Will chickens always hop a fence?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chicabee19, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Our backyard is enclosed at the front with a short wooden fence. I think it's about 3 ft or less in height.

    I'm wondering if chickens will stay inside that fence, or whether we'll have to make it taller?

    Does anyone have a fairly short fence section in the area where their chickens free-range?

    (I don't yet have a pic showing the fence).
  2. Just-Like-Hatching

    Just-Like-Hatching Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    Dothan, AL
    I have a four foot chain link fence and several of my mine just fly up on it and hop over.
  3. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    oy. I think the rest of our backyard chain-link is between 4-5 ft tall.

    I may have to clip a few wings.
  4. Pull what?

    Pull what? Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 10, 2008
    Olympia, WA
    I would think it depends on the breed how high they can fly, but all 29 of mine have no trouble flying as high as they want.

    I have Anconas, Black Minorcas, Silver Spangled Hambergs, Blue Andalusians, Silver Polish and WCB Polish. And all can fly up to the top of our 8 foot gate.

    The rest of the fence is at 11 ft or so and this next weekend we are going to add in a section of hardware cloth to make the gate 11 ft.

    Seeing the ease at which they fly up to the top of that gate though, 11ft will only keep them in as long as they decide to stay in.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You are unlikely to be able to make the fence high enough that normal chickens can't fly over it if they happen to want to.

    For instance, I have a temporary run built using chainlink kennel panels that are 6' high. I've seen -- twice! and I have watched the whole thing unfold -- my "junior plan B" cockerel get rousted by Pants The Real Rooster and fly up onto the 6' fence from just about 5-6' away from it. And this is a heavyish Speckled Sussex we're talking about, not a more athletic flight-inclined breed.

    You can try clipping wings but not everyone has success with that and quite frankly I think most of my chickens could HOP up onto a 3' fence pretty successfully even with a clipped wing.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, good luck,

  6. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2008
    I don't think a three-foot fence would keep my chickens in if they wanted out--not a chance. My six-foot fence didn't keep my EE roos in, but my four-foot wire 'pasture' fence for free-range generally keeps them in, not because it's tall enough, but because there's plenty of space for them to run inside the fence so they don't feel the need to go over it. I also think if it's a thin wire fence, they might not realize where the top is and not try to go over. If it were me, I would try putting a layer of wire above the wood and see if that kept them in. Good luck
  7. whatsup chickenbutt

    whatsup chickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    I have a three foot wire fence around part of my chicken yard and some go up and over it on a regular basis, like everyday, and there are others who have never gone out. It just depends on if they want to go or not, at least in my case.
  8. iajewel

    iajewel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    All of the breeds I have fly very well, so I keep a pair of scissors in my pocket and trim wings on a regular basis. Its normally good untill the next molt. On my show birds however I trim in the fall when they are penned up for the winter and hope they have given up on the idea of flying by spring.
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Chicabee, my chickens only free-range when someone is in the backyard with them. Maybe that isn't quite free but everyone, including the chickens, seem to appreciate the arrangement.

    The fences behind the house are 5' on one side and 6' on the other and back. However, the gate to the driveway is only 3'. That gate is about 10 feet wide.

    The chickens could even crawl under this gate. Neither the pullets I have now nor the birds I have had in the past have ever gone either over or under the gate - or over a fence, for that matter.

    I have not had a rooster since I left the farm many years ago. And, I've never had more than 4 hens out at a time even when I've had more. They may be out for hours and hours in good weather but there's car traffic beyond that gate and people walking by every now and then. Mostly, I don't think they want to get very far from their coop and "their" people.

    The hens would be shooed back if they spent too much time hanging around the gate or if they drifted over to the far side of the house. They could end up in the front yard (fenced also) if they went completely around the house. But, I can only remember that happening a couple of times. When when they did go into the front yard a very weird creature that looked something like the Boss but behaved like he wanted to eat them raw (!) showed up out there [​IMG]!!! They beat a hasty retreat back to the backyard and stayed there [​IMG].

  10. jubylives

    jubylives Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    I have 3 and 4 ft fence. I've never had a chicken go over but I've had them go under. I had to go buy some tent stakes to keep them from doing it and it's only 4 of my 13 that try to get out.


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