I am wanting to raise Buff Orpington's on my 1/3 acre pasture, along with several mini-goats. I'm permanently dividing the pasture into 3 paddocks for rotational grazing. I am hoping the chickens will stay with the goats. If I clip the chickens' wings, how high can they fly? Do I need a 6 ft. divider-paddock fence or would 4 ft. do the trick? I am not using electric, it would be welded wire.
I have Buff Orpingtons. they range around in the day and are cooped at nightand when we are not outside with them. Too many dogs and coyotes
They have a 12 x15 chainlink pen that is 6'. They can jump from the feeder and fly out till they are full grown- say till they are about 5-6 mos.
That being said with a good tail wind and some running room, they can fly over a 6' fence with no problem. Clipping one wing is all that is necessary, but you will have to clip fairly often.
I would start with young birds, coop them at first till they get used to the idea of staying around home and then give it a go. You could always get a very light weight plastic mesh fence to cover above your current fence- it would not require much in the way of posts, i would think some uv stable pvc or black pipe should work well.
It depends on how motivated they are. My chickens stay in our yard, and don't go over the fence between us and our neighbors, normally. The fence is less than four feet high. But if they are badly scared, they can and will go over it in a heartbeat! Last year, another neighbor brought his tractor over to till our garden, and I hadn't moved the chicken tractors far enough away. When he got close to them with the tractor, they exploded out of the chicken tractors and several disappeared over the fence into the neighbor's yard. (I got them back later.)
As long as they are happy and well-fed where they are, and have enough room to run around, they usually won't go over a fence. If they want out, though, you'll have to put a roof on to keep them in! My grandmother had one one time that she'd trimmed its wing to keep it in, then looked out and saw the hen climbing up the chicken wire fence, like a mountain climber -- hook her beak in the wire and pull herself up a little farther each time!!
Watching a chicken fly is both pitiful and comical. They just aren't built for it, poor things, always landing on their face.
I use 5' 3x5 wire fence. With clipped wings, my hens don't get out. I've used 3' 3x5 wire-they get out, 4' chicken wire-they get out. 5' seems to keep them around.
Had a rooster that showed up one day, no breed I could identify, just a yardbird. He was a bantam and lived around the neighborhood for a couple years at least. The little guy could get in and out on his own with no problem at all. His wings were not clipped because I never did catch him.
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