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What size fence squares for chickens?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I'm sure this info is out here somewhere, so feel free to link me to the proper thread if you want.

I'm looking to fence my chickens away from my garden - we are just going to make a long fence between the coop and our house, essentially dividing our property into the "chicken's side" and "our side". This will keep them out of the garden, flower beds, kids play area, etc. Their coop has at least 200' on each side, and my chickens have never ventured very far so we are planning on just a single straight fence, not an enclosure.

My question is about the size of the fencing squares. Since we will need about 500' of fence, we are trying to be economical. 2x4 no-climb horse fence is really expensive!! Will the 4x4 goat fence hold chickens? I don't have any bantams, my smallest birds are golden sex link, about 5ish lbs. I guess I could find something that is 4x4 and try to push one through... ;-). If I visualize the end of a 4x4 post, I can't see them getting through that. I do have builder's concrete blocks that they can get through, but I think they are closer to 6x6.

Also on height - with an enormous pasture to themselves, how high do I need to make it? Will a 5' suffice? I imagine that chickens wanting out of an enclosure will try harder to jump and fly than chickens with a whole pasture, but I've never tried it...

Any ideas for me? Tax-refund fencing project, here we come!!

Mommy to Abigail - 4yo and Anya - 2yo.  Also to 6 Barred Rocks, 5 Golden Comet, 4 Jersey Giants, 3 White Rock, 2 New Hampshire Red, and 1 Blue Andalusian.  No, I did not do that on purpose!!

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Mommy to Abigail - 4yo and Anya - 2yo.  Also to 6 Barred Rocks, 5 Golden Comet, 4 Jersey Giants, 3 White Rock, 2 New Hampshire Red, and 1 Blue Andalusian.  No, I did not do that on purpose!!

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post #2 of 5

Chickens fluff up from their feathers and often can go through openings that it looks like they won't fit through.   Our 6 and 7 week old pullets often shot right through the 2x4 no-climb horse fence.   I ended up adding chicken wire to supplement the fence until they got bigger.    Yes no-climb is expensive and that would be my first choice as far as VERY strong fence with openings small enough to keep in full size chickens.  I think that 4x4 goat fencing is your best choice for what you want to do.  Standard field fencing will be a little cheaper but it will also have the larger 6x6 openings.   As far as height....  My birds free range in an acre area of 4' high no-climb with a strand of barbed wire up another 2 inches above that.   The birds have never tried to get over the fence but they did fly up onto the pipe gates and over a few times.   Adding some fencing to the pipe gates has kept them inside the free range area (over the fence and our dogs get them!).  Of course a 5' fence would be better but to tell you the truth, I would just go with a 4' high fence.  Much cheaper, easier to install, and it will do the job fine.  Add a few hiding places in your pasture and you birds will be happy.  I use a fence stretcher and come-along that I purchased from TSC to stretch my fencing.  Hope this helps!

 

Free range area that my chickens share with our goats.

 


Edited by 4 the Birds - 3/20/13 at 6:23am
post #3 of 5

How about using the 4x4 as a framework and use a cheap netting at the bottom.  Or maybe just netting.  I just purchased some from Tractor Supply and love it.  This is what I got, it has 1x1 holes and it's durable.  I can't tear it with my hands.  You may be able to just use this without anything else.  This roll was a whole $30.  If you use the goat panels and attach the netting to it, you would only need it a couple of feet high.  This roll could be cut in half so it would do the entire 200'. 

 

 
Hanes Geo Components' Fabric Multi-Purpose Netting, 5 ft. x 100 ft., Black
104505899

Poly Sheeting | Brand : Hanes Geo Components | Product Width : 5 ft. | Product Length : 100 ft. | Number of Rolls : 1 | Color : Black

What We Do In Life Echoes In Eternity” Maximus Decimus Meridius

 

 

"Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it's liberty and interests by the most lasting bands." Thomas Jefferson 1785 Aug. 23.

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What We Do In Life Echoes In Eternity” Maximus Decimus Meridius

 

 

"Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it's liberty and interests by the most lasting bands." Thomas Jefferson 1785 Aug. 23.

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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas!! I hadn't really thought of getting larger fence, then layering small fence over it. But I'm not really concerned about chicks getting through - they won't stray too far from the flock...

Also, I'm starting a living fence/hedge along side the wire fence, so hopefully in a couple of years I won't even need the wire fence anymore!!

Mommy to Abigail - 4yo and Anya - 2yo.  Also to 6 Barred Rocks, 5 Golden Comet, 4 Jersey Giants, 3 White Rock, 2 New Hampshire Red, and 1 Blue Andalusian.  No, I did not do that on purpose!!

Reply

Mommy to Abigail - 4yo and Anya - 2yo.  Also to 6 Barred Rocks, 5 Golden Comet, 4 Jersey Giants, 3 White Rock, 2 New Hampshire Red, and 1 Blue Andalusian.  No, I did not do that on purpose!!

Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
We went with 8 strands of zereba electric , about 4-6" apart. With fiberglass posts, insulators,.charger, etc we spent $400 to make an 80x80 pasture divided in two lots for rotating. They got out for a few days, but they are used to it now, and I only have a couple of escapes per week.

Mommy to Abigail - 4yo and Anya - 2yo.  Also to 6 Barred Rocks, 5 Golden Comet, 4 Jersey Giants, 3 White Rock, 2 New Hampshire Red, and 1 Blue Andalusian.  No, I did not do that on purpose!!

Reply

Mommy to Abigail - 4yo and Anya - 2yo.  Also to 6 Barred Rocks, 5 Golden Comet, 4 Jersey Giants, 3 White Rock, 2 New Hampshire Red, and 1 Blue Andalusian.  No, I did not do that on purpose!!

Reply
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