Dithering on new fence--update, new pic p.2

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ninjapoodles, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    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. [​IMG] 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." [​IMG]

    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).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008
  2. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    4 ft is not that high, I know mine can go right over the top anytime they want to (hence the wing clipping) some breeds are more apt to fly, I've noticed, while others aren't. The heavier birds aren't as flighty, whereas my leghorns and my mystery chick (possible a silver phoenix hen) flew right over the top. They began using the fence as a roost, or seeing bugs outside the run and just hopping over. Bottom line, if they want in, they'll get in. I have yet to have a problem with my RIR, BO, and JG, only one jersey has ever flown out and once put back in has not flown again. Have you considered wing clipping??? (please note I am not an expert, just trying to help....don't jump on my advice unless more people agree with me.....)
     
  3. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Thanks for the input--I'm not at all uncomfortable with wing clipping. I KNOW that hubby will want to clip the turkeys' wings, because he is scared to death of them flying over onto our neighbor's propert--the neighbor who just came and asked us to move a piece of wire on top of our fence that, I kid you not, was 1/2 inch over onto his property, his property consisting of 20-30 acres (this means he was snooping over at the fenceline LOOKING for something to complain about--this is nothing new).

    Our breeds are Buff Orpingtons and Marans, mostly hens with 2-3 roosters (we haven't decided yet how many roos to keep, but if we keep more than 2 or 3, they'll live in a bachelor pen that is covered). The turkeys are Narragansetts, and their living area is a huge run, enlosed on one end for roosting/nesting, with 14-foot high ceilings of chicken wire to keep them in.
     
  4. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Would they take notice of a bunch of rowdy dogs on the other side of the fence and stay away? They do seem to keep a safe distance from the dogs, even when they're with us. I would always check the yard before I let dogs out, just to make sure no stray hens were in there.
     
  5. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    I know that our pit bull, Sasha, is a fraidy cat, but she LOVES running at the chicken run when the chickens are out to send them scattering. She absolutely adores it. The chickens take one look at her do just what she wants them to do - scatter. I've never had any fly over their fence while trying to get away from her, so if your dogs are active enough to want to get the chickens you may not have a problem. If the chickens come up to the fence or are near the fence and the dogs run at them, the chickens will go the opposite direction. The question is whether or not you have jumpers/diggers who will do ANYTHING to get at the chickens.
     
  6. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Quote:So far, no, they're very respectful of fencing. But of course, never say never!
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    First, I'd be reluctant to use the fence company to finance things. First, because you would wanna be EXTRA careful to not just read but understand - with a lawyerly type understanding - the ramifications of all the fine print, and sit down with a calculator and accurately run the math to figure out how much it will *actually* cost in the long run. And secondly, because you have much less recourse if something goes wrong than if you were to put it on a credit card.

    It is not entirely clear to me that you need chainlink fencing anyhow, to accomplish your stated goals. Could you not, as a do-it-yourself project and for significantly cheaper, put up wire mesh on wood posts (or a combination of wood and t-posts), with a couple strands of electric to keep horses and dogs off the fence?

    That would also be safer for the horses (horse+chainlink tends to = gruesome lacerations of the jaw and throat when they stick their heads over the top, unless you split corrugated drainpipe and zip-tie it all along the top edge of the fence, which is an additional expense. Also if you have any w/hind shoes, hind shoes are significantly more likely to get horrifyingly caught in chainlink than in a regular small-mesh wire fence).

    The chickens and turkeys will, of course, fly right over whatever fence you put up if they happen to feel like it, and other than trying to make things so they don't feel like it the only thing you can really do is clip wings or cross fingers.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  8. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2008
    I agree. I would throw a fence building party. We used 8 foot landscape lumbers for posts. We put them each 2 feet in the ground and spaced them 8 feet apart. Just stapling welded wire fencing to that would work for the chickens dogs and horses. OR an easier way is to get the metal U posts or T posts and bang them in the ground with a hammer and attach the welded wire to that. Probably much cheaper than a fence company. Go to Home Depot website and price out the supplies to see.

    If you go with the metal posts you could get a bag of insulators and a roll of electric tape for them from Tractor Supply. That could help keep the horses off of the lighter weight metal posts.
     
  9. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Quote:Thank you for the very good points. On the horse-side, there would be offset eletric wire. I've never kept horses without hot-wire. We also would have the type of fence with the smooth top-post (think of premade dog kennel panels).

    At my last place, my yard (which was in the MIDDLE of the horse pasture) was made of exactly the fence you describe. Wooden 4x4s with woven horse-fence. It worked great. It's not an option here as a DIY project, because this place is on a rocky hillside, and needs a professional to set posts. Also, we're looking ahead at resale value, because we'd kind of like to move in a few years. My husband had to set posts for the turkey pen, and rented a big power-auger to do it...it took him two full days to make just a few holes--it was a nightmare. And to give you an idea of how hard the ground is in the yard area: We couldn't even set the survey flags where we wanted to mark the fence lines! :eek:

    I have Arabians, so no one is ever shod (not even for the show-ring, bless their hard-hooved little hearts), especially not behind, so that's not a concern. I have thought of going to 5' high, though, to discourage them sticking their heads over.

    Honestly, it is the credit aspect that worries me more than anything. Although these are good, local guys, who are well-known and liked in the community, and we do trust them (not that we wouldn't read any credit agreement with a magnifying glass). It's more just my own aversion to buying something I can't pay cash for. We could have it paid for in 10 months, so it's not like I'd be signing my life away, but still. Yeesh.

    We had to do the same thing a couple of years ago, when our entire heat/air system, including all ductwork, had to be pulled out and replaced. We financed with the company, and everything really went just fine. But I was a nervous wreck the entire time it was being paid off.

    We don't have credit cards. We would normally have enough money in an "emergency fund" to cover this, but we had to use it earlier this year when we had several, well, emergencies, one after another.
     
  10. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    If you must have someone else do it for you - I'd say save that $300 a month from schooling till you can pay up front cash. It might take a while, but you're without it now and seeems like you have been for a while.

    GOod luck.
     

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