Those of you who let your chickens out in your back yard...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jennyf, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

    429
    98
    111
    Apr 24, 2016
    Missouri
    These may be stupid questions, but how do you keep them in your yard, and how do you get them back in their run? If I'm sitting right there with them, will they leap over a 4 ft chain link fence? Does bribing them back to their run with treats work? Should I wait until they're older and more familiar with home? They have adequate fenced and covered run space, but eventually I would love to give them some extra free time. However, I'm envisioning myself hurdling neighbors chain link fences to retrieve them. Some of the 6 are friendly, some more aloof--they're about 8 weeks now. I'd need to very reliably get them back in their run b/c I'd never want to leave them unsupervised. How do folks in the city manage their supervised backyard time?
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    If they are accustomed to their coop, simply let them out a few hours before dusk, while you have time to keep an eye on them. They put themselves away when it gets dark. Otherwise, you can often coax them back inside with treats. They can easily go over a 4 foot fence, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will. Most young pullets and immature birds won't, as they don't often feel comfortable ranging that far from the coop, which they know as a safe place.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,723
    2,687
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    What city are you in?

    A lot has to do with breed. I've had Jersey Giants fly out of a 6' fence. My Black Penedesencas rarely leave a 2' fence.
    I've never done it but flight feather trimming is always and option.
     
  4. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,042
    63
    221
    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    Mine will follow me to you know where and back when I have the coffee container with scratch grain in it. If I let them out into the yard early in the day and I want them back all I have to do is grab that container, shake it and say "come on girls". They are waiting for me in the run.

    If you let them out closer to dusk QueenMisha is correct they go in on their own.

    Just use the same container when you offer their favorite treat.

    My backyard is a 1/2 acre with a 4 foot high chain link fence around it. In the 24 years I've lived at my place I've only had one hen that regularly went over the fence into the neighbors yard. The neighbor didn't care as she has nothing the hen could destroy. She always flew back over on her own.

    If not given free range all the time generally there is enough to keep them busy in their own yard for short periods of time and they won't find the need to "fly the coop".
     
  5. Heather4nier

    Heather4nier Out Of The Brooder

    18
    1
    24
    Mar 2, 2016
    If you're going to let them roam a coop yard at 8 weeks, you better have tight-knit fencing! They're so small at that age, they can (and will) pop right through the Premier electrified net fencing, especially if they panic about something. Which they will. They're afraid of almost everything at that age, lol!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by