Hog Panel Run Hardware Cloth Question

Evolvingspirit

In the Brooder
Oct 19, 2021
22
53
49
My daughter nixed my plan for a electric fence. Starting 10 chickens (1rooster), 5 ducks (1male) in northern California, mendocino county
Plan to get 2 pekin ducks, a pair, and grow others for meat and maybe sell some meat to cover cost of feed.
Bought hog panels. Plan to attach with t posts. Ordered aerial netting.

Hardware cloth is damn expensive but a understand I need to go 3 ft up the fence? So that leaves 1 ft for a apron. Is that enough? What should I do.
Will I have to be watching them all the time. Some days I have 5o work.

Right now ducks and chicken are together. Not laying eggs.. have for 2 weeks. The ducks are too dominant and I think the chickens are stressed. I hope to figure out something for the ducks to build in the 50x50 area.

Have heavy predator load here. Mountain Lion, Bob cats and all the rest. This project is making me go to the poor house. Lol
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
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Jul 3, 2016
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I'd go wider on the apron, so assuming 4' wide roll and you only want to do the lower part of the run fencing in hardware cloth, I'd do 18" or so for apron and remainder on the fence. Would be better to cover even more fencing in hardware cloth but if that's all the budget you have, you'll get the most bang for your buck that way.

Without electric you are at a higher risk of big predators being able to go through a fence, but I think that's true no matter what fencing material you use.
 

Mtn Cur

Songster
11 Years
Apr 5, 2010
238
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East, Tn
I would build a run out of field fence (height up to you) and electrify the whole fence. By the foot, it's much cheaper than hog panels. Water hose is a good insulator for t posts. We don't have mountain lion around here. But I imagine they could scale any height of fence you build. Unless you discourage climbing with a fence charger.

If you choose to run a fence charger. I would just use chicken wire to cover the field fence - which would also carry current.

At some point a person has to weigh the risk versus reward. Eventually you can spend more on chickens than they will ever return. And it becomes cheaper to just buy replacements.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
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Nevada County, CA
As a fellow NorCal resident who lives in the Foothills, I can say with some authority that electric is the way to go. And if you can figure out a way to give them electric fencing AND an area covered with heavy duty bird netting, that'd be even better.

A 50 x 50 area is truly awesome, but pretty much rules out covering. Be sure to put things in there the chickens and ducks can use for cover. Hawks are a big problem during the day. At night, lock the birds in their coop, and they'll be good.
 

gtaus

Free Ranging
Mar 29, 2019
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Hardware cloth is damn expensive but a understand I need to go 3 ft up the fence? So that leaves 1 ft for a apron. Is that enough? What should I do.
Will I have to be watching them all the time. Some days I have 5o work.

Of course, it depends on your predator threat. I just have my chicken run with 2X4 fencing and that keeps out my daytime predators (mainly neighborhood dogs and cats) and I lock up my chickens in a Fort Knox chicken coop at night.

Have heavy predator load here. Mountain Lion, Bob cats and all the rest. This project is making me go to the poor house. Lol

I don't think anything I have would stop a mountain lion from getting at my chickens. But I don't have that as a primary concern where I live. There was a couple of mountain lions that came through my property at night about 2 years before I got my chickens, but it was a one time deal and I have never seen/heard them since.

At some point a person has to weigh the risk versus reward. Eventually you can spend more on chickens than they will ever return. And it becomes cheaper to just buy replacements.

Very well said. I don't even have a predator apron on my chicken run. But I don't worry much about predators digging during the daytime, and at night my chickens are locked up in their coop. If a neighborhood dog or cat shows up in the yard, my chickens run into the coop and stay inside until the threat leaves the yard. So I decided that my money was better spend elsewhere. Chicks cost me about $3.00 each, but laying down a hardware cloth predator apron would cost me hundreds. For 10 chickens, I just can't justify spending that extra money on the chance a predator might come by during the day.

If a chicken gets hurt or sick, I have to tend to them myself. I could replace my entire backyard flock 2-3 times over for the cost of a single visit to our local vet - who does not know anything more about chickens than I do.

And speaking of chicken economics, if you think your backyard chickens will ever pay for themselves in egg production, you are probably in for a disappointment. For sure, I enjoy my fresh backyard organic eggs, but the reality is that I can buy a dozen eggs at the big box stores for less than $1.00 per dozen where I live. I don't ever expect to see a profit on having a backyard flock if only measured in eggs collected. I just enjoy having a backyard flock of my own and that, to me, is priceless.
 

raingarden

Songster
Apr 12, 2021
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Windward Oahu
You can put netting over 50x50, but it ain't cheap. I know this technique works because I've done it.

You need a eight to ten feet high 2x2 wood post every twelve feet, five inches. That's 25 posts at about $4 each, $100 total

A guy wire runs along the top of each line of 5 posts. The guy wire is anchored to the ground, goes up and over the line of posts and is anchored to the ground again at the other end. Do the same for the other lines of posts going both north to south and east to west. Another wire runs around the perimeter of the pen at ground level. That's 900 feet of wire all together. You can use metal wire or cable, heavy nylon twine or a special purpose plastic wire, about 1/8 inch diameter. Black twine about #72 would be cheapest. About $50.

You will need twenty stakes for anchiring the guy wires to the ground. You might also want to tie some or all of the wooden posts to a stake in the groundto keep them from moving. Use 30 inch pieces of 1/2 inch metal electrical conduit pipe. Another $100.

You will need 2500 squate feet of netting for the roof and 2000 square feet for the sides and 400 square feet for the apron. That would be eight of these 25x25 panels from Amazon costing about $1000 total.
https://www.amazon.com/Bird-X-Premium-Netting-Heavy-Duty-Applications/dp/B00BJZ6C2U/ref=sr_1_5?crid=TNKIXAGYSS8Z&dchild=1&keywords=heavy+duty+bird+netting&qid=1635234301&s=lawn-garden&sprefix=heavy+duty+bird+netting,lawngarden,364&sr=1-5

You can find lighter weight woven netting for less money but the heavy duty knotted netting is the best. Stitch the netting to the guy wires and perimeter wire using black seine twine. Bury the apron. Fashion a door of some sort.

That's about $1250 for 2500 square feet of room. When you think of it as $2/square foot it doesn;t sound so bad.
 
Last edited:

Evolvingspirit

In the Brooder
Oct 19, 2021
22
53
49
I'd go wider on the apron, so assuming 4' wide roll and you only want to do the lower part of the run fencing in hardware cloth, I'd do 18" or so for apron and remainder on the fence. Would be better to cover even more fencing in hardware cloth but if that's all the budget you have, you'll get the most bang for your buck that way.

Without electric you are at a higher risk of big predators being able to go through a fence, but I think that's true no matter what fencing material you use.
Thank you so much
I'd go wider on the apron, so assuming 4' wide roll and you only want to do the lower part of the run fencing in hardware cloth, I'd do 18" or so for apron and remainder on the fence. Would be better to cover even more fencing in hardware cloth but if that's all the budget you have, you'll get the most bang for your buck that way.

Without electric you are at a higher risk of big predators being able to go through a fence, but I think that's true no matter what fencing material you use.
Thank you for the info. This helps me alot
 

Evolvingspirit

In the Brooder
Oct 19, 2021
22
53
49
You can put netting over 50x50, but it ain't cheap. I know this technique works because I've done it.

You need a eight to ten feet high 2x2 wood post every twelve feet, five inches. That's 25 posts at about $4 each, $100 total

A guy wire runs along the top of each line of 5 posts. The guy wire is anchored to the ground, goes up and over the line of posts and is anchored to the ground again at the other end. Do the same for the other lines of posts going both north to south and east to west. Another wire runs around the perimeter of the pen at ground level. That's 900 feet of wire all together. You can use metal wire or cable, heavy nylon twine or a special purpose plastic wire, about 1/8 inch diameter. Black twine about #72 would be cheapest. About $50.

You will need twenty stakes for anchiring the guy wires to the ground. You might also want to tie some or all of the wooden posts to a stake in the groundto keep them from moving. Use 30 inch pieces of 1/2 inch metal electrical conduit pipe. Another $100.

You will need 2500 squate feet of netting for the roof and 2000 square feet for the sides and 400 square feet for the apron. That would be eight of these 25x25 panels from Amazon costing about $1000 total.
https://www.amazon.com/Bird-X-Premium-Netting-Heavy-Duty-Applications/dp/B00BJZ6C2U/ref=sr_1_5?crid=TNKIXAGYSS8Z&dchild=1&keywords=heavy+duty+bird+netting&qid=1635234301&s=lawn-garden&sprefix=heavy+duty+bird+netting,lawngarden,364&sr=1-5

You can find lighter weight woven netting for less money but the heavy duty knotted netting is the best. Stitch the netting to the guy wires and perimeter wire using black seine twine. Bury the apron. Fashion a door of some sort.

That's about $1250 for 2500 square feet of room. When you think of it as $2/square foot it doesn;t sound so bad.
I appreciate you help so much. Thank you.! I have 4 ft plastic t posts. Maybe I can run a electric perimeter outside the, hardware cloth, hogwire perimeter. I have all the stuff already for that. In this way the inside chickens and ducks wouldn't get shocked and freaked, as per my daughter's concerned. What do you think of that idea. Eggs now $150. Per dozen. Lol. I must be out of my mind and dumber then a keet.
 

Evolvingspirit

In the Brooder
Oct 19, 2021
22
53
49
As a fellow NorCal resident who lives in the Foothills, I can say with some authority that electric is the way to go. And if you can figure out a way to give them electric fencing AND an area covered with heavy duty bird netting, that'd be even better.

A 50 x 50 area is truly awesome, but pretty much rules out covering. Be sure to put things in there the chickens and ducks can use for cover. Hawks are a big problem during the day. At night, lock the birds in their coop, and they'll be good.
Thank you once again Auntie. Please read my above response.
 

Evolvingspirit

In the Brooder
Oct 19, 2021
22
53
49
I would build a run out of field fence (height up to you) and electrify the whole fence. By the foot, it's much cheaper than hog panels. Water hose is a good insulator for t posts. We don't have mountain lion around here. But I imagine they could scale any height of fence you build. Unless you discourage climbing with a fence charger.

If you choose to run a fence charger. I would just use chicken wire to cover the field fence - which would also carry current.

At some point a person has to weigh the risk versus reward. Eventually you can spend more on chickens than they will ever return. And it becomes cheaper to just buy replacements.
Thank you so much!
 

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