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Fence advice needed!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Stephine, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi!
    I am ready to let my girls free range more - they have a big meadow bordering a creek, which serves as a wildlife corridor. There is an old fence separating the meadow from the creek, 4 feet high, t posts, woven wire with pretty big openings that get bigger towards the top of the fence. It seems to me that a fox could just march right through it, and one of the chickens has once gone off to explore the creek already, so I want to add something. Ideally I'd use up some of that 6' woven wire roll that I have lying around here, but I am not sure I am up for digging the holes for the corner posts. This fence just has three inch round metal posts as anchors and everything I read says 4x4 wooden posts are needed. It seems semi permanent poultry netting inside the existing fence might be a good idea, but we are in CA and the ground gets so dry in the summer it might be a problem delivering a decent shock (the creek is mostly dry, too then). Also, keeping the vegetation low enough might be an issue in the spring - everything grows so fast I might have to mow every week along the fence - plus, wouldn't I have to take it out for that?
    Finally I am considering just adding some hot wire, top and bottom to the existing posts - the bottom wire could be a little higher to help with mowing needs and also mowing would be easier because I can mow just on the inside of the (one and only) fence. But issues with closing the circuit due to dry ground still exist.
    What would you do?
     
  2. I am just using 4" tall welded wire for the chickens winter run. (the water sprinkler I use to keep them out of the garden won't work in the winter :) ) The holes in the wire are 2 in by 4in. I did dig all the holes for the corner posts using a post hole digger. (Kobalt) Hope this helps!
     
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2016
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    Aside from the fence separating the creek from the meadow, what other fence do you have? Does it go all the way around?

    Can you provide a photo of what you do have?

    If you use hot wires (vs. poultry netting) you may be able to hang those on your existing fence. If your ground.......errrrr soil........is that dry, a trick you can use is to hang four wires like this.........

    [​IMG]

    Trick is to ground the 2nd wire from the bottom. You set the bottom wire about 5" or so from the soil, so they are temped to try to crawl through it, either between 1 and 2 or 2 and 3. That way they are assured of closing the circuit to feel the heat. BTW, with wire fences of this type, maintenance is running a weedeater (carefully) under it. I mow about once a week, and run the weedeater often when it's wet and growing, but seldom when it's not. Once you make a few passes, you tend to kill the grass and weeds out from under it, leaving bare dirt.

    On the photo below, that fence is set about a foot or so inside a woven wire livestock fence. I used step in posts and steel posts to hang the electric fence. I used the steel posts and the woven wire fence as my "ground". You are correct, I've seen tracks in the snow where either a fox or coyote went up to and through this fence like it wasn't there. The electric fence is waiting on them inside. Pity the poor varmint that gets trapped between the two.

    [​IMG]

    silver looking things between fence wires and insulators are the tensioners. They take all the sag out of it.
     
  4. PapaBear4

    PapaBear4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Are you trying to keep the hens in, or the predators out? If it's just keeping the hens in consider clipping their wings. They will be less likely to try flying the fence. Won't fix the predator issue though.
     
  5. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never used a pole digger - will have to look at that. Our problem is extremely rocky soil, we seem to be on an ancient river bed, so pulling boulders out wherever we dig...
     
  6. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2016
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    Thanks!
     

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