OK, so here's the deal: We are considering putting up new chain-link fence on our property, basically making the back yard enclosed. We live on 5 acres that is partially wooded, and the area behind the house is the only place that grass grows (that becomes important in a second). The perimeter of the property is already fenced in 6' high chain-link, but what I'd like to do is put 4' chain link around the back yard, including a drive gate going crossways on one side, to keep animals that are turned out BEHIND the proposed new yard from going up the driveway. We have seven dogs. Yeah, I know. Shut up. And we have a whole mess of chickens now, and 13 turkeys about to go outside next week. The way I've been managing it up 'til now is, I get up in the morning, take the dogs out for a good long romp while I'm watering the garden and feeding the horses, then put the dogs back in the house and go open the chicken yard. Then if a dog has to go outside during the day, I just accompany it and supervise to make sure there isn't any dog/chicken interaction to possibly turn tragic. (My dogs all have a high prey drive, but are obedient...as long as I'm there.) Then in the early afternoon, I put the chickens up and let the dogs out for an extended romp again before dinner, and another at bedtime. Well, here are my reasons for wanting to fence the yard: 1. I'd like to let the chickens range all day long, until dark, and also be able to let the dogs out as needed, without worrying or having to constantly supervise. 2. We have a persistent tick problem because of all the trees, and we can't (nor do I want to) chemically treat the entire property for ticks. BUT, we could easily manage to treat a smaller, fenced yard, thereby protecting the dogs from ticks while protecting the chickens from chemicals. 3. My horses have NO grazing currently. We hay them year-round, and occasionally let them out to graze the lower area...but we can't LEAVE them out back there where the grass is, because we have no way to keep them out of the landscaping, off our driveway, out of the koi pond (which they can drink almost dry), from eating our rosebushes, etc. The proposed yard fence would keep them away from the house, and the cross-fence I mentioned earlier would keep them (and the chickens) from roaming up the hill toward the street. (There is a gate up there, but it couldn't keep chickens in.) 4. I'd like to be able to let my daughter go outside and play while keeping her in a safer environment, and away from the animals. NOW, the question. We can't afford to pay for this out of pocket--no way. BUT, the fence company we're working with would finance us, with a really reasonable monthly payment of around $100. The thing is, I absolutely HATE credit. Hate it. But, we have no car payments any more, and now that our daughter is starting public school, we are no longer paying her $300/month private preschool tuition. In your opinion, do the reasons I put forth for wanting a fence (and I do want it, badly) justify opening a credit account with the fence company to get it done? It's really a moral dilemma for me. Sometimes I think I have a perfectly good argument for needing the fence badly enough to buy it on credit, but other times I think that perhaps I want it so badly that I'm just rationalizing it in my mind...and there is that small voice in there who keeps saying, "If you can't pay for it outright, then you can't afford it." FINALLY: Would 4 feet high offer enough protection? It will keep the dogs in, but how likely would chickens be to fly into the yard? If they fly in there while my bigger dogs are out, and I'm not right there at that moment, they WILL get eaten, unless they can figure out to fly right back out the way they came in! Here's the yard (ignore the dead curly willow tree). Part of the view through my bedroom window in the fall...the chicken/turkey area is just on the other side of that outbuilding on the far right of the frame. Better yet, here is a very short video clip that shows the entire area I'm wanting to fence: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ninjapoodles/2614150181/ I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially if you're credit-phobic like me. Believe me, I wasn't born that way--it came through learning the hard way.