First year chicken keeper here - after learning a few hard lessons regarding predators I sought out the forum for no-kill solutions. The thread was enormously helpful - and it prompted quite a lively discussion! Ultimately I decided to purchase and install a Premier1 electric net fence, specifically the poultrynet Plus version - 300 feet of it (3 100 ft. sections and a gate). Expensive but ever since I flipped the switch I've not had a single issue with predators. As fall is bringing down the leaves I have some concerns about hawks but so far the crows seems to be communicating concerns to the girls. Anyway...as I move into my first winter I am wondering about the practicality of keeping the fencing up since it won't be shoveled and likely 3 feet of snow out there. I do plan a nice wide path and ciruclar area for them to scratch around in but probably not more than 20 feet or so.
Winter chicken keepers - what's your experience with how much outdoor space your girls need/want in winter, keeping in mind I"m in Maine - cold, snowy and icy.
Anyone with the Premier 1 fencing in a winter climate? Do you keep it up or take it down? Any special considerations in the winter? Given the price I want to keep it in good shape for as long as possible. On the other hand...if the fox is going to travel over snow I'll need to keep it up and viable.
Feedback appreciated :-)
PS Just got my first egg this past weekend :-) 11 freeloaders, one layer, LOL