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Fencing options

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Stamper, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Stamper

    Stamper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in the process of building a new coop. I've had ducks in the past, not chickens, and all I used before was chicken wire. ETA: just wanted to clarify that I only used chicken wire for the fencing. I had a traditional coop. It's the fencing that I'm needing advice on [​IMG]

    I want to build something that is very secure but also affordable because I would like them to have a nice large yard. It will go around the perimeter of the garden.

    So, on one side, there is an existing deer fence that is 8 feet tall but I need to do something to secure the lower part to keep things from digging under and to make the holes smaller so chickens can't squeeze through. I'm considering digging a trench and maybe some 4' chicken wire and burying it 1.5 feet down. Sound good?

    For the other sides (not shared with the garden fence) I have no idea what to use. Is hardware cloth the best thing to bury? What can I use (cheap but sturdy) for the posts? Is there any kind of fencing that I should consider other than chicken wire? I saw some "alternative" chicken wire on the Home Depot website that was UV rated plastic... how does that stuff work? Anyone used it?

    Thanks for your help! Can't wait to hear what you have to say!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  2. sunnydee

    sunnydee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used hardware cloth everywhere on my run except for the top, which I used 1/2" chicken wire. I also buried the hardware cloth about 1/2 foot under ground curling it out. I probably could of used something cheapier but I was not about to do this again!
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Predators can often rip through typical chickenwire. 2x4 mesh is a lot stronger, although you'd want to put something 1" or less mesh on the inside along the bottom 2-3' to prevent reach-through issues. (For *that* application, chickenwire is not so bad).

    Or use 1x1" welded wire mesh, although I know that's significantly more expensive.

    I would not use plastic, it is chewable. As in, can be chewed through.

    (e.t.a. - IMO hardwarecloth is somewhat overkill for a general run fence, unless you are trying to totally weasel- or rat-proof things from underground to the sky. It can be useful for the bottom 2-3' but so can 1/2" chcikenwire inside a stronger 1x1" or 2x4" welded wire fence.)

    For posts, I'd suggest treated 4x4 wooden posts for corners; if it'll be a large run I'd use them for the line posts too, or if it's a small run or you want to see how little you can sneak through with you could use metal T-posts (WELL banged into the ground). Set the wooden posts at least to your local frost depth, minimum of 2.5'; pound the T-posts in at least 18". Sometimes you can get used rusty T-posts for cheap (farm auctions, talk to people with snaggly fallen-down fences, etc).

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  4. South Hill Chickens

    South Hill Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Spokane, WA
    I suggest avoiding chicken wire, ironically. I've seen a chicken, well, most of a chicken pulled through the thin wires by a raccoon. Hardware wire is more costly, but worth the proection for your birds - and it has the added visual benefit of lying straight when streched on the frame. Chicken wire often looks ratty after a while since it bends and stretches so easily.
     
  5. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    We have used chain link fencing to enclose my entire run, even over the top and two feet deep and two feet out in the ground! We placed 3 foot high, 1/2" hardware cloth along the bottom from the ground up--to prevent 'pull-thru' . I have a cement slab 6" deep under the gate.. I placed metal that's used to make trailers with --Extend-a-metal or something like that over the windows. to prevent any thing from chewing thru...
     
  6. Stamper

    Stamper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies!! I was wondering about the "chew" factor of the plastic stuff. It sure looks nice to work with though!

    I am making a very large run, maybe run is not even the appropriate word... I want them to be as close to free-range as possible with the security of a pen. I cannot imagine how you can afford to have the whole run made out of hardware cloth... you must have a great source!! Even if I triple layered the chicken wire, it would still be much, much cheaper than the hardware cloth!!!! [​IMG]

    After pricing everything out, I think that I'm going to bury the smallest gauge chicken wire that I can find then use some larger fencing (like hog wire with smaller holes) backed with chicken wire for the lower 4 feet then just chicken wire for the top 2 feet. I'm thinking that I will cover the whole thing in bird netting (the kind you put over a cherry tree to protect it from the pigeons).

    It's going to be expensive no matter what I do, agh!!

    Oh, and yes, I too have seen a bird (goose actually) get pulled through chicken wire [​IMG]
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I agree no point in hardwarecloth. I would not triple layer chickenwire however -- if they can rip through it once, they can rip through it three times, you know?

    Consider heavy gauge 2x4" welded wire fencing, I think you will find that meets your needs pretty well. Use for fence *and* for apron. You could just cross fingers and ignore the reach-through issue if this will be a biiiiiig run... it is probably not a terribly huge risk under the circumstances.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  8. South Hill Chickens

    South Hill Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:True. My run is pretty small.
     
  9. Grammahen

    Grammahen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stamper, I hope you don't mind if I ask something on your post, I am planning a run too...

    Is it hard to "stretch" heavy gauge 2x4" welded wire fencing?
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I dunno, I mean, hard relative to what? [​IMG] You will want your posts to be not too far apart, especially if you don't have a wooden top rail. But it's not *that* bad to work with IME.

    Pat
     

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