Fencing Ideas for a HUGE Area

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JPinVT, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. JPinVT

    JPinVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd like to fence probable 1/3 of an acre in for my chickens and ducks, including a small pond. My husband thinks this is completely impractical because of expense and also thinks it would be ugly. We live in the middle of the woods with all kinds of predators around (coyotes, racoons, hawks, foxes, etc), and I just lost my first hen - my chickens all free-range, and I'm getting ducklings tomorrow that I was also hoping to free-range too once they're old enough, but now I'm thinking I just can't deal with the losses. Is there anything I can do to fence in such a large area that would keep in chickens and ducks and keep out predators (except the hawks, I know I can't cover such a large area)? And how can I make it look attractive too? It's going to butt up against a 5-strand electric fenced-in pasture on a small part because we're fencing the pond out of the pasture. Here's a photo of the coop this spring - it's an old sugar house (maple sap was boiled and turned into sugar in there for decades by the prior owners of our property):

    [​IMG]

    The pond is down the hill to the left/behind the coop.
     
  2. CathyM

    CathyM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
    There is a post by a guy who just put in a huge run on his property... search in the coop topic, and see if you can find the photos... he did a great job, but he did say it was a lot of work! What I've been doing is: my 10 chickens are in a 20'x30' run when I'm not around, but when I'm home and either in the yard or checking from the house regularly, I let them run in the backyard (I have less than an acre, and probably the yard is 1/3 acre at least)... the biggest difficulty would be roofing it against the hawks.

    I wonder if getting a chicken watch dog might work? Many folks say they have them...
     
  3. JPinVT

    JPinVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I'll do a search - thanks! I've actually considered getting a donkey or alpaca or something like that. I'm getting a couple of Nigerian Dwarf goats next spring, so I'd love to find something that can protect them and also the poultry. Hmm...
     
  4. Two Creeks Farm

    Two Creeks Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Hedgesville, WV
    Unless its covered, you still face the majority of predators during the day as you do in an un-fenced run. Hawks, Fox/Coyote and dogs will clear the typical fence without effort. To me, fencing still helps the dog issue more then the others. I am getting ready to build a 100ft x 100ft run for my turkeys, but they have alot of growing before they have access to it. 4ft tall 2x4 wire works well, is fairly inexpensive and fairly easy to install. If you are getting goats, interior electric fence will almost be a must have! Our 6 month old goat clears a 4ft fence like its nothing LOL!
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  5. BlueBetween

    BlueBetween Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2011
    Near Seattle
  6. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have over 1/2 an acre fenced with skirted 6' combination livestock fence and haven't had a issue this year except for raven attacks but it was a lot of work setting up, digging post holes, stretching wire, etc. The girls are free range with no lockdown at night. Between the hay manger, the raised goat shed (so no unwanteds can't set up housekeeping), moving a couple downed spruce tree tops inside the fence, and Mongo the protective rooster, shade and overhead cover is provided and the birds feel safe and love it. The goat & sheep inside the fence handle the mowing duties and the chickens, turkeys, and goose control the bugs.

    You can do the same thing as the 6' fence by using electric fence and step-in style, preinsulated posts and it would be very easy and less expensive. I don't know how effective a solar setup is at night when the coons are out. You will probably need to run at least 3 strands, starting about 6" off the ground and be sure to ground it in wet ground to keep the wire as hot as possible to deter critters and burn off any grass that touches the wire. You will need to walk the wire at least once a week checking for breaks and grounding caused by fallen branches and saplings growing into the fenceline. Also when you lay it out, be sure there is no arching, snow bent trees to allow a coon to simply walk above the wire. You need to insure that every critter has no choice but to touch the wire to get inside.

    These ideas aren't 100% effective and we all loose birds from time to time but they are going to have to earn it to get it and hitting a hot fence can be a near religious experience.
     

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