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EXTENDING THE HEIGHT OF CATTLE PANELS

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 7acres, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. 7acres

    7acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2012
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    I am wondering if anyone has done this. I am going to make a large run with cattle panels. Starting about 100' x 30'. I will be using T post. I will be covering with welded wire. I plan to expand this later. Where it is located would be impractical to do traditional fence stretching. The chickens will be locked up at night. My concern is that younger birds might flutter over this. I would like to put additional wire above to keep this from happening. Any ideas?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Cattle panels should be 52” high. I keep a mixed flock in 48” electric netting much less than 30’ x 100’, more like 30’ x 65’. The only time I ever have a chicken fly out is when the young birds hit puberty. I think they get caught against a fence in a pecking order fight or fights between young cockerels and the only way out is to fly. It’s more by accident than design and if pretty rare. Still, it happens. It seems to happen a lot more when I configure that electric netting long and narrow. Wider is better.

    I feel you will not have much of a problem of them flying out at 52” and that size, at least not on a regular basis. I don’t think that cattle panel wire is going to be thick enough for them to think they can fly up and perch on it. Chickens like to perch. If something at the top of the fence looks like a good place to perch they’ll fly up there just for fun. Who knows what side they will fly down? So that’s another reason for them to escape.

    There is no doubt in my mind that a full sized heavy breed adult chicken can fly out if they want to, even at 5’. I’ve seen them fly higher than that to get to a roost. It’s just whether they will be motivated or not.

    If you do want to extend it up, I suggest you get some stiff wire, maybe 2”x4” welded wire 60” tall, and attach that to your fence. You can use hog rings or just wire. Attach the welded wire to the top of your cattle panel, maybe 2’ from the bottom of the welded wire. Then attach the bottom of the welded wire to the cattle panel 2’ lower. The stiffness of the wire should cause it to stand straight up. You extend the height of your run 3’ and they cannot see anything at all that looks like something to perch on up top.

    An added benefit: If a raccoon, bobcat, or fox tries to climb the fence, that top 3’ will bend over on top of them, making it a lot harder to climb in. I’d still consider it predator resistant, not predator proof, and lock them up at night, but it should add to your daytime security.

    I've done something very similar and it does work.
     
  3. 7acres

    7acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2012
    Texas
    Thanks Ridgerunner. Just the kind of information I was looking for. Especially since you have done something similar.
     

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