CHicken fencing?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BelleInBoots, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey yall! We just ordered our second batch of chicks, (currently have just 4 in a chicken tractor) and need a place to put them! the plan was to fence off a half acre for goats and to let the flock have the run of the pasture. Also, a room in the back of the barn. We think we have settled on electric for the goats and are trying to get a feel of how this will work with the hens. Does anyone have any experience with this? and how well they stay in? I am hoping that with enough space they wont feel the need to fly away, but maybe im crazy.. We also have some very small dogs that roam the neighborhood that we would like to keep out. Does anyone know what hight we should place the wires or has anyone tried this and had girls flying out all over the place? Also, how much minimum space would you suggest in their coup, for about 20 hens if they are free ranging all the time? thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    Christie
     
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Welcome to Backyard chickens. Rule of thumb holds that you should allow 4 sq.feet per bird, inside the coop and 10 sq.feet per bird in the outside run. If you let them free range you have to expect losses to predators, even very small breeds (Chihuahuas and doxies) have proven to be determined chicken killers,. Best thing is a securely built coop and covered run. Then you don't have to worry about fly outs, or hawks flying in for lunch. Please check out the coops section and also on predators for a basis of what you need to have.
     
  3. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, we actually have a LGD (south african boerboel) that should help and have had very little problems with predators so far, Im sure its a possibility but probably a risk were willing to take as we feel pretty strongly that we would like to free range. after having happy green fed chickens in the tractor its kinda hard to go back to the run style setup where they would not be able to access fresh greens and bugs regularily. Any thoughts from anyone who has used this model successfully would be appreciated!
     
  4. dpenning

    dpenning Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I use a shed for my coop and electric fencing for half my run. The girls don't go over the electric fence at all. They do go over the pipe rail fence into our dog yard because they can hop on top before going over. The electric fence primarily serves to give them a known safe space. My English mastiff doesn't chase the girls but my Pomeranian does so with glee in her face. She loves the chase, when the girls stop running.g she has no more interest.
     
  5. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2014
    West GA
    thanks dpenning, I kinda figured they would gowith the path of least resistence and stick to the inside. especially sense no one should be chasing them out of the fence. We have a couple more acres that i wouldnt mind them being on, but there is also a road in front that would make me nervous. Can you tell me what voltage fence you use? And how far apart you have spaced the wires/how many? I need to make sure its strong enough for my goats but not so strong that we have fried chicken! :p Thanks again!

    Christie
     
  6. dpenning

    dpenning Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I use Premier electric netting, not fencing, but mine is only for chickens, no goats. You might want to call Premier and chat with them. I’ve found them to be very helpful and knowledgeable. I don’t know if electric netting would be a good solution for goats or maybe a regular fence made out of welded wire the chickens could not go through and electric wire on the outside and at the top to keep predators out and goats in.

    Whether or not they go over the fence depends on their motivation. They can get over a reasonable fence if they really want to, but if the area is big enough they may not want to. On rare occasions you may get a chicken that just likes to wander, but the only problems I’ve had were when they got into a skirmish near the netting and the loser went vertical to avoid being trapped against the fence by the winner or maybe a hen trying to get away from an amorous rooster. It doesn’t happen often, especially if you avoid narrow places or tight corners.

    You can follow the link in my signature to get some of my thoughts on space. There is no magic number that covers each and every one of us relative to space. How you manage them, whether you have just hens all the same age, whether you have a rooster or especially multiple roosters, whether you have a broody hen raise chicks with the flock, whether you ever plan to integrate new chickens, climate, and your goals all come into play. I find the more room I give them the fewer behavior problems I have to deal with, the more flexibility I have in dealing with problems, and the less hard I have to work. But you can often get by with less space if you really want to.

    If you are buying new material, most building materials come in 4’ or 8’ dimensions. If you plan around those you can usually build a coop with less cutting and waste. An 8x12 will probably not cost any more than a 7x11 and will probably be easier to build. Just be careful that your dimensions are out-to-out and not center-to-center.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The goats will stay in with just electric wire spaced close together and close to the ground - if that's what you're thinking... but I'm not sure the chickens will. I'm not sure they're heavy enough to really get hit by the fence. I haven't seen sign that ours get any kind of shock at all from it.

    Note - we do have a big charger - 20 mile charger, but it is the "low impedance" type that is now popular because it is designed to power through grass or other vegetation that might touch it... which would short out the older kind (or start a fire). I think the downside of low impedance chargers, though, is that you have to have an animal hit it fairly firmly on skin to actually shock them. It shocks the horses if they hit it first with head or chest and push on it... but it does not shock small dogs reliably, IMHO, unless they actually sniff it and touch it with their nose, while standing on wet grass. Even large dogs who have heavy coats can slip under a low wire without apparently getting hit. Once the head is through, the body will follow, even if they do get hit.

    I think the netting type like posted above, would likely work better than just electric wire, because animals will have to hit it firmly in trying to sqeeze through it.


    My current favorite kind of fencing for dogs, chickens and goats is this stuff... it's called "yard and garden fence" and it comes in 3, 4, and 5, foot heights. It's more affordable and easier to pull and work with than horse mesh and it has small holes to keep chickens in and other animals out better than field fence. Hot wire on top - maybe one on the inside to keep goats from rubbing on it, and it's pretty secure when pulled tight, even for horses. A low hot wire on the outside might deter predators.

    [​IMG]

    Here it is around our garden... You can see the gauge of the wire and the size of the holes.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
  9. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2014
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    Thanks I will try to locate some and see if its affordable. Looks great on your yard!
     

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