We're bringing in 25 Rhode Island Reds soon and are debating our fencing options. We have ground hogs, coyotes, and hawks for certain.
We have a field that is 125ft x 85ft are planned on devoting 2/3rd to crops and 1/3rd to the chickens.
I've read hardware cloth is the way to go but cannot find any that are taller than 4ft. I've read ideally this fence should be 5-6 feet above ground, and another foot below ground. So my question is which of these is the better option:
1. Install 4ft tall hardware cloth above ground, then use scrap fencing and go 1-2 feet below ground with it, and attach them together. Mesh would be 1/2inch.
2. Install 5 or 6ft tall welded wire, possibly go in-ground with some of it or use scrap fencing to go below ground. Mesh would be 2"x4".
Is it better to have a 4ft hardware cloth fence that is 1/2inch mesh, or a taller welded wire fence with 2x4 mesh? I cannot find taller hardware cloth and any welded wire with smaller holes is too expensive.
Any advice is appreciated.