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Chickens are curious animals. They also won’t stay put in one place if they’re not on a leash. On the farm, chickens roam around the land without a precise area to where they’re going to make their stop or rest. It’s quite risky to let your chickens wander off because they are a good target for any predators around the area. That is why you need to learn how to keep chickens from leaving your yard so that you’d suffer no casualties from large wild animals that wait for the opportunity of a chicken getting out of the safe zone.
Additionally, it’s not just about wild animals and predators. You also would want to keep your chickens in your own yard because your neighbors might complain about your chickens around their area. This is a common complaint by neighboring houses with people who have a home farm or a backyard farm in the suburbs. Not to mention the fact that chickens, especially roosters can get a little noise during the morning and in the afternoon before night. That’s the usual time for roosters to start crowing which can really be as loud and as noisy, annoying neighboring houses.
However, this does not mean you will keep your chickens inside a cage or a coop for their entire life as your grow and breed them. Experts believe that chickens that grew up on a coop are less healthy compared to a free-range chicken. The longevity of the animal is also affected and has been proven to live shorter than free-range chicken. The ideal and probably the best way is to meet the implications halfway. You can provide a space for your chickens to roam around and get out of their coop but not to leave your yard.
How to Keep Chickens from Leaving Your Yard
Keeping chickens from leaving your yard isn’t really hard but would require you some effort in building small renovations and being creative. For people who already started breeding their chickens, you should vary the changes you make to what you want to happen and what your chicken needs. For those who are still on their plan to start breeding chickens, at least this article will provide you some tips and use it as a guide on how to keep chickens from leaving your yard.
The easiest way would be providing them with a chicken coop. If possible, coop with opening/locking doors so that you can let them out to enjoy the area at some time during the day and get them inside after a few hours. A chicken coop is the best way to provide protection and privacy for your chickens, especially hens, for reproduction and/or laying eggs. However, once they are out of the coop, they are no longer protected and have a high risk of getting out your yard or farm area putting itself from harm’s way.
A fence is the best combo with a chicken coop. Backyard farms or rural farms usually use large or small chicken coops and enclose the area with fence using chicken wires. This will allow chickens to get out of their coop and enjoy a spacious activity area without the risk of getting out your yard or being attacked by wild predators.
Here is a short video about poultry backyard fencing:
The only concern you have here is if the wires/fence is not tall enough where chickens can jump/fly above it and cross the other side.
To keep your chickens from jumping or flying off your yard is to put net covers above the fences. This option is fairly optional. It’s hard for some people to install net covers or to handle the chickens with limited space for humans to move around. The net, however, is a guaranteed safety measure to keep them inside the fence and their activity area. It will also provide them with some shed depending on the thickness and mesh spacing your net has.
You probably noticed why most rural farms do not have tall grasses, shrubs or a lot of trees around the area. This is because the location they want for their farmhouses can be easily seen and monitored. Tall grasses, trees, and shrubs will be a good hiding spot for predators. Additionally, you can’t clearly see what’s going on around the farmhouse.
This is the same when it comes to backyard farms, specifically with chicken fences and coops. Without a good spot to hide or without surrounding covers, not only that you can see predators from coming in but you can also see if there are any chickens escaping and get out of your yard area.
This is also for providing visibility around the area. Lighting is not an issue during daylight but it is necessary to provide you vision during night time. Furthermore, you can install light bulbs intended for insulation in some areas of your fence when chickens want to be around the activity area. You also need to put insulation bulbs inside the chicken coop for monitoring and of course for providing heat.
Regular Checking and Maintenance
You need to regularly check your fences, nets, coops and growing grasses or tall plants around the area. Make sure that you maintain any damaged fences from rust, soil erosion or holes where your chickens can escape. It’s the same thing with chicken coops. Mostly, chicken coops are made of wood and it can be easily damaged by continuous pecking from chickens or from heavy movements. Growing trees, grasses or plants, on the other hand, must be kept to preferable heights to maintain visibility.
Fences and coops have gates where you walk through whenever you need to feed or conduct any business with your chickens. You might want to put some locks on those doors or access points because not only wild animals pose a threat as predators, there are some occasions that humans will be the one you’d be worried about.
This is a common crime in rural areas with farms. Animal thieves are all over the place. Slowly, you’d start to notice that the population count of your chickens starts to decline. This also happens on backyard or home farms. You can never be too sure with people passing by when opportunity strikes.