I wrote on our homestead blog
about our problems with chickens
flying over fences.
It took a while to iron out the issues, but I’m glad to say that the
farm is now quiet and chickens are staying where they’re meant to
be. In the process, I learned some interesting lessons about
rotating chickens through varied terrain.
From now on, I won’t try
to move chickens away from prime habitat (mulch under trees) and into
subprime habitat (open grasssy lawn) if they can still see the prime
habitat. Instead, I’ll rotate in the other direction — starting
with subprime and working my way up to prime.
Or I’ll move the chickens to
a new location entirely after leaving prime habitat. Once our
flock was transferred to a coop on the other side of the yard, they
didn’t try to fly over fences and return to the forest garden
island. The temporary
fencing materials were just as ramshackle and sagging as before,
but with chickens, out of sight is out of mind.
Of course, it’s also
possible the chickens are quite happy in the berry patch. Not
only is there clover-filled lawn between the rows, they can also
scratch up the straw mulch to their hearts’ content. I’m just
glad I’ve figured out how to keep giving the broiler flock fresh
pasture without overgrazing any one area.
pasture, providing clean water to wash down those crunchy insects.