eventually they are going to make their way out. I keep filling them in...put a couple bricks in them..they just dig around them. Is this just a way to pass some time or they on a mission to freedom. They do run free several times a week for an hour or so if someone is there to supervise. If they get out when we aren't home I'm afraid they will be goners. We have HUGE hawks and stray dogs. Any suggestions?
 

Buff Hooligans

Scrambled
12 Years
Jun 11, 2007
12,148
458
311
That's funny you should mention that. I have seen the underside of China a few times myself!

I try to keep up with the holes so they don't get too deep. I rake the dirt back into them every few days.
 

DianeB

Songster
12 Years
Mar 12, 2009
733
116
244
For rabbits, you are suppose to bury some fencing placed laterally around the perimeter of the fence. They probably are bored. Put some treats in the run and maybe toys. I saw a picture of someone that built a treelike structure for their birds to climb on. You can also build a latter like structure, etc. It may sound funny, but birds like to use their minds and figure out things. Their are a few post about this topic. You can also look into parrot and rabbit toys. (Yes, I am serious)

BTW, I just cleaned out the garden were I have my hens. Their is only a few perennial shribs and trees left. They seem bored to death and are also trying to escape. I guess I need to plant more greens, grass, etc.

DB
 

ranchhand

Rest in Peace 1956-2011
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
13,295
84
291
SC
For some reason, some chickens like to dustbathe up against something- others will just dig right in the middle of a clearing.
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I have to pile bricks, etc around the outside and fill in the holes weekly. I have given up on having a nice looking run!

Do you have some wire buried as an apron aroung the lower outside part of your fence? That would stop them from actually getting out, and help keep predators from getting in!
 

Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
31
204
Olympia, WA
think I may have future escape artists! My hens are digging holes in their run right up against the fencing 1-11/2 ft deep. I am afraid eventually they are going to make their way out.

If you have the room put a small kiddie pool out in their run and fill it with dirt for them to take their "baths" in. Make sure to drill some holes in the bottom and a layer of gravel would be good too so it doesn't turn into a soupy mud bath in the rain. They're not really trying to escape, they just like to play in the dirt.​
 

captainmoose

In the Brooder
10 Years
Oct 5, 2009
83
1
28
SE PA
Chickens like to dig holes and dust. I buried wire 1 1/2-2ft down and out around the perimeter of the coop and runs so the chickens cant get out and no predators can get in. But I dont think they are trying to get out.
 

fordmommy

Dancing With My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 16, 2009
3,810
7
189
Wisconsin
Mine do the same thing. I just keep burrying the holes back in. They aren't trying to get out. Their looking for stuff. I hope they find some burried gold. We could use the extra money.
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PortageGirl

Songster
11 Years
Nov 8, 2008
2,511
18
181
Portage County, Ohio
Mine like to dust bathe right up against either their house or my house, so I expect the fence is sort of the same thing for them. From what I've observed, I don't think chickens understand the concept of 'digging to get out' of anything... they have wings and so look UP for an escape... I think if they were to dig enough to get out, it would just be a coincidence.
 

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