Chicken Breeds That Don't Fly Well

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 29 October 2014

Pullet chicken flying in backyard

Got small fences and neighbours who don’t take kindly to chickens jumping into their yard? Well, you’ll probably be after chicken breeds who aren’t good flyers, and won’t try and flap to freedom!

Wait...chickens can fly?

When we say ‘fly’, we don’t mean the same way that magpies or kookaburras can. You won’t see a chicken soaring high in the sky anytime soon!  Rather, some chickens can ‘fly’ enough to get themselves a couple of metres high, or to scale the nearest fence. They can only do this for a short distance.

Which breeds can’t fly well?

Generally, the heavier and more docile the breed, the less capable it is of flying - it’s just too hard to get the energy together!  If you’ve got a small backyard area with low fences, then you’ll want some of these breeds who aren’t apt at scaling fences.

Here are some chicken breeds that aren’t good flyers:

1. Orpingtons

Orpingtons are a heavy breed, weighing in at 3.2-4.8kgs - they’re also an incredibly sweet and docile breed. Therefore they won’t go hightailing it over the fence anytime soon! Check out our 5 reasons to love Orpingtons here!

2. Plymouth Rock

Another heavy breed with a lovely temperament - a Plymouth Rock chicken can’t fly high, or far. Plus, they become so close to your family they won’t want to leave! Check out our 5 reasons to love Plymouth Rocks here!

3. Silkies

Whilst they aren’t particularly heavy, Silkie’s are one of the most docile breeds you can get - plus they have quite small wings. Silkies really don’t have any flying ability, so are pretty much guaranteed to stay put in your yard.Check out our 5 reasons to love Silkies here!

4. Australorps

Australorps are very docile, calm chickens who are affectionate towards their chicken keepers. They’re also a heavy breed, weighing in at around 3-4kgs, therefore they struggle to fly. Check out our 5 reasons to love Australorps here!

Ways to keep your flock from flapping to freedom!

Wing Clipping

Many backyard chicken keepers clip their chooks’ wings in order to prevent them from flying away, and to keep harmony within the group.

Higher Fences

Putting some wire fencing or mesh on top of your existing fences should keep your flock from being able to high jump over.

Chicken Coop Run Enclosure

Getting a run for your chicken coop is a great idea if your chickens persistently make the flight to freedom! Keeping your chickens in a run gives them all the benefits of free ranging – fresh grass, access to grit, worms and bugs and room to stretch their wings, whilst keeping them safe from predators

Our Taj Mahal and Penthouse chicken coops come with a run, so if your chickens are getting a bit flighty without supervision, they can safely free range whilst staying within the area of the enclosure. No chickens hot-footing it over the fence today!

Sources and further reading