Complete dog proofing

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by umaerth, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. umaerth

    umaerth Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 29, 2014
    Pullman, WA
    I live in a house that is right on the edge of a neighbor and a large valley. I have seen stray dogs in my yard on many occasions - especially a border collie and a tawny pitbull. They are both friendly dogs, but I don't know who owns them.

    Since they travel together, I know that come this spring when we build our coop and run and put our eight Buff Orpintons outside for the first time the strays in our neighborhood will be very interested. So I need to make a utterly, completely dog-proof run.

    I cannot shoot these dogs. I am within Pullman City Limits, and cannot discharge a firearm.
    I will totally call animal control if I need to.
    But I am not home all the time, and cannot call every time a dog roams onto my property.

    Here's a picture of the area that we are converting into a chicken run:

    The area to the left, that still has the 4" gap fencing with the old doghouses will be the run. The old doghouses are going to the dump and the 4" gap fence is too large to keep out smaller predators. We will be making the enclosure with 1"x 2" gap welded wire. It will be ~ 6' tall and completely enclosed with netting across the top to prevent hawks.


    The dirt around the run is soft. How deep should I bury the fence to stop digging entry?

    Should I fill the "trench" with sharp gravel to discourage dogs further?

    If the dogs pace the fence, bark, and whine at my chickens, will it stress them to the point of not laying, or will they get used to it?

    Should I put up a "line of sight" barrier like gardening cloth to reduce stress?

    What other ways could dogs possibly gain entry?

    Any other suggestions will be welcome. Dogs will be an issue and I would rather mitigate damage by careless owners then suffer losses later.
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I would think that making an apron or skirt of wire around the perimeter would be better than burying it.

    I just read on a different thread that someone has had great success putting hot pepper seeds all around his run. Too painful to dig in pepper dirt.

    In my experience you need to make sure that you have enough fence posts, so that the dogs can jump up against the fence with great force and not bust through.

    Also, the gate is often a place of weakness, remember that some dogs like to jump up.

    Also, some dogs can climb fence.
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    A strand or two of electric might be a good choice.
  4. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    As Alaskan mentioned, a 12" or 18" skirt will be fine instead of all the work of trenching and burying the fence. Your run area will need to be covered and more secure than the use of standard welded wire fencing. Only the heavy kennel panels that are welded are secure enough to keep out an ambitious dog. I would use hardware cloth or woven wire for the run. Some dogs can easily climb fencing (pitbulls are actually very good fence climbers!) so any fenced areas that are not covered will be a risk to your birds. It would be ideal if you can construct blocked off areas of your run that cannot be seen by neighboring dogs. I use woven wire for the run. Our goats would easily shred a standard weld wire fence. Hope this helps!

  5. umaerth

    umaerth Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 29, 2014
    Pullman, WA
    Thank you all for your replies. I really like the pepper idea! I will definitely get some wire for a skirt. I may use reuse the 4" square wire for the top if the pit can climb...

    This morning I almost ran over a big black lab that came running down my driveway, bolted into the backyard and sniffed around a bit before leaving. I wonder if they can smell the chickens in the basement brooder...
    We dont feed or encourage all these dogs. I don't know why our yard is so popular.

    Heres a pict of one of the sweet girls that need protecting :)
  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Wow, it makes me wonder if you need to just break down and fence the area with a proper chain link fence. I would put some smaller hole wire around the bottom of the chain link so that chicken heads can't poke out and get bitten off.
  7. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    You could surround a large area a lot easier with electrified poultry net. No digging in, no expense and effort of constructing a apron for a fence. Just step the fence in, energise it, and be done. I've had my fence up going on three yrs now. I get stray dogs, fox, coon, just about everything short of a bear, and haven't had a loss. I started with 300', and liked it so much, I bought 300' more. One taste of the fence, and the pred forgets all about chicken dinner. Check it out in the link below.
  8. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Wow! Three years?

    I am very impressed, I never would have guessed it would be that effective.
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    I agree! Much less expensive than traditional fencing and way, WAY more effective on any number of predators, not to mention WAY easier to install. As for hawks, just create many places within your run for duck and cover from the hawks and your birds should be able to make it to a safety.
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    They are supposed to last up to 10 years with good care...that's a good investment, IMO.

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