Two girls escaped! Fencing question.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MyKidLuvsGreenEgz, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    Background: our 1/10 acre backyard is fenced, 4' high.

    I was eating my lunch and reading some postings on here when I had the thought, "I'll go check and see how our new blue rooster is doing." Put on my boots and a coat and go outside, with bits of cheese and egg collector in hand. I had let three of my eggers out to get some sun, and the last I'd seen of them, they were on my backyard deck, eating some quinoa I'd sprinkled for them. But as I walk down the hill to the animal area, I see only one chicken (Cream) in the yard, and she's just coming out from under the deck. Huh?

    Walk around, calling their names, like they're gonna come running. But they usually do, especially when they know I have snacks. Only Cream came. I put her in the egger kennel, and start back up the hill, making snack sounds (crinkling plastic). My kid comes out of the back door, hat and mittens on, obviously on a mission. He starts out of the gate and we both stop short. There's Brownie, trying to get back into the backyard, but couldn't get through the holes in the fencing! Kid picks her up and throws her over, and by the time I get her back to the egger kennel, Kid comes back into the yard with Libby, my last missing chicken.

    He'd been doing his schoolwork in the front room, the windows. Heard chicken noises and looked out. There's Libby, our fav white and black egger, just scratching and meandering around. And cooing.

    Cream, Libby, Lola, Brownie

    All back in their kennel, safe and sound. For now.

    I didn't think there were any holes in the fence. So that means Brownie and Libby flew over the 4' tall fence. Which they are more than capable of doing. But this was their first time. Does that mean they will do it again, the next chance they get? I don't have the money to add another 2 feet to the top of the fence, and don't have the money to fence our property's perimeter (2 acres, 6' tall woodslat fence).

    What do I do?
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  2. GammaPoppyLilyFlutter

    GammaPoppyLilyFlutter Love Comes with Feathers

    Jun 26, 2010
    Four feet isn't very high. Chickens can easily jump 4 feet. I had a similar problem with my GSL pullet, who would jump over the 5' part of the fence. I ended up clipping her wings. Though they still may be able to get over 4' (my other pullet maganes to get over a 4' fence with clipped wings), so maybe you could cover the kennel with something. Though I wouldn't recommend a tarp, because the rain may gather on it. If you have some extra chicken wire then perhaps you could spread it over the top.

    If you want to clip wings, here's a page to help you with it:
  3. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    Once they figure it out, they will do it again. And they'll teach the other one how to do it! I hope clipping their wings will solve the problem.
  4. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    Bummer. Really didn't want to clip wings. Maybe if I'm actually out with them when they have the "outside" time... and can catch them then?

    Wow. Super bummed.
  5. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    Quote:My chickens have forsaken their run with the piddly little 4' chicken wire fence and now free range in the yard if I let them out . The 4' fence was only enough to deter one chicken who had difficulty estimating her altitude.

    I keep an eye on the flock and only let them out in the late afternoon so they will go back to the coop before they exhaust all the tastiest yard bits and start exploring forbidden areas.
  6. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    I think I'll get some 7-8' t-posts, put them at intervals, and attach deer netting. Should make it too tall for them. Meanwhile, they don't go out of their "kennel" unless I'm there to supervise.

    Gave the wing-clipping some thought and just don't think I can do that. Read lots of info that said a determined chicken will still find a way to escape.

    Hoping this spring or summer we can build a nice long completely-enclosed run so I won't have to worry. We have lots of predators here (foxes, coyotes, dogs, mountain lion, hawks, etc.) so I'm thinking one with top netting (hardware cloth) is necessary.

  7. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    Give them a ball and glove and stick in the cooler for 30 days.

    Well it didn't work in the Great Escape either.[​IMG]
  8. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    Mine do just fine with 2' green wire rabbit fencing around the majority of their yard. They can't see it from a distance, and when they get next to it, the fencing looks too wobbly to land on top of. It doesn't make much sense, but it's worked quite well.
    However, if there's anything at all nearby that they can stand on to fly over... over they go! Or if there's a low branch hanging over the fence, they'll fly onto the branch and get out.

    I do clip their wings, but they can and do hop quite high. I watched my girls hop at least a foot in the air to reach bean plants.

    My garden, though... I had to protect that with higher, 4' wire fencing, and sometimes that was barely enough. I extended the height of the fence with bamboo poles and ran baling wire the length of the fence about 6" taller than the top of the fencing. It was too wobbly for the chickens to be happy landing on, so they avoided it and my garden survived. Plus, I ran stakes into the bottom edge of the fencing to prevent crawl-unders.
    Once they discover a trick to get out, the whole coop will follow, and they'll try it over and over again even when you've plugged the hole.
  9. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    ohhhdear... good to know. Thnx.
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The garden posts and deer or bird netting is a fine idea.

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