Fencing Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cluckcluck42, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    Hey everyone,

    We live in a rural area on a lake, it's very quiet in the winter, but in the summer lots of city people are up with their inquisitive children and dogs so we are going to be putting up a fence for the chickens. We live on a half acre I would estimate, it's a nice sized lot. Next to the coop there are some trees. We were thinking of running some chicken wire from the side of the coop, fasten it to the trees and then coming back around using fence posts to the other side of the coop, giving them a fair space to run around. I thought the trees could offer the chickens some cover from hawks since we do have some in the area.

    How do we go about doing this. I assume we have to dig at least 4 inches down to bury the chicken wire to make sure dogs can't just scoot under there?? If we use the trees as posts, raccoons and such can get up and over it, but the chickens will only be out during the day and as far as I know raccoons are usually out at night, no? Would it be safer to not use the trees as posts or will a determined raccoon get over it anyways?

    Just wondering if chicken wire will be good enough or if we will need something else?? We are likely only going to be here for a year or so, therefore we don't want to put anything too permanent down. Any cheap ideas are definitely appreciated. I wish they could free range but I am not going to take my chance with loose dogs.

  2. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You might want to think of electric. From what I understand it's relatively inexpensive, and would be a good way to make sure a wire fence will keep dogs/predators out. Not sure if you can use electric if you use trees as posts though...
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  3. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    I've looked into electric but I haven't been able to find any under 200 in my area. We'll still look into it but I just don't want to spend hundreds on fencing right now. We can easily find wire electric for cheap but not suitable for the chickens.
  4. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    I used the standard chicken wire for my run fencing, but the bottom 18 inches is that plastic coated fencing 1"X2" buried for about 6 inches. I made six 1/2 feet fence posts by welding rebar onto standard T-posts with a loop on the top, strung number 9 galvanized wire from post to post then hung the chicken wire by rings from that. Kind of like a suspension bridge---I did that to make it easy to tighten and/or replace sections as needed. I used rabbit cage clips to fasten everything. See my BYC page for pictures of my coop and run.
  5. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    Quote:Your fence looks great, where did you get the plastic coated fencing?? And how did you attach it to the rest of the chicken wire?

    Your fence is pretty much what we want to do, maybe a tad bit less tall but not by much. Thanks very much! [​IMG]
  6. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    Shameless bump, bump bumpity bump
  7. kennedyscochins

    kennedyscochins Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2009
    Big Clifty
    I had only chicken wire and when I first started with 4-5 chickens, the neighbors dog ate THROUGH the chicken wire and killed all of my chickens. If you're going to buy fence anyway, I would get welded wire or something stronger than chicken wire. Just a suggestion.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I would not suggest using chickenwire. Pretty much everything that eats chickens can go right through the vast majority of the chickenwire currently being made. You want something heavier gauge. Don't worry about "not too permanent"... you can detach the fencing and take it with you when you move, so you will get a lifetime's use out of it. I would suggest either a) heavy-gauge galvanized 1x1" wire mesh, or b) heavy-gauge galvanized 2x4" wire mesh (or chainlink if you have a source for 'used' and know how to install and support it) WITH something 1/2x1/2" mesh added on the bottom inside 2-3' of it. Either of these will keep out anything decent-sized that tries to go through the fence (and could rip apart chickenwire, go read the Predators and Pests section of the BYC forum if you don't believe me); they will not keep out climbers, fliers or very small-diameter critters.

    Electric is nice -- you should be able to *add* a couple hot guardwires on standoffs from an existing wire-mesh fence for maybe $100 or so, depending on your situation -- but IMO it should be regarded as the "cherry on top", not the sole or main defense in a predator-dense environment, because ALL electric fence fails SOMETIMES (grounding out, power outage, battery dead, etc etc) and predators can be pretty quick to notice.

    You are right that you'll want to defend against dogs etc digging under the fence; but if you're going to bury fence (a LOT of work!) it needs to be a lot deeper than 4", I would not suggest bothering with less than 12" deep and 18" is a lot better. Alternatively, though, you can run a 2-4' wide apron of heavy gauge galvanized wire mesh (e.g. 2x4" mesh) horizontally on the ground outside the run fence, securely wired to the base of the run fence and pegged or weighed down real well along its free edge. This works as well, and is a whole lot easier (and potentially could be moved *with* you, when you move, if it doesn't get too buried down into the grass and weeds and such)

    Raccoons will be able to climb your fence super easily, so it does not matter whether you use trees as posts. UNLESS you put a couple lines of electric on your run fence to discourage climbing -- in that case, just make sure that raccoons etc can't go branch-to-branch from trees outside the run to drop down *into* the run. As long as you can avoid that possibility, you can still use trees as fenceposts even if you use electric, as they will be protected by the electric as well.

    Good luck, have fun,


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