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#70736 - 04/30/07 09:47 AM Birds Flying the Coop !! HELP NOT GOOD !!
Starbucks Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 173
Loc: New Hampshire
We have an outdoor yard with a fence that is 6'. After our dog attack incident we usually keep the bird in the yard while we are at work and let them free range when we are home. This works well except we have a few that can fly up over the fence. Coco and Goldie are buddies laugh and like to go exploring. They have taken to going across the road and down to the neighbors. This is NOT GOOD eek !!! If we added another 2' to the top of the fence, will this be good enough or should we think about netting the top? Please help...

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#70737 - 04/30/07 10:02 AM Re: Birds Flying the Coop !! HELP NOT GOOD !!
C. Newman Offline
Chicken

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 96
Loc: Virginia
You could try trimming the wing feathers (just on one wing of each bird) which messes with their aerodynamics. As I understand it they don't get any lift and tend to go in a circle when they try to fly. There's a special way to do it. A chicken reference book will tell how it is done.

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#70738 - 04/30/07 12:51 PM Re: Birds Flying the Coop !! HELP NOT GOOD !!
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
My suggestion would be what cn-hens said...I would clip their wing feathers. The feathers will grow back in a few weeks-months. If you only clip one wing it keeps them off balance and doesn't allow them to lift off the ground. If you want to make them look pretty. You can cut the secondaries instead of the primaries.

Clipping wings is definately better than all the work of a taller fence!!! I have a 4' fence that the birds don't get out of. When they were young, I clipped their wings and they just honestly don't want out now that they've gotten bigger. My Minorcas never escape and I don't clip their wings at all.

How old are your birds?

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#70739 - 04/30/07 04:51 PM Re: Birds Flying the Coop !! HELP NOT GOOD !!
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Determined escape artists will get out regardless of wing clipping. I actually watched a 2 yr. old (meaning, HEAVY) barred rock hen CLIMB a 6 foot fence once!

I'd try the wing clipping and sometimes it can help, but don't count on it. Still keep an eye on them to see if it's working or not. A lot of times this behavior dies down when they get older and heavier, but not always, obviously.

I've heard/read about putting a bit of angled fence at the top of your fence, instead of netting. You know, similar to what they do around a prison? I don't know what kind of fence you have, but I know that you can buy extensions for t-posts, that angle in. Usually farmers string barbed wire on it, but there's no reason you couldn't rig up chicken wire on it.

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#70740 - 04/30/07 08:39 PM Re: Birds Flying the Coop !! HELP NOT GOOD !!
RuffEnuff Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 01/27/06
Posts: 1148
Loc: Australia
i find a nylon bird netting very good. it will keep the birds in and hawks out(of which you obviously have not experienced yet). the netting is not expensive and comes in rolls. it is light weight. if you need to join pieces together just use fishing line and "sew" it. if it sags just use a long forked stick to prop it up like a tent. just don't grow pumpkins over it as when the pumpkins grow the whole lot comes crashing down.
k.

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#70741 - 05/01/07 06:03 AM Re: Birds Flying the Coop !! HELP NOT GOOD !!
Starbucks Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 173
Loc: New Hampshire
Well it happened last night. Goldie vs. Truck. I shut both of them up all day yesterday in "jail" so to speak. Gave them abit a freedom at night-and we were working out front too. But just take you eye off her (goldie) for one second and boom. But believe it or not she is fine. Scared the crap out of her though. So they are locked up again today and I don't think she'll be out tonight. She is not going to be happy being penned up. I have a couple that fly over the fence, but they are the only two who wander...
Oh yeah-fence is 4' not 6' so would 6' be tall enough? I was thinking of doing the prison type fence thing. But maybe a wind trim and the extra fence will be enough. What do you think?

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#70742 - 05/01/07 09:11 AM Re: Birds Flying the Coop !! HELP NOT GOOD !!
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I would try the wing clipping first, then if that doesn't work, do the combination of higher fence and wing clipping. If that still doesn't work, try all three: the netting, higher fence, wing clipping. This SHOULD keep those birds' butts on the ground!

When we have no other options, we put a lead weight on one leg of the bird. Sure, they walk around a little funny for the first few days, but they are on the ground!

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#70743 - 05/01/07 05:11 PM Re: Birds Flying the Coop !! HELP NOT GOOD !!
Anonymous
Unregistered


My experience has been that even my most determined escape artists seem to get over wanting to do it, or forget about it , or something after the NH winter. Once they are a year, they don't want to fly as much any more. It is the young ones with all the energy.

So, hopefully you'll have the experience that I do, and if nothing else works, you only have to make it through one year of this!

But I would also try the wing clipping.

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#70744 - 05/02/07 07:15 AM Re: Birds Flying the Coop !! HELP NOT GOOD !!
Starbucks Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 173
Loc: New Hampshire
Well we got the netting put up last night. Goldie is pretty sore from her tangle with the truck; she isn't trying to fly over the fence. I let them out early this morning so I could watch how they acted with the netting up. Coco tried a few times to get out and then spent the rest of the time checking the fences and looking up at the netting. I used the netting they have for fruit trees and bushes. It seems pretty strong. I hope this will work. Thanks for all the advise.

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