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Old 11/06/10, 12:08 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 14
chickens getting out of chicken yard.

My DH, in a haste, before deploying to Iraq built a coop and fenced in a chicken yard around it for the 6 hens we acquired. I have 3 red sex links and 3 buff orpingtons. We learned right away that the sex links needed their wings clipped but the buffs never got over the fence I guess because they are bigger. We have 4' chicken wire for the fence.
Well today, I found all 6 hens out of the yard. I have no idea how they got out as the sexlinks have clipped wings and the buffs seem to0 hefty to get over the fence. Could they have gotten under it?
I got them all in and locked them in the coop with plenty of food and water until I can figure out what to do with them.
Any suggestions or advise on this situation for a newbie?

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Old 11/06/10, 02:00 AM
JasoninMN's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,859
Its possible they could have gotten under if there are any spaces between the ground and the fence. Otherwise, even a chicken with clipped wings could jump a 4 foot fence so that is another option.
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Old 11/06/10, 10:43 AM
motdaugrnds's Avatar
II Corinthians 5:7
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 9,219
I would suggest you stob the fence down as best you can. (I use plastic tent stobs for temporary situations like this; but for permanent I place old tree limbs at bottom of fence and tie the bottom of the fence to it.) As for their flying over it,you might want to add a 2nd row of fencing on top of the first one. (We actually put a sturdy pastic netting over our chicken pen, which works great.)
I am what I am! Acknowledging this is the beginning; and my growth is yet to end. ~~~~~
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Old 11/06/10, 08:44 PM
suelandress's Avatar
Windy Island Acres
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The Quiet Corner of CT
Posts: 4,588
If something tried to dig IN, they could have gotten out that way. But even my marans hens....big girls....can clear 4 feet.
The air of heaven is that which blows between a horses ears-
Life should be "Little House" meets the "Jetsons"
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Old 11/07/10, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 908
Our chickens laugh at 4 ft of fence........Buff orps, and red sex links.
Cutting the wing tips never helped at all.

Finally we have a 6 ft high heavy chain link fence in place. I found a roll at a moving sale, and the guy had no idea how much was on the roll. He said $ 10 and it was on the truck in no time flat. Along with 7 heavy duty metal stakes at $ 1 each. We use the back of the garage for one side, and the tarped run as the second side of the outside run. All we needed was a total of 28 ft for the other 2 sides. Roll had 33 ft on it. I was VERY happy with my deal The chickens eyeballed that fence and none have tried it yet that I know of. However a couple of them know the gate on the other end, is only 4 ft high and they still get out that way. I am working on a plan to fix that.
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Old 11/07/10, 08:16 AM
Dead Rabbit's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,329
put them back in the pen. stand outside calling them and throwing corn, feed, some type of fruit or treat they really like on ground outside. that will tell you how they got out, and what you need to remedy.

i agree 4' is not high enuff. i have a 5' perimeter fence and they dont come over it.
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Old 11/07/10, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 480
You could drape bird netting over the top. A lot of people use it for blueberry plants to keeps birds out.
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Old 11/07/10, 01:28 PM
This is my life
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SC
Posts: 3,788
bird netting is our cure as well. we zip tied it to the fence, with a pole in the middle for for a little height.
Life is uncertain, eat dessert first
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Old 11/07/10, 03:07 PM
suelandress's Avatar
Windy Island Acres
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The Quiet Corner of CT
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chickens getting out of chicken yard. - Poultry

Brabanters, atop a 6 foot high fence, laughing at me
The air of heaven is that which blows between a horses ears-
Life should be "Little House" meets the "Jetsons"
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Old 11/07/10, 03:34 PM
katydidagain's Avatar
Adventuress--Definition 2
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NE FL until the winds blow
Posts: 4,174
Bill clipped wings while I held birds; they still get out. Our fence is 4' but I know they could still fly 10' if motivated. I wish I knew how to keep the youngsters in. I feed them in their quite ample run; that's where I give them treats. Yet some insist on "roaming". What I don't quite get is why 1 of the 2 roos who developed "early" was always out which meant he had no access to his "unappreciative (seriously) ladies". Both guys went gratis to coworkers Saturday but apparently the "grass" was greener...
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Old 11/07/10, 03:54 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 480

Here's a link to the Lowes website. Hopefully you have a Lowes near you. If not maybe Home Depot carries it.
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Old 11/08/10, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 859
I have my chickens behind a premier 1 fence now and none fly out. its only 42 inches or 48 and the first week or so I would have the lighter hens flying out but once they got into it and shocked they keep far away from it.

someone I used to buy eggs from had her chickens behind an 8 ft tall fence and still half of her buff orps would be out.
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Old 11/08/10, 05:48 PM
suelandress's Avatar
Windy Island Acres
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The Quiet Corner of CT
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LOL. Those big birds never read the manual that said they couldn't fly that high
The air of heaven is that which blows between a horses ears-
Life should be "Little House" meets the "Jetsons"
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Old 11/08/10, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: GA
Posts: 206
I have turkeys that even with clipped wings easily scale a 4 foot fence. I ended up using pvc poles with holes drilled in the bottom to attach to the t-posts with zip-ties. And a hole drilled in the top to attach deer netting. I cut a roll in half so it added about 3.5 feet to the fence. Between the t-posts I also zip-tied the netting to the 4 foot fence. Quick, easy, cheap and not as tacky looking as I thought it would be.
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Old 11/09/10, 11:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 33
My fat birds like to walk the top rail of our fences just to aggravate me I think. They all get in a long line and go back and forth. Wing clipping did nothing. I would suggest netting as well. As for us I just don't let them free-range the yard unless I am home for the most part. Someone needs to invent chicken shackles.
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Old 11/10/10, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: middle GA
Posts: 16,654
We have chicken wire over the top of our coop. On the bottom we bent the wire of the fencing under and buried it. Makes it hard for the to scratch an opening and harder for predators to dig under. We've had chickens for a couple of years so far and haven't lost a one to predators and never had any get out.
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Old 11/10/10, 01:26 PM
Another adventure!
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Texas (Texoma)
Posts: 164
I have only a 4 ft electric fence, and my chickens don't think they can fly over it. I started clipping wings, yes both wings, at 3 months, the first time they flew over the garden fence (6ft chainlink). Last winter (I'm in TX) I put the girls in the garden when I put up the coop, and the EE's flew out of the fence. They didn't like being in the garden w/o me. This year only the roo would hop over the fence, and only when he is startled, until he molted and now he has full wings and discovered he can fly. Will clip the wings again when I move the chickens around in the coops next month to keep them on the ground and stop the babies from flying. The babies will be 3 months old then, I have 27 that are growing rapidly and know they can fly and I need to fix that.

Another thing I noticed, your fences had solid, metal tops, easy for the hens to roost on. My electric wire fence has a little sag between polls, and half the fence wires are black. The fence can't support the chicken if they try to land on it. So when Punkit get startled and finds himself outside the yard, he frets and fusses and tries to get in but thinks he can't and I have to go and let him in.

More questions than answers
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Old 11/10/10, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,422
There is a solution. Have a meeting with them, and threaten them. If they get out again run one of them through a slow-cooker. Have another meeting. Tell them that is what happens when they get out of line.

If that does not help do it again next week.
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Old 11/10/10, 04:46 PM
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AKA "mygoat"
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: MI
Posts: 12,296
Any reason they can't free range? Just feed them before bed every night, soon they'll come running when it's time to go to bed. Close them up for the night, and let them out again in the morning.

I don't even close mine up. I have chickens roosting EVERYWHERE. I don't have predator problems, though, so if you worry, coop 'em up at night.

Free ranged eggs are WAY better than cooped eggs, anyways. I'm snobby now and scrunch my nose up at cooped eggs - and COMPLETELY REFUSE storebought eggs.

Dona Barski

"Breed the best, eat the rest"

Caprice Acres

Small herd of French and American Alpines. CAE, Johnes neg yearly. CL abscess free herd. ADGA plus herd (LA, DHIR, DNA)
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Old 11/10/10, 05:22 PM
suelandress's Avatar
Windy Island Acres
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The Quiet Corner of CT
Posts: 4,588
I've lost so may chickens to free ranging that now they have a fenced yard. In the afternoon, I'll let them out for an hour or two when I can watch for fox, fischers, hawks, dogs, etc., etc. Everything likes a chicken meal. Late afternoon and evening brings possum, coons, rats and owls. Long run, it's cheaper for me to buy and/or collect greens for them than to constantly replace chickens.
The air of heaven is that which blows between a horses ears-
Life should be "Little House" meets the "Jetsons"
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