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Chickens in wild / overgrown area

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 28 ✭✭✭ jgalvin


    Behind the house I have some very old woodland area that I started clearing out. At the back, near the boundary, there is an area about 50sqm that would be relatively easy to fence off and fox-proof because it has a 6 ft concrete wall on 2 sides.

    Only problem is, looks like at some point in the last few decades, somebody cut down a bunch of trees there, and left them on the ground to rot. So now, the old tree branches and logs are covered with ivy and brambles and young holly trees. Cannot even see how deep down “the ground” actually is.

    I was contemplating what size of job it would be to clear the area. Then I recalled having encountered Gallus gallus many times in the thick of the jungle in South East Asia, and I wondered if perhaps chickens have evolved to live in this kind of environment, and would be comfortable there. I could put in a couple of raised sandboxes for them to bask in.

    What do you think, do I need to clear it out, or should I just fence it off and leave them at it?


Comments



  • Get a digger in to clear it




  • The chickens would be the finest there I think.
    Depending on how tightly you intend stocking them.
    In relation to the 6' wall, a fox or indeed pine marten would make short work of it but still it's a great start to help secure the area.
    Best of luck with them.




  • Chickens will be quite happy in there. You will have fun collecting the eggs though




  • All good points... a digger would have the job done in 5 minutes but I made some good progress today and have been able to form a perimeter! Cut the area in half because as Louis says I don’t want to spend all day searching for eggs and it becomes more manageable.

    As for fox proofing, I’m planning on screwing some timber along the wall and using net to make a roof. Can I use soft net like the stuff you put in goals or would I need to use something stiffer like chicken wire?




  • jgalvin wrote: »
    All good points... a digger would have the job done in 5 minutes but I made some good progress today and have been able to form a perimeter! Cut the area in half because as Louis says I don’t want to spend all day searching for eggs and it becomes more manageable.

    As for fox proofing, I’m planning on screwing some timber along the wall and using net to make a roof. Can I use soft net like the stuff you put in goals or would I need to use something stiffer like chicken wire?

    We've never put a roof over the fowl here, so I'm no much help to you. I'm a great fan of electric fencing.
    We've lots of electric fencing here and never had a fox attack to date. But I suppose you never know when one would strike!
    We also keep a couple of mink traps set 24/7 .


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  • We have a similar wild area behind the house where the chickens spend their afternoons free ranging. No fox attacks yet, i assume becuase there is human activity beside this area. We keep them in the pen until midday so they have laid in the hen house.




  • arctictree wrote: »
    We have a similar wild area behind the house where the chickens spend their afternoons free ranging. No fox attacks yet, i assume becuase there is human activity beside this area. We keep them in the pen until midday so they have laid in the hen house.
    Had a fox take a hen in broad daylight in the garden a few years ago and I had 3 dogs lying outside the house in the sun. Only that I saw it happening I wouldn't have believed it. I screamed and the dogs took chase, the fox dropped the hen. She was in shock and had a couple of puncture wounds on her neck which I washed with savlon. I put her under a infra red lamp by herself for a few days and she recovered.




  • I would suggest chicken wire rather than soft netting, any predator can bite through netting quite easily. And they will, if they know chicken dinner is on the other side.




  • Base price wrote: »
    Had a fox take a hen in broad daylight in the garden a few years ago and I had 3 dogs lying outside the house in the sun. Only that I saw it happening I wouldn't have believed it. I screamed and the dogs took chase, the fox dropped the hen. She was in shock and had a couple of puncture wounds on her neck which I washed with savlon. I put her under a infra red lamp by herself for a few days and she recovered.

    Saw similar myself years ago. Its only a matter of time I suppose. My take on it is that the fox may come and take a hen but if they are free ranging, chances are he will only get one or two. Fox breaks into the pen and they are all all dead.

    So my solution has been to let them free range for a few hours in the day and in a secure pen the rest of the time...




  • Be mindful putting food out clean water daily. As ivy cover etc is perfect for rats.


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