chicken wire or field wire for bob cats and coyotes?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by herbladyisin, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. herbladyisin

    herbladyisin New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 23, 2010
    We just moved to a house on rural property in alpine , ca. We have a bob cat at the end of our driveway, coyotes, and raccoons, skunks, etc. We are living on an old chicken ranch with old chicken structures. We are enclosing one of the old chicken structures...the end of it..and need advice on weather chicken wire or field wire is the best fencing. We are enclosing the top with chicken wire....the sides have field wire that is old....is a bob cat or coyote capable of breaking field wire? I understand the barb wire part of these posts. Is chain link needed against these preditors? I am new to this forum and look forward to learning from all of you. I am kate and an herbalist.
     
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    7,878
    12
    273
    Jan 27, 2009
    Enumclaw
    The safest would be hardware cloth. All chicken wire is good for is keeping chicken in. Chicken wire will not keep a predator out. Chain link will be stronger enough to keep pedator out but they will usually go right over it to get to prey.
     
  3. herbladyisin

    herbladyisin New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 23, 2010
    Thank you...will field wire work against a bob cat or coyote.....is chain link the only one that will work? I told my husband that chicken wire was not adequate for the sides. I needed more experienced chicken raisers to give input on this. We don't have bears at least. [​IMG]
     
  4. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    not sure what you're referring to as "field wire"; there are many different kinds of wire. As someone else said, the safest would be the 1/2" square welded wire aka "hardware cloth" (why it's called that, I have no idea, because it is welded wire in small squares). Cats of all kinds (domestic or wild) can climb a chainlink fence with no problem whatsoever. My dilute calico housecat climbs up and over the 6' chainlink run fence anytime she wants in our out of the chicken run. If you use the 2"x4" welded wire, try running a couple of strands of electric wire -- 1 at about 6" and another about 1' or 18" on the outside of the pen/run. A good enough jolt should discourage the bobcat and coyotes. If you have digging predators, you will need a "skirt" around the pen, preferable 1' up the fencing and 1 to 2' flared out from the bottom of the fence outward. You can either bury it or put gravel or mulch over it.
     
  5. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    7,878
    12
    273
    Jan 27, 2009
    Enumclaw
    Most field wire should keep out coyotes, but bob cats will just go over it. It is better to secure the chicken and coop, than try to keep wild predator out of a large yard. Burying hardware cloth along the base of the run and coop will definitely will keep wild predators from digging under the wire. I would look through the threads about coop building and look for ones that are the most similar to the area that you live in. Because the way my coop is built will different because I live in and sub-division, than say someone that is living in the countryside with a lot of wildlife.
     
  6. herbladyisin

    herbladyisin New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 23, 2010
    Hi, thank you for your advice. We are enclosing the roof of the structure with chicken wire on top which is 10 feet high. We are basically replacing the sides and roof to an existing chicken house building. It is 32 feet long and 20 feet wide. It is like rebuilding a barn after a fire where the frame exists but nothing else. It is pretty overwhelming but will house the chickens and what ever else we put in. It is the sides and divider that we are debating on....chicken wire versus field or hog wire. From your advice, it must be field wire or better. I realize the footer has to be lined with wire, barbed wire, or cement. It is quite a enginering nightmare with steel beams that the roof chicken wire must be wired to. There are four sections of roof each 8 feet between them. Any body want to come and help. I have torn hands to prove the challenge. Thank you all for your help and advice....I will let you know how it goes if we ever get it finished. Right now our chickens are in the 1000 dollar shed we built for our things. They are put in at night with a tarp on the floor to try and preserve the shed. They are running around our fenced patio until its done. Its like having puppies in your patio that are not housebroken....constant clean up. What we do for the love of our livestock. We are going to have to spend 200 more on wire....people keep saying just eat them but the eggs are worth it.
     
  7. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    7,878
    12
    273
    Jan 27, 2009
    Enumclaw
    I so understand I free range my girls most days, and keeping my Yorkies separate is quite a trick. But then I have a house full of puppies, and a yard full of chickens. I have also used plastic fencing. It is so much easier on the hands than chicken wire. it is also very easy to cut with scissors, and I also like the green color of the fencing. It seems to blend into the environment, that other wire fencing. I am planing to change the top of my run. I currently have bird netting over my run. It is a pain in the rear end. It just collects leaves and twigs. I have a very difficult space to cover. Most of my run is under willow trees. But soon as I am able to I am going to re-cover the space with the green plastic fencing. I don't think that I will have the sagging problem again.
     
  8. herbladyisin

    herbladyisin New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 23, 2010
    Hi, I free ranged my chickens in the old house. We lived on the edge of a city and the property was chain link fenced. We went a year with no problems then crows killed our young geese and ducklings. When we moved to this house, we were working on the chicken house but it wasn't done. We left the chickens at the old house thinking it was safer. The first night we were gone and the dogs were gone, raccoons came in and killed half the chickens. No one had ever seen any until we took the dogs. This is in the city. Our male dogs who mark the yard constantly had been keeping them away. They were killed at 4 am our neighbor said. The dogs are in the house at night. The marking tells the predators that they are present on the property. I had not realized that at all. I learned the hard way that no matter where you live or how well you think you made things safe, there are always weaknesses in the system you did not realize. It is like hitchcock ....the wild animals are watching us to wait for a time when they can kill our beloved livestock. The crow incident was right out of a horror movie. The crows showed up. There were two that every evening flew to the house and watched us. It was really wierd and began happening when we first let out the ducklings to forage. I did not piece it all together until it was too late. We were gone for 4 hours and found them all dead but untouched with marks. You could tell they were bombarded from the sky. After that kill, all the crows disappeared and never were on the property again. The yard was silent. I had found the crows right around the coop on the ground several times. They had to be scared away both times but my adult chickens didn't seem to be scared so I discounted the danger. According to research I did after the fact, they were waiting on the baby geese and ducklings. They had just been allowed to forage openly that week. Perhaps there is a good reason for crows to be called a murder of crows. They dive at the ducklings...kill then...then come back later after they are ripe and more easily torn apart. There was not a mark on any of them. They were killed in every direction of the yard. It was horrible. It certainly was a bummer on Mothers day to say the least. Just so you know, crows will kill baby duckling and geese. Hawks are not the only killers.
     
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    20,149
    290
    401
    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Haven't read all the posts, but the concerns with whatever type of wire is the size of the openings and the gauge of the wire. Many predators can get through openings that are not very big, or can pull a bird, or parts of the bird, through the openings. A thin guage can be broken by a determined predator.

    When you say "field wire" I envision openings that are about 4x4 or 5x5, and a bobcat can probably get through that. For that matter, so can the birds. Chain link also comes in different gauges. A friend's great pyr broke through the light-duty chain link kennel they bought.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by