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Chicken wire and foxes

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by priss, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. priss

    priss Songster

    Sep 13, 2009
    Isle of Wight
    Helloo, could anyone give me a little advice. We have 3 little ducks (Got em end of summer) who have the full run of the garden during the day when I'm home and if I have to nip out, I put them in a run made out of chicken wire. The run is more to stop them getting up to mischief while I'm out, I don't think it would stop predators other than birds of prey. They have a hut at night, that is totally fox proof, locks on the doors, raised from the ground, it has a little run at the bottom which I think is also fox proof as my husband dug down and filled trenches with wood and wire around it and then put concrete blocks around the top too to stop it digging under. The problem is, husband got given the ducks for free and took them as a cheap pet. (Man had no idea how much I would love them! I told him not to take them because before he knew it they'd have his side of the bed and he'd be sleepin on the couch! They get their duck feed which he buys wholesale and cheap and then I add grit, shell and three or four portions of fruit and veg a day hehhhh.)
    Anyhooo, Spring has been comin earlier and earlier, like the end of Feb the lambs are comin and I've been told the foxes will get really brave and they'll be hunting during the day. Saw it last year around april. Means the little people will only get the whole garden if I am out there with them or if I am workin in the summer house where I can see them at all times. Also means that if I have to go out, I want their run to be totally fox proof. It's already going to need some work but...chicken wire, will the fox be able to bite right through it? Will I need to use something else? And has anyone ever gotten a little electric fence? Or would a fox climb over it?
    Any suggestions would be great, also I can show this to my husband who I'm suspicious thinks the run is fine as it is.
    The fox knows they're there too I'm sure, I hear him come round every night. So I think the chances of him trying his luck during the day would be high.
    Thaaaank you for any help/suggestions.

  2. classroomducks

    classroomducks Songster

    Sep 19, 2009
    Fort Worth, Tx
    Im not an expert as I only have ducklings. But I know I've read on here several times that chicken wire is to keep animals in...not out. Ive read posts that say the raccoons have ripped right through the chicken wire. So i know chicken wire is not predator proof...but that is the only question I can answer...bump.
  3. priss

    priss Songster

    Sep 13, 2009
    Isle of Wight
    Okally, that useful, so their chicken wire run is out. Any idea what I can make a foxy proof run from? Bearing in mind it's going to be me doing it and I'm useless at DIY...
  4. LoreenH

    LoreenH Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    I would think chicken wire would be ok if you used an electric wire too. We don't have our pen done yet but have used a mesh product called hardware cloth or rabbit wire on the bottom half, I don't know what you peoples across the big pond call it. Due to an increase in neighborhood raccoons, I am seriously thinking about installing an electric wire as well.
  5. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    Quote:Hi Priss - chickenwire is only good for keeping chickens IN, but too weak to keep predators OUT. Even a neighborhood dog can crash into chickenwire and tear holes in it. Raccoons too.
    I would not trust chickenwire at all.

    In the US we have "hardware cloth", which is much stronger than chickenwire.
    Here's a closeup of what it looks like (covering our coop windows).
  6. We had fox coming after our ducks and decided to go with electric fencing. My husband did most of the installation but he had to get advice from his friend who had experience with electric fences.
    The recommendation for fox is that it needs to go four to five feet high and the strands of wire need to be six inches apart if I recall correctly. Ours are no more than four inches apart because we also deal with raccoon. We actually did it a bit differently by putting a two foot tall wooden picket fence along the bottom of their pen with the lines of hotwire above that. The wooden fence keeps the ducks in and the predators go over it and hit the electric. We had a double fencing of chicken wire inside and electric outside at first, but it took up more room and was traumatic for our cats and a very nice dog guest. Prior to getting it set up we had both fox and raccoon coming into the yard after the ducks. We have had no problems with the wooden on the bottom method since installing it last March once we got the spacing on the wires correct. That is until recently when the electricity stopped getting to the fence and we can't figure out what the problem is, and the ground is frozen where the feed line and ground wires run. I think the predators remember to not go into our yard after having experienced the shock from those wires, but who knows for how long.
    A lot of people use the chain link panels used for dog kennels, with hardware cloth reinforcement. Seems like a pretty safe way to go.
  7. we've never had a fox go through chicken wire (or even turkey wire!), but have had them pull the wire off the wooden edges if only stapled, and not sandwiched and screwed with wood. Or they dig underneath. I finally got my coop and run foxproof, only to have weasels move in... good luck.

  8. goosedragon

    goosedragon Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    If by chicken wire you mean the WIRE twisted together to form two sides of a hexogram (six sided figure) and then spliting to form the top and bottom, it will hold foxes confined in such cages. The reason I say wire is there is a similiar plastic product on sale in the US that is weak and only good for decorative purposes. Coons however have hands that can grip the wire and they often manage to rip chicken wire. I have had pet coons and such cages will not contain them. I have seen foxes make the mistake of not seeing the wire and run full bore into the wire only to bounce off. Night vision cameras feeding recorders are lots of fun for this purpose! Here in the US many people use welded wire for runs and to contain small animals such as pigs or sheep. Coons can climb these fences, foxes try to jump them or dig under them. Electric fences are pain fences and will not stop something from charging right through them. They work best with a physical fence that gives the animal a chance to learn that getting too close to the fence will be painfull.

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