1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Best fencing for a combined garden/chicken run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by giantsridge, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. giantsridge

    giantsridge Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2009
    Biwabik, MN
    After losing produce to the deer and rabbits, and losing some chickens to predators every year, we've decided to bite the bullet and fence in a large area. I've been studying the various options, and like the Silveira design for a partitioned garden/chicken run area. However, I'm not sure what to use for fencing? I'm guessing the standard tall deer fencing would not be strong enough to keep out the coyotes, weasels, and raccoons. Yet hardware cloth would not be tall enough to keep out the deer. Should I be using a hybrid of the two? The approx size would be 60x60, plus a center partition to separate the chickens from the garden plot. With a size this large, I'm worried about it becoming cost prohibitive.

    I should note that we already have an established coop with a small run that is completely enclosed with hardware cloth and quite secure. The girls can be locked in at night, so they will only be in the new, larger area during the day.

    Any suggestions/photos appreciated.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I haven't seen it lately but Tractor Supply had a roll of "No-Dig" Kennel fencing, 150 feet for a little over $160 a couple of years ago. I have no idea what it would cost now or if you can even still get it. Maybe they could order it for you and save you shipping?

    It was 5' high and twisted construction like chicken wire, but a heavier gauge. I'd think it would be good for a run, but I lock mine up at night in a safe coop. A run that size will not stop climbing animals like raccoons anyway unless you put an electric wire around it. You are not going to be able to covera 60' x 60'. Weasels would have no trouble getting through or over it either.

    The way I built my deer-proof garden fence was to put this No-Dig fencing on the bottom 5', then string brace wire at 6', 8', and 10' heights to stop deer from jumping over it. I used regular wooden fence posts for the bottom and screwed 2x4's onto them to extend the posts high enough. It's not real pretty but it did stop the deer.

    You'll need an apron around it too to stop the rabbits from going under it. I've even had problems with a groundhog squeezing under it. Not digging, just sort of walking under it. It's amazing how little room they need.
  3. giantsridge

    giantsridge Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2009
    Biwabik, MN
    Thanks for the reply. So, the chickens don't try to fly our through the wire fencing above the 5' mesh fencing? When ours are free ranging, I've watched them fly pretty high to get up on the Compost bins, woodpiles,,etc, so I figured I would need a pretty high fence to keep them in as well as the deer out...perhaps the horizontal wires are enough of a deterrent.
  4. giantsridge

    giantsridge Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2009
    Biwabik, MN
    I'm just bumping this thread up, in hopes of some answers. I'm still concerned about what I have to do to keep chickens from escaping the large garden area I plan to enclose with deer fencing...will the chickens just fly right over it?

    Any thoughts appreciated!
  5. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Im sorry I dont have an answer but I am curious to read the responses because I am about to do something similar. I have anfully secure enclosed coop and run, but the run is small. I want to allow the chickens more daytime space. we just got 6 foot wire welded fencing and are in the planning stages. Good Luck
  6. Othylocke

    Othylocke Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2010
    Dothan, AL
    Standard deer fencing being seven and a half foot?

    Personally, I'd use a mix of both if I had that kind of money to spend.

    If I were to make a choice of one or the other, hardware cloth. You have two foot by fifty foot rolls just have 4 rolls to make your eight feet. Use your standard metal posts and ties with a slight overlap and you will come up to around seven and a half foot tall hardware cloth fencing.

    If you needed to keep cost down, use the deer fencing and hardware cloth against it two to four feet up. The partition for the garden is where I see your problem. You need to keep the chickens out and I've heard of some mighty jumpers.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
  7. giantsridge

    giantsridge Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2009
    Biwabik, MN
    I can get a deal on 5 or 6 foot deer fencing, so it makes sense to put that on top along with a course of hardware cloth along the bottom, for a total height of 7 or 8 feet. That should keep out the deer and rabbits, but I'm more concerned at this point with keeping the chickens in! I have a hard time believing they won't fly right over the top, and I don't want to do all this work for nothing!

    Can anyone weigh in on the chicken side of the fence? :)
  8. itsmytimetogrow

    itsmytimetogrow New Egg

    Sep 17, 2012
    When I was growing up my parents would clip the long feathers on one side of the chickens. This does not hurt them, but does keep them close enough to the ground that they can't fly out. I haven't had to do this yet since my girls are free rangers. However, we've had a couple of incidences with neighbor dogs that think it's fun to kill my birds, so I'm moving them next to my 60 X 60 garden. I, too may have to keep them in the penned area and will clip their feathers if they get too spunky. By the way, I'm attaching chicken wire to the existing wooden fencing. The playhouse turned coop will sit right next to the garden fence and keep them safe from all the other night-time predators.
  9. cloudwalker1

    cloudwalker1 New Egg

    Apr 16, 2013
    I am looking to do the same thing as yall. I am thinking about 7' post with 5' of no climb horse fencing and electric fencing on the bottom outside and a couple strands on top. Did any of you complete your project? And if so, how is it going?
  10. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    If you clip a few feathers on one wing then they will be somewhat off balance to fly high; Yet, we do not clip our birds and they stay inside a 50" high fence area. Give them a few hiding places in the free range area as well as a nice coop and they will stay put. Extra high fencing can be costly, a pain to maintain and install properly.

    Deer have the ability to jump standard fence heights very easy. Fencing up 6 to 8 ft. high will certainly help deter most deer. The no-climb or woven wire fencing is what you want so that predators cannot go through your fence. Down low you need to double with chicken wire (most economical), hardware cloth or fine mesh to deter rabbits and small critters. I use blanket staples to attach down low. Digging in the mesh is better but a lot of work if you have large areas. Hope this helps!

    Chickens free ranging in a 1 acre fenced area

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by