We used to have 3 hens in a largish permanent run in the garden, but for various reasons have now taken it down. DD would really like to get some more, but we were trying to figure out if we could just let them roam in the garden in it's entirety, shutting them in their coop overnight.
It's a standard semi garden, long and thin, with approx 4 foot fences all round. All good, except our old hens couldn't be let out of their run, because they flew over the fence into next doors veg patch. (In fact, if their feeder was empty, they would also fly over the 6 foot deer netting around their run to come and hassle us.)
Any suggestions for breeds? I've clipped chickens wings before, but it didn't seem to stop determined fly-ers. I suggested quail, but DH reckons the cat'll eat them
I have a Welsummer and two Golden Legbars and they aren't bothered about flying. They free range in the garden, just going into their coop at night. Wellie is my favourite, but the legbars do lay the most beautiful tiffany blue eggs.
Mine stand on their coop and peck on the kitchen window if their feeder is empty which is rather endearing
Silkies and frizzles find it pretty much impossible to fly because of the structure of their feathers. The heavier breeds will tend to find it harder to fly too.
In most cases, a chicken (even with one wing clipped) that is moderately determined will get over a 4' fence. I've seen one hybrid layer with one wing clipped clear a 6.5' fence, though admittedly that was unusual!