advise me! poultry net or permanent moveable pen, or both?.... I can't decide!!!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gotthefever, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. gotthefever

    gotthefever Chirping

    Oct 6, 2014
    Hi all! Please advise. Trying to be logical, now I'm stuck.
    Many fox, coons, and even coyotes in SE PA.
    Hoping to keep 4 Bantams.
    Dog house coop is shipping.
    10 by 10 dog pen avail.

    Plan A
    Reinforce and roof dog pen with hardware cloth.
    Cooped at night.
    Move pen and coop as necessary in my .8 acre yard. (Within the existing fenced area post and rail with heavy guage mesh)

    Plan B
    Cooped at night.
    Use electric poultry net to create a large fence with the fenced area.

    Plan C
    Use both? And neighbors think Ive gone crazy or I am testing missles....

    All input welcome!
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    Personally, I would choose plan A because it sounds like better protection- but reinforce roof, sides and add a dig barrier around the pen. And just leave it in one place?

    We get raccoon, foxes any time of day…not just at nite. So daytime protection is just as important in our area.
  3. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Songster

    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    I would do neither for 4 bantams. If you want to keep your bantams in different areas of your property, I would suggest using a small chicken tractor. You could convert your dog house coop into a small tractor and then move it daily or every other day or even once a week to fresh ground. To protect against predators you could put a single wire electric fence around the coop close to the ground powered with a battery operated fence charger. Check out the chicken tractor coops under the "coops" tag at the top of the page for more ideas.
  4. chickens usa

    chickens usa In the Brooder

    Dec 26, 2011
    'Make sure your fence is gnaw proof. I just lost all my hens by making a mistake of using 4'x 8' plastic lattice fence panel for their daytime pen. A rottweiler and pit bull gnawed and broke through the fence. These dogs are very strong and I think they could gnaw through chicken wire. Use hardware cloth or 1/2" welded wire.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    How much money have you budgeted? Do you intend to ever have more than your 4 bantams? How much snow do you get in the winter? Do you have the time and energy to continually move a tractor around your property? It will need to be moved about every day to keep the lawn from being decimated. Personally, I LOVE my electric poultry netting. It gives me 1600 s.f. of area in my yard that can be moved around to keep them from putting too much wear and tear on one section of grass. A well charged electric fence will deter almost all ground predators. It will not deter aerial attacks. It requires maintenance to be sure the fence is charged, the ground rod needs to be moved with the fence (if you choose that option) and you will need to keep the grass and weeds cleared away from the bottom of the fence. In the fall and spring, I can fence them into my garden, then fence them OUT of my garden for the summer, but the electronet has to come down for the winter. You could do a tractor, and even attach a electronet run, or enclose it in an electronet run. You could build a raised small coop with a run attached and use the under coop space for additional space. What ever housing you choose, it's important that they get shut inside EVERY night, and the run will need a skirt around the perimeter or buried into the ground to deter digging predators. Chicken wire will not keep out predators. Hardware cloth can even be shredded by a determined predator. Staples (like from a staple gun) are useless to prevent a predator from tearing hardware cloth off from your structure. If you use a tractor, and have the funds available, you might investigate a solar powered charger that could keep the perimeter of the tractor electrified. Good luck, and let us know what options you choose!
  6. gotthefever

    gotthefever Chirping

    Oct 6, 2014
    This is fabulous, thank you for the tips. Thought I was goin to be brilliant and hot wire top of backyard fenced area...needs to be done for the fence climing coonhound anyway. And then run a jumper ..wire(insulated) from the pen to the fence wire as I moved the pen inside the perimeter. I forgot about the ground!....but wait....if the main line is grounded,the one around the current fence perimeter, will the jumper work to the hotwires around the pen? I think it diff than another run of wire? Can you picture?

    Absolutley locked in every night!!! I want to do the best i can!
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  7. gotthefever

    gotthefever Chirping

    Oct 6, 2014
    Jaj, wanted chicken tractors for years to help keep my crazy gardens in check! Went to the depot this week and saw so much chicken ready materials.....sure its designed for gutters, windows, plumbing or bathrooms but whatever! Plaster lathe, pvc, potty lids perfect hinged egg shaped chicken hatch!!! Dont tell, or they will raise prices on potty seats.

    When i can build and possibly hatch and gulp, breed, (and the neighbors behave) tractors are the way to go!
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  8. gotthefever

    gotthefever Chirping

    Oct 6, 2014
    Lazy gardener, you are an idea person:). Budget schmudget. Started living our dream with a free coop and some budget worthy beautiful pullets and a rooster. Bliss...til fox, broad daylight, us in and out and 2 dogs in and out. Nearly $1000 in now....we keep hitting the mac...worse than Vegas:clap

    Trying to see the end of the spending....I am gathering that, sigh, it won't ever end, right?

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