Keeping them in...

Hi, I am interested in adding a couple of chickens to my backyard oasis to get fresh eggs. I was wondering, though, about wall height. I was thinking just about building a little coop for the chickens to roost in, but letting them roam the yard. My wall is probably about 6' high - does anyone know about keeping them in - will they try to escape or is that high enough to keep them in the yard? I don't want neighbors/HOA finding out! :)

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  • My two hens wandered about the neighborhood with abandon, like Paris and Nicole. They easily flew and walked and ran wherever. Even after I clipped a wing. Until I clipped the one wing short enough to keep Paris Cluckton on the ground, and right after that a coyote ate her.
  • My flock lives in my west yard, with a 6 foot black fence around it. I haven't had many problems with them going over. Only once, when a rooster developed from eggs I hatched. Guess he decided to leave and create his own flock.

    I recommend clipping the wings, it sure does help them stay in the yard. Chickens know where food is, and will stay close by.
  • Hi Alissa, I'm not sure about the heavier breeds, but Leghorns can fly to the top of a 6 foot fence. They're curious and adventuresome. Even our Araucanas can make it that high. You'll want to clip one of each chicken's wings to preclude them taking field trips. There's a good visual on We eventually clipped both wings on our birds, not just one, but our girls are pests. Since then, the girls haven't tried to get in our neighbor's yard.
    Now if your fence is a block wall, maybe that wouldn't be quite so easy for them to get up on? Our fences here are chain link.
    If you get a chance, do attend Myron's June 28 chicken class at the Farmer's Market. He's a seasoned Urban Chicken Wrangler!
    • I'll second the noise - our girls squawk and chatter constantly. They really love to brag about their eggs!

      For some reason, the girls haven't been troublesome about trying to get out of their fenced area recently. When we first had their yard expanded, the Leghorns kept getting up on the fences. Now, they don't. Which is good, because our dogs would chase them down and dispatch them if they went outside the fence to "where the boys are."
    • Thanks for the response! Unfortunately I won't be in town for the class but hope that there might be another at some point. I also appreciate the link on clipping wings, I think that's probably the safest for us. We do have block wall, but you never know how high a young bird might fly up!
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