Chickens in horse pasture/electric fencing???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jroyalimage, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. jroyalimage

    jroyalimage Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 29, 2015
    Ok so I'm not sure if this is the right section to post this in. But I think I am finally ready to get some chickens! I've been reading about keeping horses and chickens and so far the majority says it's ok.
    I want to keep my chickens in my horse pasture. I'm not sure if I want to buy or build a coop (but that's a whole different thread)
    I have a low electricity wire fencing around my pasture. The bottom strand is still about 2 feet off the ground. I was thinking of running either chicken wire or poultry netting around the bottom of the pasture and hooking it to the fence energizer.
    Do chickens generally do ok with electric fencing. My fence power is pretty low since my horses could stay behind a piece of thread if I wanted.
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich True BYC Addict

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Your chickens should be OK with the fencing, but the real issues are other predators that can attack your chickens such as flying raptors, or night time predators. For best results, you will need a coop to house your chickens. Without one you will have less than desired results. A secured run is more IDEAL . then an open pasture. The open pasture is great for them to free range in though. The horses will deter many daytime wanna be predators. (not all.) Night time predators can be sneaky in their attacks. Read up some more in the learning center about COOPS, PREDATORS, and anything else you think you need to know. Of course ask in this forum anything else in question. WE ARE ALL HERE TO HELP THOSE THAT WANT TO LEARN ABOUT CHICKENS..
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Chicken wire will not work. It will short out with the ground and will not be hot.
  4. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    Had to reread your thread. I take it to mean yes you will have a coop but not sure if you will buy it or go diy? But there will be some sort of coop?

    so you will electrify the bottom chicken wire you are adding? Is that to keep predators out or the chickens in?

    You are going to also need some hiding spots in the paddock for Hawks etc.
  5. jroyalimage

    jroyalimage Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 29, 2015

    Correct! I will get the coop before I get any chickens.
    I figured the chicken wire would keep the chickens in.

    I didn't even think about hiding spots. My horse has a run in shed that she never used. I suppose they could also run in lol. I would imagine I'd need some sort of hiding spot that is lower to the ground so the Hawks can't really get under it but the chickens can easily get to?
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Your predator assessment will determine what type of fencing you need.

    Chicken wire is great at containing chickens. Run it around the perimeter behind your hot wire and your birds will stay inside the area. But, it won't do a thing to keep predators out.

    Electric poultry netting is supposed to be great at keeping most predators out. If aerial predators are a concern, you will need hiding places for your birds. The horse's shelter is fine, but it may be too far away. Shrubs and bushes are good, but not always feasible in a paddock. Some folks use something as simple as a pallet on some cement blocks, just raised up high enough for the birds to get under and take shelter. You can be pretty creative to find ways for them to have cover from birds of prey.

    Chickens do well with low voltage electric. Just be aware, the electrified poultry netting can have large enough squares that smaller chicks can go right through it, so littles will need to be otherwise contained until they're large enough to get zapped as they try to go through.

    I think you'll enjoy having chicken with your horse. They scratch through the manure and disperse it so there's less clean up, and less flies as they eat the larvae. But, depending on how tolerant your horse is, the birds might start using her as a roost during the day, and you may wind up with chicken poop on her back [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  7. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    Yes agree with above.

    I have a real bird of prey problem here so its always the first thing I think of. I actually shooed a big brown hawk off our pool fence just yesterday, was sitting there eyeing off the chook run while they were all hidden in their house. We let ours free range happily for 3 years but in the last 6 months bird numbers seem to have increased and Im seeing them all the time all over town. We lost one to a goshawk before giving up on the free range.

    When they spot a hawk etc then tend to run for cover and then freeze. You need to have plenty of places they can do that quick run to cover to. I think the pallets on bricks idea.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Not sure you can electrify the chicken wire....and 2 feet of chicken wire may not keep them in for long.
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    You can electrify chicken wire although it is labor intensive and not how he chicken wire is designed to be used. I have contemplated doing so but maintenance / keeping it weed free appears to be more demanding than with electrified poultry netting. The electrified poultry wire would in my situation be a better stop for small chickens.

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