How High Should a Chicken Fence Be?

Chickens might be called ‘flightless birds,’ but you would be pretty surprised if you ever catch your bird facing a predator or in the mood to explore.

Naturally, you will come across many chickens in the flock that will stand stock still in the face of danger, utterly terrified, but you will even encounter the rare few that aren’t hindered by fences.

In short, if you’re wondering how high your fence should be, wonder no more.

Let’s delve deep into the subject of optimal fence height and runaway chickens.

Before we get into details

Check out my article below

Can A Chicken Get Over a 4 Foot Fence?

Yes, a chicken can get over a 4-foot fence; even the heavy-built chickens known for their fundamental inability to make very swift moves or high leaps, such as the Orpingtons and Silkies, will skirt over a 4-foot fence with great ease.

But, most other breeds of chicken, such as Bantams and Araucanas, will be using the 4-foot fence as a fitness challenge to go over every day or whenever the urge takes them to visit the other side.

Now, you must understand that the very purpose of a chicken fence is to protect the chickens, keeping them within the fencing so that they might not get lost, eaten, or hurt.

And the other aim of putting up a fence is to keep the predators out.

But a 4-foot wall is not going to achieve either of those objectives.

Can Chickens Get Over a 6-foot Fence?

Now, a 6-foot fence, unlike a 4-foot fence, presents a sufficient challenge for the overzealous Bantams.

And, as for the Orpingtons and its distant cousins, a 6-foot fence might as well be the Great Wall Of China – there’s no way of leaping over this one. 

A 6-foot fence or approximately 1.8 meters will work wonders if it also happens to have electric wires running through them.

You might think that an electric fence will fry all of your birds, but in reality, the charge that runs through the electric fence isn’t enough to kill animals; it just shocks them.

Can A Chicken Fly Over a 7-foot Fence?

It’ll be a rare bird going through a 7-foot fence in a single shot.

But chickens, too, can show serious adrenaline when facing a predator.

So, if your chicken happens to be a Bantam confronting a fox, it might jump over a 7-foot fence.

But, in general, chickens don’t usually skip over 7-foot fences.

Okay, so we have covered if chickens can jump over fences with various heights

This leads me to my next point

How do you actually stop chickens from jumping over the fence?

Let’s find out

How Do I Stop My Chicken From Jumping Over The Fence?

Well, several factors work towards encouraging your chickens to take flight.

If you can manage to keep those under control, you should be able to save your flock from jumping over fences.

So, let’s look at some of the steps that you can take:

Wing Clipping 

Novice chicken keepers worry that clipping their chicken’s wings is cruel.

But, you will actually be doing your bird a favor by keeping it safe inside the chicken run rather than giving it a chance to free-range in the wild.

Chicken clipping is very easy, but if you feel uncertain about doing it yourself, you can get an avian vet’s help.

Provision Of Large Spaces

The more extensive the chicken run, the less likely your chicken will want to run or try jumping over the fence.

Safety Net 

The more security there is for your flock in their homes, the less probable your chicken will want to venture into the unknown, unsafe areas.

Abundance Of Food 

The more variety and provision of food your chickens have, the greater the likelihood that your chickens will be too content to leave or attempt to discover uncharted territory.

Keeping Your Chickens Engaged 

If your chicken is happy or more appropriately occupied in its coop, the less likely it will be tempted to go looking for fun elsewhere.

Keeping bushels of hay where your birds can perch, providing various balls of different sizes such as basketball or soccer balls that your chicken can use to roll, and providing a chicken bath where your chickens can relax and get rid of their body bugs will offer your chickens plenty of entertainment.

Remove Elevation 

Chickens may not be as coordinated as a cat, but they are truly curious, and if there are things close to the fence that your chicken can climb over, such as a stack of hay or a tree, your chicken will try to check it out.

In the process, your chicken may be prompted to jump over the fence too.

So, get rid of tall elevations close to the fence.

Secure Fence

If you keep many different breeds of chicken, it’s best to build a fence at least a few inches over 6-foot.

Also, providing a bit of cover over the chicken run will protect your flock from birds of prey and predators such as coyotes or foxes that have no issues scaling things vertically or horizontally.

And, yes, it does help if you ensure that you’ve put the fencing at least 2 to 3 feet underground so that your chickens cannot dig their way out either.

Will Free-Range Chickens Fly Away?

Chickens are tempted to fly away without good cause, even free-ranging ones.

If your flock has lots of area to free-range and ample variety in terms of food sources, they will stick to their usual haunts. 

When your birds have plenty of things to do to keep them engaged in activities such as dust bathing, perching, or playing, the outside world will pose no attraction for your flock.

What To Do If A Chicken Manages To Fly Over a Fence?

In most cases, chickens that jump over fences return on their own accord.

If your chicken doesn’t return, you could look for them in nearby areas.

If your chicken is still missing after a few days, likely, it will never return.

If the occurrence of missing chickens is frequent, you should fix your fence, making sure that it’s more elevated, and you could even try to cover the top of the chicken run just to be on the safe side.

Wrapping Up

Chickens are complicated pets with scores of demands.

These are simple creatures that more often take care of themselves.

But, with chickens, you need not rest thinking your chicken can’t or won’t get lost.

You see, chickens can sometimes jump over tall fences, so you need to be extra careful about the height of the fence you put around your flock of chickens, mainly when there are predators around, no form of fun, or when there’s very little space.




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