Help with chicken fencing

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickenpassion, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. chickenpassion

    chickenpassion In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2012

    I'm a new chicken owner, and I have 4 hens and 1 Roaster. One hen is sitting one some eggs, and I'll be expecting chicks to hatch in few weeks.
    My coop is not big or fancy, but I keep it clean. For the new chicks (witch I plan to keep), I wanted to expand my fencing and make a bigger coop.
    My backyard is big, a few BIG trees providing shade. now theres a area I want to fence and be the new place for my Chickens. but it's a big spot and I don't think I could put a mesh roof over the whole thing.

    So i was thinking if it's even needed that I put up a mesh roof. cause it would be really convenient if I didn't need to.
    So would it be okay not to put up a mesh roof, or would that be too dangerous, cause I had a raccoon kill a few chickens before. I'll put the chickens in the coop at night and I was also thinking of getting a dog, and keeping him with the chickens.
    I went to a Chicken farm before, and the Lady there had just a 4 foot fence around, and a big coop. One dog kept 200 chickens safe. He stayed in the fence or around at all times.

    Do you guys thinks It's to risky or would safe if a had a big dog with them and kept them in the coop at night?

    Thank you.

  2. NYboy

    NYboy Songster

    Nov 12, 2009
    White plains
    Hawks love chicken diners
  3. bj taylor

    bj taylor Songster

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas

    i would think you could have a big dog if you invested the time necessary to train it. i also think as long as the dog is a puppy, it's impulse control will be limited. i have two dogs that do well keeping other critters out, but my youngest (1 yr old) killed 10 of my 14 chickens last week when i accidentally left a gate open.
    i suspended a 12 x 18' shade cloth above part of my run tying it to surrounding trees. it suspends about 10 feet above. it provides them with more shade (we need shade here), and helps to keep them out of sight of hawks cruising overhead. my fence is 4 feet high (not very high). i have heavy breeds. they're up every night.
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    A mesh top would be a lot cheaper than a dog. You can buy good-quality heavy duty Poultry mesh on Ebay in various sizes. I happened to look out the window last fall just in time to see a hawk bounce off the netting over my run.
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I have exactly 1 year experience raising chickens, so here goes. I let my chickens in a 1 acre field and in part of my yard. There is a 4 ft. fence around it and for the 1st few months some would fly over it. I think everyone should lock their chickens in a secure coop at night, and have a covered run for rainy or snowy days and shade. My first cover was a tarp, then a shade cloth, now a metal roof. Baby chicks should be kept in a coop or run with their mother for 5 weeks. After that they stay by themselves in the coop/run. Hawks will go after the smallest chicken since they have a hard time carrying a full grown one. Putting objects to hide under in your yard like bushes, a dog house, or camper tops or wood palates on blocks are good for freeranging. You will get all kinds of opinions on here, but my chickens love to be out running around free. I've lost 1 hen to a dog (my own golden retriever) when it flew into my yard, and 1 disappeared while I was out of town (probably got left out at night by housesetter.) You will have to train a dog for a long time--mine is now trustworthy. Good luck.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    If it an option, go the dog route. Size requirments greatest if threat most likely another dog. If area fenced in then dog need only half again as big a coyote since coyote more likely to go over fence than typical dog. Consider winter and heat stress on dog also when making choice.
  7. chickenpassion

    chickenpassion In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2012
    Thank you all!

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