fencing for run and overhead poultry netting

Natty Bumppo

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 17, 2009
54
0
39
Southern Illinois
Hi folks I'm new to the site, and new to raising chickens, and I have a question about fencing. I have restored about 45 acres of prairie on my farm which makes for great habitat for all kinds of critters, including our fair share of predators. In addition to redtails, owls, skunks, coyotes, and racoons, I have two dogs in a fenced yard.

I am building an 8x8 ft coop, and have placed it where I can fence off a run that's about 20x50 ft. While I'd prefer to free range my birds, I'm thinking I should keep them in a run for their own safety. To keep the birds in do I need overhead netting? or is just fencing in the sides adequate? I do have a lot of redtails...are they likely to be raiders if I don't put up overhead netting?
 

julieschickens

In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 11, 2009
98
0
39
rustburg va
i clip my chickens wings and just have their exercise yard fenced in with nothing over top. however, mine go in to the house every night and the trap door is shut so nothing can get to them. i feel like they are farely safe during the daytime when they are in their yard-at least i hope so because my yard/run for them is too big for me to cover.
 

Robin'sBrood

Crowing
12 Years
May 8, 2008
6,642
123
326
North Carolina
I would put the netting up.

After seeing a hawk perched on the fence around my chicken run one day, my DH and I put bird netting over it. As we were in the process of putting the netting up my roo started sounding his "danger" alarm. Yep, a hawk actually flew over their run, swooping down a little, with DH and me standing RIGHT THERE! The hawk landed in a neighbor's tree and watched us as we worked.
 

Chickenmaven

Songster
10 Years
Feb 6, 2009
2,064
12
181
Michigan
If you cannot stand the thought of feeding the hawks, keep your girls penned. I do.
We live in the 'burbs and have had close calls, such as a hawk landing on the fence post! I used deer netting to cover our 15 x 30 run. It was inexpensive - about $15 to cover the run versus the $80 I had planned to spend on aviary netting. My only gripe about the deer netting is that it holds the snow. However, the price was right.
 

MikelJohn

Songster
11 Years
Feb 12, 2008
108
0
129
Abbeville, LA
When those chickens are little, you may need to be concerned about hawks because they would be easy to carry off. But, when they get bigger, I wouldn't be too concerned. I raise a lot of poultry. I have a big run which is not covered. I also free range. But, at night, everything goes back into the coop to be locked up! If you are home, don't be afraid to let them out during the day as long as you can watch them.
 

scooter147

Songster
11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
2,042
72
221
Missouri
With a run that big I would cover, then you don't have to worry about hawks, eagles, owls or clipping wings. They will kill adult chickens and feed on the spot, they maybe not be able to carry off a adult bird but they CAN DEFINATELY KILL IT.
Go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy what is called Deer Netting. I have had it over my run for three years now. It comes in rolls of 7 feet by 100 feet. It is light weight and very easy to work with. I attached mine to the fence with light weight zip ties. I put cup hooks on the coop to run the netting to the coop. Like I said it is light weight so it doesn't weigh the run fencing down and no special bracing is needed.
Beats the heck out of fighting chicken wire and when you are done you don't look like you have been in fight with a half dozen bobcats.

Like the one poster mentioned it does hold the snow. I just use an old broom and give it a good whack when the snow builds up and it falls right through
 
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MikelJohn

Songster
11 Years
Feb 12, 2008
108
0
129
Abbeville, LA
Yep...I forgot about the owls. They will get them at night no matter the size. But, if you lock them up in the coop where nothing can get them at night, then you are safe.
 

LovinMyChickies

In the Brooder
11 Years
May 13, 2008
84
2
29
Redding, California
I agree with everyone. Protect them as much as you can.

I let my birds free range when I'm home, but it eases my mind to know they are safe when I'm not home or when I'm sleeping.

I've had a hawk try to grab one of my chickies and we were about 100 yards from it!
 

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