Garden fence vs. chickens

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Dayrel, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. Dayrel

    Dayrel Songster

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    I now have three rows of young fruit trees with various berry plants and wood mulch. The girls tend to get into them, scratching away the mulch and eating too many of the berries (not concerned about sharing some around the edges). I'm going to be putting up simple metal post and chicken wire fencing around the rows. The rows are roughly 4' x 50' each.

    Would 2' fencing be sufficient? 3' will make it somewhat harder to reach down near the ground, but also make it less tempting for the girls to try and get into. The price isn't sufficiently different to be a serious concern.

    I do have a couple of raised bed gardens that are about 4' tall between the wood and metal fencing. My girls have never tried to invade them.

    Any thought/experience with this? Will the girls likely respect the 2' fence or should I just deal with the hassle and go a little higher?

    FYI- I have three hens- Australorp, Barred Rock and a RiR (the best flyer).
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

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    I would go higher. Why not use a make shift gate for humans?
     
  3. Dayrel

    Dayrel Songster

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    4' x 50' fenced in areas. The walking areas are between the rows. The rows themselves are pretty much filled by trees and berry bushes.
     
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  4. Rick&chickTampa

    Rick&chickTampa Songster

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    I have raised garden beds in my yard where the chickens run. I put a 2x2 and chicken wire fencing around the beds and attached them with with 4 1/2 in. bolts with wing nuts. It is very quick and easy to unscrew them and work the beds and then button them back up. I think you could do something like that across your 4' end. By the way I am a transplanted Hoosier myself.
     
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  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    I do 2' around my garden beds because I want to easily reach into them, but the chickens have hopped over that before. So I would say 3' at least.
     
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  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    I use deer netting. It comes in a 100' x 7' roll. It is almost invisible, very easy to cut with a pair of scissors. I put the netting up by weaving fiberglass posts through it. It can be held down close to the ground with staples, and held up at the fence posts with clothes pins, or by tensioning the netting by feeding the 2 squares on the right left of the center square that the post goes through back over the post, so the post is now sticking through 3 squares at the top instead of one. It's super easy to just push the netting down when you want to step over it, or work in an area.

    Deer netting comes in 2 gauges. Be sure to spend the money to buy the heavier gauge. It's much more durable than the light ga.
     
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  7. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

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    Guess I'm not picturing the area well.

    There are other possible solutions that would allow you better access? They love scratching bark or piles of leaves.....it would be more costly but maybe use large flat rocks or "steppers" as a surround. They would walk on these but not injure the plant/tree roots. You'd lose lower fruits if that's ok?
     
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  8. Dayrel

    Dayrel Songster

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    I decided to go with the taller chicken wire fencing. Thanks for the input.

    As for a mental picture, think of small fruit trees every 10ft with berry bushes growing between/underneath. The ground of the entire row is covered with wood mulch and there is irrigation tubing under the mulch to keep everything growing well.

    The fencing tightly surrounds the plants, so I can't walk in there and a gate is irrelevant. The chickens have all of the unprotected areas to play in and are welcome to those berries they can reach, while preserving most for me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
  9. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

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    :thumbsup
     
  10. beccaWA

    beccaWA Songster

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    Following... I'd love to put in berry bushes, but have the same concerns as my chickens free range on my acre. My Black Australorps routinely fly over my five-foot fence into the neighbor's place because, well you know, the grass is always greener! A three foot fence would do nothing to deter these girls! Maybe electric poultry netting as a surround?
     
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