How high can chickens jump?

(15 Posts)
sausagepastie Sun 21-Mar-10 18:14:24

We've been preparing to get some, have got an ark, but want to free range them a bit around one section of the garden.

We have got 6 foot walls or fence all round but the ground goes up in a couple of places so the drop is only in effect about 3-4ft.

I it likely they will jump or fly over this - also we have built a fence along the garden side (into the rest of our garden that is) which is also about 3-4ft tall, having been told by someone that this would be high enough to stop leaping hens invading the garden or worse still, escaping down the side and onto the road.

I am nervous now. Can I even do anything to heighten brick walls...thinking that mad security fencing you get at nasa establishments but surely you an just, well are there any kind of hens that don't fly?

fryalot Sun 21-Mar-10 18:16:20

it depends on the type of chicken you get... we have two or three types and the big, heavy ones don't jump much at all but the lighter ones can jump well over six feet.

They don't though - they jump up into the tree but never seem to want to jump over the fence which is waaaaaaay smaller.

I suspect they know a good thing when they see one and have decided to just stay in the garden

sausagepastie Sun 21-Mar-10 18:17:41

six feet! yikes. There's no hope for us then.

We do have a few trees, maybe they will sit in those, hopefully that will provide all the height they need...hmm

where is the Chicken Whisperer when you need him eh squonk.

sausagepastie Sun 21-Mar-10 18:18:33

<plans to get REALLY heavy chickens>

or add little weights to their feet

or something

neversaydie Sun 21-Mar-10 18:52:53

You will probably need to clip their flight feathers if you want to keep them in. I have known hens go over fences 9 ft high!

sausagepastie Sun 21-Mar-10 18:54:05

Thanks, is that easy? I'd hate to hurt them. We may get some ex batts so maybe they won't think about flying? sad

ProfYaffle Sun 21-Mar-10 18:58:56

Clipping the wings is really easy. Our chickens would fly up and sit on our big 6 foot fences but once they settled in and were laying regularly they stopped it, think once they felt at home they stopped trying to escape.

BadGardener Sun 21-Mar-10 19:05:55

yes it is easy.
I was putting it off for ages because dh didn't want to help and I thought I would need him to hold them, but actually I did it all by myself without any trouble, and I am not experienced with animals and had no experience whatever with birds grin

I am watching mine with interest to see if they will get over the 50cm wire I've put by my raised beds - I may put raisins on the other side of it to tempt them and if they get over it I will know I need to add another layer of wire before I plant anything. So far they haven't bothered though.

(btw, hiya Squonk! I can't remember if you know my new name or not.... we met up in York once with TheHairyBabysMum.)

sausagepastie Sun 21-Mar-10 19:30:07

Thankyou very much. I will look into it.

I'm also wondering now whether it's really fair to keep chickens inside an ark...we have the boughton 902a from's got a run under it and I've paved the bit where it stands, so it doesn't rot, and will put chippings down inside...but the forsham people seemed to think it was OK to keep the chooks in it all the time. I feel sorry for them if they never get to go out and roam.

But building a massive run feels a bit beyond my skills. i hope I can free range them in the garden - seems such a shame not to.

meltedmarsbars Sun 21-Mar-10 22:40:37

Mine have a small run, but are let out for a part of every day - unless I'm not at home at all that day.

I think of it as still being many steps up in the lifestyle stakes from caged hens. smile

You can add interest in the run if they're shut in a lot - cabbage leaves or apples hung on a string.

ProfYaffle Mon 22-Mar-10 07:45:22

Sausage - we have a similar arrangement and we let them out into the garden as much as possible but you do need to control how much they're out as they poo everywhere and scratch up the grass. We're probably going to shut them in for a week or three while we seed the patches of grass they've completely scratched up.

sausagepastie Mon 22-Mar-10 10:04:21

thankyou for your help and ideas.

Prof, we have sectioned off a large part of the garden (probably about a third) which was covered in trees and scrub, till we cleared it last year, so it was never really a lawn...I did seed it last autumn and it's partially grassy now! But that;'s why I thought it would be good for chooks as they would scratch it all up anyway. It#s a good area for it. Have just been lying awake last night though, wondering how to manage the flying issue...I'd hate to get hens then suddenly lose them, it would be quite bad having to chase round the neighbouring gardens for them too.

Can you get some kind of stretchy netting, to put at the top of walls, like if I ties it between the trees to just provied some extra height...I really don't want to give up after all the work we've already done, have dug in wire into the ground etc. seems a shame not to actually populate the area!

ProfYaffle Mon 22-Mar-10 13:40:57

I put up things like kids flags/windmills etc along the gate they used to jump over, the movement seems to put them off. It does look a bit eccentric but I only had to have them up til the chooks settled in. They also used to try and roost on top of a high fence so we put some trellis up which they dislike.

There are ways and means to manage it smile don't be put off, it's worth it in the end.

ProfYaffle Mon 22-Mar-10 13:42:22

btw, this thread caught my eye because I started a thread with an almost identical title on Omlet before I got my chickens.

The Omlet club is a good forum to check out, faster moving than the chicken section on here.

sausagepastie Mon 22-Mar-10 14:04:08

Thankyou so much smile

I like the windmills thing. That will be cool for our garden fence.

I think I have solved the problem of the wall. I've ordered some knotted polyester mesh from a nice netting company online, about 30 metres of it by a metre high. I'm going to bung in a couple of fence posts in the corners of the walls, and stretch the netting across between them so hopefully the chickens won't be able to get over it.

if this works I will let you know!
I can't roof the whole section because it's got too many trees in it iyswim.

Off to buy some posts and some windmills!!!

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