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alicate_gw

Free ranging chicken woes - advice needed

alicate
18 years ago

Hello,

Problem number 1: Our full grown hens have a small enclosed, predator proof run outside of their chicken coop. We built it small because when we got the chicks, we envisioned them to be free range. We want them to have access to the grass and bugs in the yard and would like free range eggs. We live on 5 acres of woods, but there is a grassy lawn outside of their run. When we let them out, they make a beeline for the woods that goes to our closest neighbors house. They then like to go up to her house and do whatever chickens do. They always come back, though. I don't want to tick off the neighbor. What can I do to discourage them from going that way. Her lawn is controlled by pesticides and I don't want that in my eggs. The border between her lawn and my lawn has a fence. The chickens stay away from that but go into the woods where there is no fence and then go into her yard. Is there anyway to discourage them from going that direction other than a fence? They have many other woods to go into. They just pick the side that goes to the neighbors house. The fence would need to be high because they easily fly over the 4 foot fence to our goats. A tall fence in the woods would seem a little odd. But if needed, we'll think that direction.

Problem number two. We like to let the chickens roam in the goat area when we aren't watching them to make sure they won't go to the neighbors yard. They easily fly out of the 4 foot fencing. Would 6 foot fencing contain them? I have also thought about clipping their wings, but am a little bit sqeamish about it. Does it hurt them? Would this be wise?

Thanks so much!

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