fencing decisions...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bogielousa, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. bogielousa

    bogielousa Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 13, 2011
    The Swamp
    It's been a long time since I've been here but I'm starting to plan again. My major plans for the spring and summer are to start fencing in our untouched 16 acre property, starting with one small area at a time. I have the plans for my sheep/goat pasture already drawn up and planned out (we start buying fencing materials this month) but the next permanent pasture will be my 'barnyard' which will mostly contain future chickens (and my ducks will move in temporarily until their permanent pasture/pond gets built.)

    soooo, I'm wanting something dual purpose that will contain the sheep, goats, horses and maybe even an occasional cow/calf pair when I need to rotate or contain but mostly be a very large permanent home for the chickens.

    I have read here that people use chain link for chicken runs. I dislike chain link for a variety of reasons and I'm not going to do a chicken run per se, but they'll free range the entire barn yard all day, everyday with a coop at night. Would a 2x4 horse fence be just as sufficent as chain link? I really don't want to string more than one wire, for one it looks tacky and secondly I find that putting chicken wire over the other wire is difficult, time consuming AND the goats tear the chicken wire making it even less attractive and potentially dangerous for horses. A 2x4 wire definitely contains my small 10lbs terriers (only one of which will probably be an issue for chicken safety) and to be honest I think is narrower than a chain link...but I never read about people using this for chickens.

    My sheep/goat pens will have this fencing http://www.staytuff.com/products/livestock/goat specifically the 1348-12 and so far it seems to be sufficient for my horses (all older and not rough on fences) as well. Definitely keeps the Aussies in as their current free play yard/night time goat grazing yard is built out of this, and the terriers choose to go through the wider cattle panels that make up one side of this yard rather than to go through this fencing but I'm not sure it will stop one of them.

    Aside from a standard 2x4 fencing, my other option is the 1348-3 in this same, staytuff fencing which gets pricey but has a 3x3 spacing at the bottom and should be sufficient for the smallest of my dogs as well (also a plus if I need to contain them in the barnyard for an unknown reason.) If ya'll think the 3x3 fence will work for adult chickens then the chickens just got an extra restaurant to dine in occasionally...my front yard! as this is what it will be fenced in with...eventually when we're finished fencing in homes for all the critters :p

    sooo.... Which would you choose and do you think it will safely hold adult chickens? No worries on the bebe's, after they are old enough to leave the brooder, I have a much smaller pen I can raise youngsters in that is triple lined, lol. I have a 30x32ft pen that currently houses my ducks with cattle panel on top of a wooden fence with chicken wire run on top of that can keep the babies safe until it's time to turn 'em loose in the barn yard.
  2. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    It depends upon the purpose of the fence. I you are trying to keep predators away from your chickens, raccoons can reach through and pull out the birds if the mesh is too large. So it could pull a chicken's head and eat it. Dogs can tear up weak fencing and get to the chickens.

    You could augment your choice with electric fencing, if that combination suits.

    If you want to keep the chickens in place, most anything might do.

    You just need to determine your goal.

  3. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    2X4 horse fence is fine. Just as good as chain link. Since your birds will be in a coop at night, you are just as safe with either one. Some folks put an apron around the outside made of 1/2 inch hardware cloth, but any wire up to the 2x4 will do the job for digging predators. The deal is that the coop will secure them at night and during the day they will simply stay away from predators next to the fence. I see you have a couple Rat Terriers. Great for protecting the flock, if they don't bother the ducks they should be fine for guarding the chickens......Pop
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  4. bogielousa

    bogielousa Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 13, 2011
    The Swamp
    ok, great that's what I needed to know. I'm not overly concerned with daytime predators, there is alot of activity at the farm so we rarely see anything during the day, as much as I am containing the chickens to the barnyard. I'm trying to design this well so the barnyard will be in the middle interior of the property protected by all of my dogs on one side and I have a donkey in my horse/goat pasture on the other side with the barnyard serving that dual purpose as a nightime lambing/kidding/foaling/rest and recoup/holding area etc as needed.

    So far aside from hearing coyotes at night, my largest predator problems have been from neighbors dogs and an occasional stray dog. Only one of my Ratties are ok with the ducks, the other paces the fence line and acts like he will not be ok with the ducks so I doubt I'll ever trust him with chickens either. But my girl comes feed the ducks with me and has yet to even really look at them she'd much rather eat their feed, lol.

    My Aussies will most likely scare off the neighbors dogs as well, they seem to be rather protective about their yard at the moment ;) I always know when someone drives up or a stray dog is in the yard. They do work the ducks so I know they can't be left loose with them hence having them on the outside of the barnyard, in my house yard (they're turning into nice stock dogs and don't nip the ducks but they do nip the goats as needed so....) and if needed I am not opposed to getting a LGD to live with the chickens in the barnyard as well.

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