Fencing ideas

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Seesagirl, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. Seesagirl

    Seesagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I plan to have a four-plot rotational garden with a chicken moat around it. One of the plots will be compost, and my girls will have access to it. The following year, I'll rotate, and they'll have access to a different plot for composting...etc. Instead of having permanent fencing around each of the four plots with a gate for the girls (and me!) to get in and out, my husband thought we should just move the fences once a year. So my idea was to leave permanent fence posts, but move the actual fencing. What fencing should I use, and how high should it be? The only purpose would be to keep the chickens out of my garden plots. The larger fence on the outside of their run would be the protect-from-predators fence. TIA!
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    The rotational models are intriguing. Since you are just trying to confine them to an area and have perimeter protection, there are many possibilities Guess it depends on what you want to look at a year at a time. I think 4 feet should be high enough for confinement. Most report something without a place to land on the top of fence defers escapes. Also depends on if each area is approximately the same or vary in total length of fence needed. If I were doing this, I would look at the wood framed wire temporary sectional fencing.

    http://viewfromthecoop.com/2013/07/18/building-a-modular-chicken-fence/

    or

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Bui...ce/step3/Creating-the-temporary-fence-part-2/

    or 5 foot chicken wire - 4 feet for fence and 1 foot is used to prevent going under it.

    or plastic netting.
     
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Rotational use is such a great system - for cross fencing within the area to keep birds out simple poultry netting will be sufficient. Keeping chickens in/out of areas is what it is good for, and the perimeter fencing will provide the security for the birds from other creatures getting to them.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    What breed(s) do you now have and/or plan to have in the future? That will play into the fencing height, etc that would be needed.
     
  5. Seesagirl

    Seesagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want to have a strong, bountiful harvest every year, and rotating crops is highly beneficial to this. I figured why not add compost to the plot that is currently 'on break'? And I also read that letting your chickens roam over your compost helps add to it, feeds the chickens, and their feet help turn the compost. And of course chicken moats are fantastic! So one thing led to another lol!

    The four plots will be all the same size, about 24x15 feet. This first year, two plots will be compost - don't want to overwhelm myself with too much garden the first year!! Also, the girls will have access all through the winter to all four plots for extra composting benefits. I like the idea of using chicken wire fencing, I just didn't know if there was a better option. Thank you!
     
  6. Seesagirl

    Seesagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know yet what breeds I will have. I plan to use the winter to research that and build the fences and coop.
     
  7. Seesagirl

    Seesagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My current favorite is Australorps, followed by Orpingtons and Delawares.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’m a bit confused. Are you still planning on putting a permanent fence inside the outside fence so the chickens have permanent access to the entire area around the garden with another moveable fence to section the garden off into a portion for them and a portion for you to grow things, or are you talking about a permanent outside fence with a moveable fence inside that to section the garden off for them and you? That’s abandoning the moat idea. The big advantage to the moat is that the chickens may intercept some of the pests that attack your garden.

    If you abandon the moat idea, you will probably want to put your coop in the middle of the garden so you can give them access to whichever section you want. If you stick with the moat, you can still put in a permanent coop anywhere that attaches to your moat.

    With the moat, you need to be able to get inside. Chickens don’t necessarily kill everything in the run. They won’t eat certain plants so you’ll need to occasionally go in there to weed eat them or somehow clean them out. If you are doing that, I’d make the inside fence high enough so you could cover the moat portion and walk in there, maybe with bird netting. That won’t keep anything out, just keep chickens in.

    How high does the fence need to be to keep them out of the rest of your garden? A whole lot of that has to do with the motivation of your chickens. I use electric netting 48” high and don’t have a problem keeping them in there. The area is big enough that it is always green. I also avoid narrow areas or sharp corners. When chickens get caught in tight spaces and have a pecking order dispute, the loser will often go vertical to get away from the winner. The adult chickens have no trouble at all of clearing the 48” high fence if they want to, but they don’t. Your moat is a very narrow space. I’d want it covered to keep the chickens in.

    Chickens like to perch. If the top of your fence looks like a good place for them to perch, they will probably hop up there just for fun. Once up there who knows which side they will decide to hop down on. Sol whatever you do, do not make a rail on top of the fence where they can perch. Just have it wire.

    For the fence that is cutting your garden into sections, I’d probably go with five feet high. Can they fly over that? Yes, if they want to. But I think you will find that they will not want to if they have a reasonable big open area. I could be wrong.

    If you put up a permanent fence, you will have grass and weeds growing up in that. It’s a maintenance problem and it is a source for grass especially to spread into your garden. Permanent fence posts will do the same but they are a whole lot easier to keep the grass and weeds down than a fence.

    I don’t know how big your area is. I’d consider using T-posts as fence posts. End posts or corner posts will need to be more solid than T-posts but T-posts are great as line posts for this application. These are not that hard to install or to dig back out in most soils. I just use a mattock to dig around them some and wiggle them out. Get that tool so you can drive them in. Get 5 foot high fencing that can be attached by zip ties maybe for easy installation and removal. You can use T-post connectors too if you wish. You might need to install an apron maybe 12” wide around the bottom to keep the chickens from going under the fence. It depends on how well you are able to put the fencing close to the ground. It may not be a problem. To make an apron, take a 12” wide piece of fencing, lay that flat on the ground on the side the chickens are on, and attach it to the bottom of your fence. This same idea is often used outside a run using 18” fencing to keep digging predators out.

    There is a lady over on the gardening forum (a sister site to this and run by the same people but using a different format) that has a coop surrounded by different sections where she grows stuff in some, lets some go fallow and rotates chickens and compost in them. You might go over there and post to see if she is active. I can’t remember who it is.

    http://www.theeasygarden.com/
     
  9. Seesagirl

    Seesagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK. I attempted to draw it on my tablet, so here goes lol. The larger space to the left is 10 feet wide. The moat around the other three sides is 3 feet wide. The four plots are 24x15 feet.I would like it so that three are always fenced off from the chickens for gardening, while the plot 'on break' is not. These will be on rotation, where last year's compost plot is grow plant group A, and the plot where group A grew last year is now group B. The chicken area will always surround the garden area, but they will have access to one composting plot during the growing season, and the entire garden during the winter months. Does this make more sense?
     
  10. Seesagirl

    Seesagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    aaaaaand my picture didn't come through. sorry. :-(
     

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