I grew up with even more free ranged chickens than I currently have, but they were never interested in the road. This bunch I have now have taken to crossing the road, I don't know why (it's like that old joke "Why do the chickens cross the road"). We've tried fencing before, but they fly over, and I'm not sure about wing clipping. Also, the last time we put a lot of work into fencing, the dog barreled right into it one day and knocked it down. The neighbours are frustrated with the chickens getting on the road, and I'm trying to think of the cheapest fencing solution I can, preferably one that doesn't limit them too much, right now they are on 3 acres and like their space. I have 24, and some of the eggs are for market, so the chicken tractor thing would be hard. Are there any non-fencing options that would deter them? Looking for ideas!
Advice on Keeping Chickens off the Road
What are they finding across the rod that is so attractive? Mine have certain areas that they like to scratch,dust bathe,and sun bathe. Whatever they are going for try to replicate it at home.
You could make a cheap tall run ( around their coop)with some bamboo poles,zip ties, and deer fencing. I would try the wing clipping.
I think it's the Japanese Knotweed across the street that has them enticed. I find that even the heavy chickens who don't fly well will still run across the road, so I'm not sure how far the wing clipping would get me. I'm re-trying a different fence and seeing if it holds. Is deer fencing stronger than chicken wire? Our hundred pound Labrador has been the chicken fencing destroyer in the past. Something tougher but less expensive than the really hard fencing like what's around baseball fields would be just the ticket. None of the chickens fly very high so if it's up high enough it should do. I've also been wondering if anyone else has tried deterrent tactics like you do for crows, like stringing aluminum pie pans along a string near the area you want them to avoid. I'm willing to try about anything, but it would be nice to know if anyone else has tried anything like this (before the neighbours think I'm really nuts.
We always had 8 or 10 ft (I can't remember now) deer fencing as a kid around the house. It was the only way we could keep any trees or else the deer would eat them all as saplings! It was much studier then chicken wire. My parents had large labs and rotties and it certainly kept them in without a problem.
We had the exact same problem and we did clip their wings. It's a great solution for us. Now the chickens stay inside the fence and they can fly up to their roost but not over the fence. The neighbors are satisfied and we can find the chickens a lot easier. I felt guilty at first but not anymore. :)
Maybe I'll try clipping the wings, yet. Did you just clip the one side so that they end up flying in a circle if they go too high, or both? I've heard of both methods but I'm not sure which gives them the most freedom while being effective. I have to say the idea of the wing clipping does make me feel a little guilty, although if they got hit (I started this thread in desperation because one of the neighbours [ and he's the only one this mean, the others love the chickens even if they might get frustrated} actually tried to hit the chicken with his truck, this fellow is worth his own thread so I won't say more) I'd feel guiltier. I'm keeping them in today while I finish fixing the original fence and I'll see if I can get it high enough, and pick up some deer fencing later to reinforce. My Sussexes weigh too much to fly high, but the brown hybrid layers sometimes can, (although probably not over 8 feet) so I may have to clip the wings if raising the fence still doesn't do the trick.
We just clipped one side. it's easy and doesn't hurt them in the least. It takes less than a minute. I learned from a youtube video.
Don't free guilty. Because you clip their wings you can keep them in your yard, still have them freerange and not have a hostile neighbor. Having been in a similar situation I will tell you that not having your neighbors mad at you is a nice thing. :)