help w/ fencing on a slope

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MomMommyMamma, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    569
    0
    131
    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    We're trying to put welded wire fencing up for a larger chicken run. Our entire yard is on a slope. We're having some issues with the fencing rippling and/or large gaps (3+ inches). Any tips or tutorials on best ways to fence a slope? Much appreciated!
     
  2. Heathercp

    Heathercp Chillin' With My Peeps

    108
    1
    121
    Jul 23, 2008
    Durham, NC
    We buried the wire around our run to keep predators out. Because our lot is sloped too, we bought 4' rolls of wire and installed the wire from top to bottom - if that makes any sense to you. I don't have a good photo to show you and it's too hot to go out and take one right now, so I'll just have to try to explain it.

    The top of our run is flat and covered with wire fencing. The shortest corner of the run is about 5'10" and the tallest corner close to 7'. We set the 4"x4" posts in concrete at 8' intervals and 2"x4"s in between at 4' intervals (everything on center) to create the frame for 4' wide fence panels of varying heights. We attached each section of wire fencing starting at the top of the fence panel using a pneumatic stapler. I'm not a tool person, but these were some big galvanized u-shaped staples and they're holding up great. When we got to the bottom, we cut the wire with about 2' of "extra" and then buried it. So on one end of the fence panel there's about 24" buried and on the other maybe only 20" below ground.

    If you've already put up your fence, this probably won't help you, but if you've got some left to install, you might give it a try. You could also just bend the wire at the bottom to make the "apron" that some people use around their coops to protect against predators that want to dig their way in. Digging it in was the better option for us, but if it's not for you, the apron might really help.

    If you do decide to do it this way, make sure you don't have the posts too far apart. It's easier to overlap the wire than it is to have to bridge a gap. It's a "measure twice" kind of thing. I'll include a picture that sort of shows how our run fence looks. If you need better ones, PM me and I'll make my way out into the inferno and take some for you. My poor chickens are eating chilled melon and grapes today because it's so dang hot. They're tough little ladies, but I've gotta show them some love every now and then. I've got a couple of peeps in with their mom and you should have seen them picking the seeds out of that honeydew. Only two weeks old, but they know what's good....

    [​IMG]


    Good luck!
     
  3. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    569
    0
    131
    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    That is helpful! Hadn't really considered hanging it that way. Kind of glad we stopped last night before anything too permanent was done. Will have to think about it some more.
     
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I'd start at the high end and make some straight, level runs of wire, then come back and cut pieces to fill in the lower portions.

    If the wire isn't put up in straight runs, you'll just have a mess
    You may have to run some boards between posts to have something to attach it to
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    95
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Smallish-mesh wire fencing needs to be installed straight (to itself -- that is, its top and bottom edges have to be a dead-straight line).

    To put it on a slope, what you need to do is decide on an arbitrary straight line, and then cut the ground out and/or fill in to make the ground meet the line of the fencing.

    For a chicken run fence it may be necessary (or at least highly desirable) to install all of the fence parallel to the sloping ground, which means it will NOT be perpendicular to the fenceposts -- the wire will angle across the fencepost at some odd angle. It will look a bit funky but be easier and more predatorproof than if you tried to get fancy and do some stairsteppy thing to keep the fence mesh horizontal/vertical.

    If your ground *changes* slope partway through the fence -- for instance, the first fifteen feet is at about a 5 degree slope but then it dips off at more like 20 degrees for the next however long -- you will usually have to install the fence wire as two separate segments. the angle of the fence meshes to the fenceposts will thus change at the point where the two segments meet; you will have to cut the ends of the two pieces each at their own angle to be parallel to the fencepost and overlap so you can attach them securely. Again, it may look a bit funky with the fencewire at one angle on part of the fence and at another angle on another part of the fence but it's the most effective installation for predatorproofing purposes.

    Good luck, ahve fun,

    Pat
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    569
    0
    131
    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    Thanks for the tips! We were trying to use T-posts (metal posts) for wire fencing but I am now thinking that wooden posts are going to be the key to making this easier. My husband caught a nasty bug and was in bed all day yesterday. Sad that he was so sick, but in retrospect, I'm glad the fence didn't go up and now I'm rethinking how we can best accomplish the goals. Burying it is going to be an adventure but I think we need to since we border the woods.
     
  7. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    7,261
    12
    261
    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I only have a slope..........grr........I have a small wood framed pen with hardware cloth. And a larger t-post pen with smaller mesh wire on the bottom and larger on the top.

    Here is the bigger pen, partway through construction. The posts need to be straight up, regardless of the slope of the ground. They should not be at an angle. The wire needs to follow the ground.

    [​IMG]

    My ground is not perfectly straight on an angle.....lots of dips and curves. My yard has a perimeter fence and all chickens are locked in secure coops at night....so I do not worry about them. However, my plan to make this pen more predator proof would be to lay a board or landscape timber along the ground and bottom of the fence....attach to the bottom of the fence and also attack to a sheet of 2 feet or so of mesh as an apron. Tack it down and the grass will grow right through it. You can always pour sand or gravel along the edge of the fence to fill the holes, but it will not be predator proof. Might look better though.

    Here is the wooden pen. It was the first run I had ever built.....so rather than cutting the mesh at the corners, I tried wrapping it......hence the major bulges. Bad idea. I should have fenced each wall as an individual section. Live and learn!

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by