Does Bird Netting Work With Snow?


11 Years
Mar 7, 2010
Two days ago we were sitting in the yard watching our chickens when a bird resembling a merlin swooped to within three feet of one of our birds. People say merlins won't go after anything as big as a chicken but this one certainly looked menacing and came back the next day. I want to run some netting over our backyard area to discourage birds of prey but here in Connecticut we get plenty of snow. Does anyone have experience with bird netting and snow? Will it stay up? Any fastening techniques? Is there any kind you recommend over another? And would putting it in strips (i.e. in two foot sections) help alleviate the weight of the snow? I would be doing a fairly large area, approximately 40' X 40', using the house and trees to anchor the netting. Any advice would be appreciated.
If you are looking for something permanent and inexpensive, comparatively speaking. 40 x 40 is pretty easy.

Set 4x4x11' treated wood posts, buried 3' into the ground. 8' is height above ground. Eye screws attached on side near top. Set one in each corner. This is the hard part.

Purchase 1/8" aircraft cable and run a perimeter line, 4 sections, one per side.

Purchase 17 ga elec fence wire (permanent) or mason line (several years life). Run a grid using these materials from opposite sides. Space the lines 1 foot apart. Flying predators stay out. You may have close off the sides with virtually invisible deer netting. Snows and tree leaves will not bother. Year round deterrent.

Excellent site to get some ideas and custom make your deterrent with local materials...

Feel free to email me any questions.
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I didn't have a huge problem with snow because we tend to get dry snow and it falls through, but I imagine a heavy, sticky snow would weigh it down in no time. What killed my run netting was leaves - they'd accumulate in the middle, get heavy with rain and riiiiiiiiiiiippppp. So I replaced it with wire.
I have some 1" plastic hardware cloth up right now. We'll see how long it lasts over the winter. It's made out of a heavier plastic, so I'm hopeful.

We take it down in the winter because this is only about 3/4 inch of snow (in NH)
I bought bird netting (the cheap stuff that you put over your blueberry bushes) several years ago and the first snow brought it all down. So I threw it away.

Now I have chickens again. Bought the same stuff with the plan to go out there and knock the snow off.

But now I have found a couple of websites offering KNOTTED netting, heavy weight. I would like to try that next if I can't keep up with knocking the snow off. The hawks would take out my chickens in no time flat without netting.

I would think this would hold up better:

But I haven't tried it yet.
I have talked to two who have used this style for a couple of years and they are very happy with it.

Scroll down on this page to the 2" opening woven netting. I have spoken with others who live in Wisconsin that have used this woven type for the last 12 years in year round service. They are just now seeing the wear on the material. So it has provided excellent service. It was not necessarily from this company but it is this type that they use. It would likely be my choice if I was going to a netting as it has been given excellent reviews by real long term users when I was looking at these things.
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I bought my heavy duty Nylon netting from the place in the above link (3tproducts). We had 70" of snow last year, a big time record for us. The netting did fantastic. The first few snows it just fell through the 2" openings. One of the twenty some inches was a real wet snow and it did build up on the top, but the netting held it surprisingly. I just went out and used the snow shovel to bang upwards to help it fall the the holes.

We use zip ties all around the fencing to secure it. We do have posts in the center of the 50'x25' run. Hubby used pvc piping to run along the tops of the post to help hold the netting up.


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I think everyone's mileage will vary. I've used the same pieces of cheap netting (25'x25' sections) for almost two years now. My run sides are 4' chicken wire with metal posts. I use baler twine to tie the netting to the top of the wire and put one or two long PVC 1" pipes in the run to prop up the netting (think circus tent). We get some heavy snows at times, but the "looseness" of my design allows the netting to flap at little in the wind that prevents the snow from piling up. We've had two major ice storms and I just slipped the netting off of the center poles - the ice weighted the netting down, but since it is "loose", everything just sank down. Once the ice melting, I just did a little re-adjustment and a few re-ties here and there and it was as good as new.

I'm lucky enough to only have birds of prey as day predators. The girls get locked up at night, so the run doesn't have to keep out coons and the like.

OP, good luck!

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