The Dallas Backyard Poultry Meetup Group Message Board Coop Designs and Pictures › free range design/ fence height

free range design/ fence height

ryan h.
user 91482392
Dallas, TX
Post #: 2
I am building a coup but would like to give the chickens access to part of the yard. would a 3 or 4 foot fence contain them. I do understand that chickens are birds but I will be a first time chicken owner when my coup is finished.
Jan T.
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 7
chickens can fly very high unless you clip one wing. They need to be fully contained for their safety - not because they will hurt anything to be loose.
user 10446596
Dallas, TX
Post #: 129
You have to consider not only what will contain your chickens, but what predators can get to them. In the day time, there are hawks. I spoke with someone on last year's chicken coop tour who lost one of their chickens to a hawk in their Dallas back yard.

We have tiny bantams, so we need to consider not only hawks but even roaming neighborhood cats. So we use a "chicken tractor." It's a completely enclosed wire pen open only on the bottom. I drag it to a fresh area of grass and then let the chickens go inside to eat grass and scratch to their heart's content. I move them back into their even more secure coop at night.

Here's a picture of my favorite tractor (there's a shade tarp on one end):

Laurie J.
user 12761557
Dallas, TX
Post #: 28
My standard breed chickens had no problem hopping on a 4-foot chain-link fence, but they have never crossed a 2-foot flimsy "deterrent" around my garden -- I think because they can't land on it. So if you use just a 4-foot wire fence with no top rail, you can corral heavier breeds, though probably not the flightier ones. I fully echo the others regarding hawk control. I have a 200-sq ft run adjacent to a coop and use cheap bird net over the entire area (the kind you throw over fruit trees), which you could also use over wire. Hawks have not tried to breech the net in two years, so I'm calling it a success. My birds do not range in the rest of the yard unless we are outside watching them. If you can stand the sight of it, a 6-foot chain-link dog kennel with a net on top -- or better yet a tarp for shade -- would make a convenient, portable and predator-resistant day-time enclosure for any breed.
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