Will I be able to keep chickens from jumping my fence?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kira782, May 19, 2011.

  1. kira782

    kira782 In the Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    Littleton, Colorado
    I'm interested in getting 3 or 4 chickens that I would keep in a coop with an enclosed run and would like them to be able to roam the yard a couple hours a day. The biggest thing holding me back is I'm concerned that our fence isn't high enough (3.5 feet) and seeing as how we are in the middle of suburbia and surrounded by neighbors on all sides make shift extending the fence isn't an option. I'd hate to be that neighbor who's chickens are in everyone else's yards or worse the neighbor whose chickens got eaten by a dog when in some one else's yard. The breeds I'm interested in are on the heavier side (7-8 lbs) which I've heard can't jump as high but 3.5 feet seems like a short hop for a determined chicken, even a heavy one. Thoughts, suggestions? Thanks!
  2. yook2000

    yook2000 Chirping

    Jul 15, 2010
    New Haven County
    I cutted the feather of one wing, so my hens cannot fly. They might not look good by cutting the feathers, but better than be killed by the dog
  3. Sorin

    Sorin Songster

    Jul 15, 2010
    Glenfield, ny
    You can clip the wings, however, if you are going to let them run free in your yard, more than likely they will stay there. If they have lots of room and plenty of things to eat, whch im sure they will free ranging in your yard, then it's really not worth their effort to try and jump a fence [​IMG] Keep in mind when they are younger they can fly better. As far as heavy birds not being able to jump that high, I'm not so sure. I have a BO that has no problem jumping on my deck railing which s 3 feet high. But like I said, you probably won't have to worry [​IMG]. If you do clip their wings, read up on it first, there are certain feathers you need to avoid. I'm not sure exactly which ones since I have never done it but if done right I know it's safe for them. Good luck!
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  4. jennh

    jennh Songster

    Jun 21, 2007
    My girls have plenty of places to dig, roam, etc, BUT you know what they say "the grass is always greener"? They WILL jump that fence 'cause they can. I have heavy breeds also, and my WR, Welsummer, EE, and even my BO has jumped my 3 ft fence to go over to the neighbor's. Luckily they love my girls.
  5. kira782

    kira782 In the Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    Littleton, Colorado
    I'm so torn! I've read that clipping wings doesn't always do the trick. My husband is of the "why would they leave a bug, bug filled yard?" opinion and Im of the "because they can" opinion!
  6. NYRIR

    NYRIR Songster

    May 13, 2010
    If I were you, I would get a heavier breed..like Brahmas or Jerseys...clip the wings....I have a 4 foot fence.My chickens rarely leave the yard,but it's 3/4 of an acre for them,however,where the gate to my back porch is they will,and do.I have one red hen (Li'Audrey I call her for that reason as she is never where she's supposed to be [​IMG] ) For the most part though,they don't leave the backyard. Also,even Lil Audrey knows when I see her out ...she scoots right back to the gate and promptly re-enters the backyard [​IMG]
    Out of 44 free-range birds,I have 2 that leave the yard on occasion.None of them have clipped wings. good luck [​IMG]
  7. KaneMoa

    KaneMoa In the Brooder

    May 9, 2011
    I keep all my hens in an open run with only a 3 ft. fence. I did clip their wings and nobody has ever left. They can jump on feed bins and roosts in their coop that are higher but they don't seem to want to leave. Scratch and bugs galore why would they? If the gate is left open though they walk out, but not too far. Good luck.
  8. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Crowing

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    My chickens are mostly heavy breeds or silkies. Our fence is 3-4 feet. They have never attempted to go over it. When they were younger they went through the fence a few times, now they mostly hang out by the back door, waithing for treats.
  9. Shyke

    Shyke In the Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    I would suggest perhaps getting a bit heavier of a breed and just clipping their wings.
    That only flaw with that is that you have to check them every so often to make sure their wings haven't grown back.

    OR, you could get some taller (4-5 ft.) chicken wire and run it along your already standing fence?
  10. ozarkmomma

    ozarkmomma Songster

    Oct 6, 2009
    the ozarks
    My hens were free ranging in our back yard with a 4' chain link fence. The only time they ever went over the fence was when our dog got loose and thought it was fun to chase them, otherwise they were perfectly happy in the yard. Now they free range in a pasture with a 5' horse fence and have never left the pasture. I think if they have plenty of room, they will stay, especially if they are heavier breeds.

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