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Wandering Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by blumatablo, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. blumatablo

    blumatablo Out Of The Brooder

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    My chickens are free range since I can't put a fence around the yard and I don't want to keep them cooped up. Lately they've started wandering into our neighbors yard and down the road. Any ideas on how to keep them in the yard?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    The answer isn't one you'll want to hear, but the only way to keep your birds on your property is to put up a barrier (fence) to contain them. You need to do it soon, too. I don't know about where you live, but in my neck of the woods, Animal Control can make you get rid of the chickens if they stray and the neighbors complain often enough.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Starting considerations are as follows.


    How many birds?

    How much area is available?

    What does available area you have look like, especially with respect to vegetation?

    What are you feeding them and how much?

    Where are you feeding them and when?
     
  4. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't imagine any scenario that a fenced area cannot be constructed to contain your flock. Even above ground posts can be used on solid bedrock ground. Contain your flock within a fenced area to give them a perimeter, give predators a basic boundary, and give you a piece of mind.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I can contain only some of my birds / flocks using a fence. Efficacy of fence is a function of breed, age, quality of fence and how motivated birds are to get out. Manipulating motivation is often easiest adjustment to make. My games once about 10 weeks old can defeat just about any fence you can make outside of zoo enclosures. To stop birds like those wing-clipping may be needed. Most dual purpose breeds are relatively easy to contain.
     
  6. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep.... Up to 7 weeks old, they can push through a 2 in x 4 in grid fence! Any of our birds could go over our perimeter fence but they stay inside if they don't have a reason to leave. Predators can also go over or under the free range fence but it is a good basic obstacle and boundary.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    One of the things I do that helps constrain ranging habits of my free-range flocks is by having transition zones between short and tall grass areas. Birds concentrate most activities in short grass areas and those areas also serve as walkways for flocks. I also use 3 strands of high tensile electrified wire that is strung down the middle of such tightly mowed areas. Birds and ground predators slow up whenever transitioning between short to long and long to short grass areas giving them more time to appreciate presence of fence. Using such is very effective against dogs. My dogs can still negotiate it because they have been around it so much but fencing with occasional dog backup has proven much more effective than either alone. Perimeter fencing is either woven or chain length fence which is neither dog, wildlife or chicken tight so I effort to keep birds ranging well clear of such locations.

    Pathway. Electrified poultry netting can just barely be made out at top of image.

    [​IMG]

    Edge of 1 acre closely mowed patch (cherry orchard) birds like to spend much of their time in. The birds do not penetrate heavy grass more than a few feet. Games will flat out fly over it like they do snow unless they are going after eats like grasshoppers in it.
    [​IMG]


    I will post better pictures depicting concept this evening.
     
  8. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    I agree, how effective a fence is at containment is partly a function of how great an incentive the bird feels to get out. I had a few white Leghorns that were determined to get over a 4' pasture fence that a bunch of Americaunas, Barred Rocks, Polish, etc, etc, were perfectly content to be constrained by. Even trimming the wings didn't stop the Leghorns, though eventually a hotwire did. Even when they got out, the presence of the remaining birds inside the pasture kept the Leghorns from wandering far. If the whole flock can just go, they may range over many acres.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The majority of my birds during production season are loosely confined in a very weedy free-range setting as shown below. Juveniles center their activities around open air roosts. Most of there activities outside of loafing and roosting are along pathways and open areas described previously.

    [​IMG]

    The grass has some height to it relative to dogs and child.
    [​IMG]


    Here is some of the actual fencing erected in wider cut areas.
    [​IMG]

    Fence needs tightening but you can see how things generally look.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Southern Oregon
    You really need to fence them or try electric poultry netting, something like that. It's very irresponsible to let your animals roam to other's property. Around here, the neighbor might well be eating chicken for dinner.
     

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