Do you often have to run after your chickens after they got out of the yard? If you frequently have escapees, it might be time to put certain precautions into place to keep your flock safe. Wondering what exactly you can do, keep reading for more information on preventing escaped chickens.
Many chicken keepers clip their chickens’ wings to stop them from flying away. Everyone knows that one chook that just can’t stay within boundaries. When it takes flight, it just wants to go, go, go happily squawking away like a migrating goose.
Now you might be wondering which feathers to trim to stop this behaviour. It’s really quite simple, if you spread out your chicken’s wing, you will see three different kinds of feathers. You are after the primary flight feathers which are the longest feathers at the front of the wing. Chickens typically have 10 primary feathers in a different colour to the rest of the body.
Trim only one wing! It is completely unnecessary to trim both. Clipping only one wing also unbalances the chicken which makes flying very difficult.
Get Higher Fences
This might not be your go-to method, but it is an effective method. Chickens aren’t great fliers and most breeds can’t get much height no matter how hard they try. You can put some wire fencing or mesh on top of your existing fence to keep your flock from flapping over to the other side.
Enclosed Chicken Run
Getting a run for your coop is an excellent idea if you have frequent escapees. Keeping chickens in a run gives them the same benefits as free-ranging without the added danger. Your chickens will still get to forage, dig for worms and access grit just like they would’ve when free-ranging. Another benefit is that they won’t be bothering the neighbours with their escape attempts. Some coops come with a run attached so it might be time to upgrade to a new coop.
Don’t fret if you have frequent fliers on your hands, you can keep them safe by implementing the above strategies. You will have safely enclosed chickens in no time! Chickens can also be trained to stop bad habits. If you can stop them from getting over the fence and reward them for staying inside, then you have already won half the battle!