chainlink fence?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Brooklinechicks, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Brooklinechicks

    Brooklinechicks In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2008
    This is my first foray into chickens, into posting on a forum, and I really need some advice. We have a coop and henhouse that our neighbor built for us which we're in the process of modifying as we're learning more about what our 4 week old chicks are going to need. Right now two sides are chainlink, which I understand will not keep raccoons from reaching in. Equally of concern, and a nasty surprise the other day, was how easily one of the chicks walked through the opening. Is there a point when a chicken will be too big to get through those holes. One of the sides is backed by another neighbor's fence which is solid and so I think will keep predators from reaching in...I'm just wondering if a Houdini chicken might get stuck between the chainlink and the solid fence. We are going to buy more chicken wire and hardware cloth (the 1" mesh) to protect them on the other side.

    Thanks in advance for your experience and advice.
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    First - Welcome to BYC!! We are very glad you are here.

    Chicks will get too big to get through chainlink somewhere around 8 weeks to 12 weeks old, depending on the breed. (That's for Standards- I'm not sure on Bantams)

    I am personally not an advocate for chainlink fencing for chickens only because I've seen my own dog rip up the bottom and get through it like it wasn't there. Even with reinforcing on our part - she got ripped open holes and got out.

    Hardware cloth is always the best option - but is also expensive.

    2x4 welded or woven wire is the next best option. However, if you use the chain link or welded wire you will need to cover the bottom 2 feet (or higher) with either hardware cloth or 1" chicken wire to keep the raccoons and even cats from reaching in to get to the chickens and to keep the chickens from sticking their heads through and getting taken that way. You will want to bury the fence down at least 15 to 18" into the ground to keep predators from digging under. I used 2x4 welded wire with a skirt of 1"chicken wire and buried the chicken wire a good 18" deep and then bent the bottom of the chicken wire into an "L" shape underground before filling it back in.

    Another option if you can't bury wire is to lay the wire flat on the ground with it being around 2 feet outwards and securely attached to the fencing. You can then either put some dirt over that fence or let grass or whatever grow up through it and cover it so it's not visible.

    Good luck - sounds like you're doing a great of thinking things through beforehand.
  3. We did chain link for a secure pen, and are in the process of digging a trench all around for3' high 1/2" hardware cloth. We also are lining the chainlink with chicken wire all around and on top and added an awning for some weather protection. We free range when we are home and have the pen for when we are away. We chose some used chain link panels as we needed something quick to put up and would be self supporting as the coop sits on ledge that won't allow posts, plus we have horses, goats and other critters that could push over a flimsy run. For many, something less substantial than chain link works great, like chicken wire with hardware cloth....

    The big problem with chain link, and chicken wire is that predators reach in and grab and mutilate the chickens. Snakes can enter too. Our chickens sit right by the edge so they would be total victims if something decided to stick their hands in.

    I am NOT happy with our chainlink gate. The gaps seem very big. So far we have not had daytime predators. Nighttime we keep our flock locked up in their coop.

    Best of luck. Oh and welcome. I love Brookline!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2008
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    The security of chain link depends greatly on what the threats are and what type of chain link.

    The fencing used in most pre-fab kennel panels is woefully weak as compared to standard chain link fencing.

    Using a tension wire along the bottom of traditional chain link and weaving the tension wire in and out of the bottom links of fencing for extra support will increase the strength against digging preds.

    Still, a VERY determined dog can get through chain link - especially the gates and along the bottom.

    Having said all that, I use chain link yard fencing for my chicken run. My main predatory threats would be a loose stray dog and possums/racoons.

    To add extra level of security to chain link, attach hardware or welded wire 1"x2" (or similar) fencing to the bottom portion, bending the wire about 8-12" and exending out from the chain link to deter diggers. You can bury that "L" of wire. That would also keep your chicks IN until they are big enough not to go through the holes.
  5. JessicaGrant

    JessicaGrant Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Western Mass
    I am setting up a chain link dog kennel as a run and I plan to cover the bottom 2 feet with hardware cloth and either bury it or (more likely, since there are trees around) lay it out at the bottom to deter digging. I hope also to have the hens in their coop at night when predators are more likely in my suburban neighborhood.

    Are you in Brookline Mass? I'm not sure what kind of predators you would get in there, but I think everything depends on what they are. Good luck!

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