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8 Ways to Keep Chickens Contained

Chickens are generally considered homebodies. They know where they were raised, where the food is, and enjoy staying where they know they’ll be safe. 

But sometimes we need to find ways to contain our beloved birds. Whether that means keeping them in our yard, or out of the garden, there’s usually a need to direct a flock of chickens, at some point. 

In this article, we’re going over some of the most common ways to keep your chooks where you want them…

1. Chicken Wire Keeps Chickens In

Chicken wire is the obvious choice for chicken containment matters. It’s used for windows on coops, chicken runs, and fencing options. 

It’s a great way to keep chickens out of undesirable areas. In fact, it’s made more to keep your flock in, rather than predators out, due to the durability and size of the wire.

Regardless, this is a timeless fencing option that will definitely keep your birds where you want them. 

hardware cloth2. Hardware Cloth Keeps Predators Out

Even though it sounds as though it could be a flimsy option for chicken fencing, hardware cloth is one of the better options to both keep chickens contained, and keep predators out of the coop. 

It’s a pricier option, but when it comes down to it, what is peace of mind worth?

3. Chicken Runs

If you’re in a smaller neighborhood or live close to a busy highway, you may want to limit your flock’s access to certain areas (ahem, the neighbors garden). 

So if free-ranging your flock isn’t an option, opt for a full-stack chicken run to keep your chickens safe, and out of your neighbor’s hair. 

Use hardware cloth or chicken wire to create a barrier and ensure your chickens stay close by at all times. 

Bonus: If predators are a concern in your area, hardware cloth does a much better job at protecting your flock than chicken wire.

4. Hotwire Fencing

When we say hotwire, we mean electrical fencing. Now, you may be wondering, “how in the world will that keep my chickens contained?”

Well, it’s not your typical electric fencing we’re recommending; it’s something so much better!

Imagine a woven net…that’s HOT and gives a quick zap of electricity to tell chickens and predators to back off!

Electrical fencing is a fool-proof method of keeping chickens in and enemies out. 

5. Short Fences

If your garden or landscaping has been attacked by a flock of chickens, you might feel a tad defeated. 

How will you ever have a garden and free-range chickens at the same time?

Good news, you don’t have to chose one or the other.

There’s a simple solution that works for most flocks, and that’s a knee-high fence made from chicken wire surrounding the perimeter of your garden. 

It’s usually just enough of an inconvenience (for the flock) to keep them out of your strawberry patch. 

6. Chicken Tractors

Tractors made for chickens are perfect for those who want their chickens to live a life free-range while keeping them protected and contained. 

Chicken tractors are made from all kinds of different materials, many times recycled. The point of the chicken tractor is to create a lightweight container that can be moved regularly so chickens have access to the earth for scratching (and get their veggie fix).

pyramid pen with chicken 7. Drop Pens for Chickens

If you’re looking for a lightweight, spur-of-the-moment, solution, consider a Drop Pen

These handy little pens are easy to move and grab whenever the weather is right for outdoor foraging. Use it to move one or two chickens around the yard, or use it for breeding. 

It’s also a fantastic way to isolate a sick chicken while still allowing it a small space outdoors when the weather permits. 

And while they aren’t long-term solutions, they’re a must-have for any chicken owner. You never know when you’ll need to separate or contain a chicken or two. 

8. Transport Crates

Lastly, need to transport your chickens? A transport crate makes moving your poultry or other small animals easy and safe.

Can also be used for temporarily quarantining a chicken, or caging them while you clean out the coop.

Chicken Containment that Suits You

What you decide to use to contain your chickens will depend on a variety of factors including flock size, breed, location, and predators in your region. 

You’ll probably find yourself utilizing more than one of these chicken containment solutions over time. But when it comes down to it, pick something that suits you, your yard, and your flock.

2 thoughts on “8 Ways to Keep Chickens Contained”

  1. I would never put any of my chickens in a small wire cage that’s just crazy, how would you like to be in a small wire cage?

    1. myfavoritechicken

      Thank you for your comment JoAnn. The small wire drop pen is not a permanent structure. It is meant as a temporary solution while either tending to cleaning your coop, allowing some protected free-ranging for an hour or so, isolating for health reasons, etc.

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