Is rabbit fence good enough?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by laurenlulu, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu Chillin' With My Peeps

    154
    1
    126
    Feb 5, 2009
    You know, the kind that starts out with really small openings on the bottom rows, and gradually the openings get wider and wider?

    I'm making a pretty large run- about 100sq. ft- and I am cringing at how much that is going to cost in hardware cloth. I can get the rabbit fencing for about half as much.
     
  2. meezermom

    meezermom Out Of The Brooder

    91
    0
    39
    Jan 23, 2009
    Roy WA
    Mine is all poultry fencing, but my pastures are fenced with field fence (a similar design to the rabbit fence you spoke of). My 10 month old Orpingtons don't go through it, but a young bird can easily - or a weasel or skunk or coon.....That is why you need a yard that has small openings.
    I do have an additional yard using step-in fence posts & chicken wire for daytime only, if I can't let them loose.
     
  3. zigzag3337

    zigzag3337 Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    109
    Feb 1, 2009
    Callahan, FL.
    I understand where you are coming from. I just finished my coop 96 sq' (8x12) and pen 432 sq' (12x36). I used 3' chicken wire along the bottom and 4' chicken on top of that for the top section. I bought poultry net from ebay and covered the top of the pen. However, I am going to replace the netting in the future with chicken wire, just because I have already have had squirrels chewing through the netting.

    I haven't had any predator problems and hope I never do.

    My wife told me that we could have had a lifetime supply of eggs for what I have invested. I told her "we do", because we are going to have chickens for the rest of our lives...

    I figured that if I only wanted chickens for a year or two, then I would have went with something else. Since I am planning on keeping birds for a while, I went ahead and did it right, which will save money i the future.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    103
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm not personally convinced there's much point to building a run out of hardwarecloth unless it will be REALLY built, like hardwarecloth up to a solid roof and serious expense and effort putting into stopping up all 1" gaps and massively digproofing the walls and floor and so forth and so on. (Which, if done at all, could *only* be done for a small run anyhow).

    To my way of thinking, it makes just as much practical sense, and more financial sense, to use heavy-gauge 2x4" mesh for your pen walls, and add an extra layer of 1/2" chickenwire on the bottom 2-3', inside of the 2x4 mesh. Plus some sort of apron or whatever to discourage digging.

    You might price this out as compared to your rabbit mesh fencing (which I have no idea of the cost).

    That said, my own smallest run is 1x1" mesh all over (as is my tractor), and the other run (and its larger twin to be built this spring) is chainlink with a solid roof and with 1/2" mesh wire on the bottom couple feet. Just because I had the chainlink already lying around -- otherwise I *would* have used 2x4 mesh.

    Sure, a weasel or rat could climb up and go through the larger holes above the 1/2" mesh section... but you know what, if a weasel or rat really wants to get in your run, they probably will no matter WHAT you do.

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    225
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I would just use 2 x 4 welded wire outside, and 2-3 ft 1 inch chicken wire inside, if youre going to have chicks also.
     
  6. Buzzy

    Buzzy Out Of The Brooder

    32
    0
    22
    Sep 1, 2008
    Hiya

    I think it depends on where you are. Are there likely to be: raccoons, foxes, coyotes, rats, mink and their ilk, badgers, and other critters that feast on chooks?

    If so, you have to put up wire strong enough to withstand them unless you've got ferocious dogs patrolling your run all night.

    These guys can bite right through chicken netting, so you have to have wire strong enough to protect your chickieboos

    Also, could they be attacked by owls or hawks, eagles? Then the wire has to cover their run.

    Digging critters? Coons, fox, coyotes, badgers, neighbor dogs, will all dig under your fence to get that succulent chickie meat

    We have all manner of evil things out there ready to attack, so on the advice of friends here at BYC our run is made of kennel wire dug into the ground 8 inches deep all the way around, and roofed with more kennel wire woven to the sides with fencing wire. It's completely intact.

    The first week it was up something tried digging all around to get in - and failed! When it snows we see coon tracks all around it, but it keeps our babies safe.

    When you want to raise chickies you need to run a layer of small-holed chicken wire around the bottom two feet of the area the babies are, just to keep them in.

    It's work at the beginning, and not cheap, but then you never have to worry about it again, and you know your little fluff butts are safe.
     
  7. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu Chillin' With My Peeps

    154
    1
    126
    Feb 5, 2009
    Thanks for the replies! Is the kennel wire similar to the 2 x4?

    I dont see any of the ferocious beasts living in my woods right now, but I do know that they'd start coming out in droves if I put a tempting meal out there for them. I do know that there are hawks around.

    1/2 the run is gonna be covered by the actual hutch (it is underneath the main section), but the other half will be sticking out the side. I have a giant netted tarp, the kind that you put over a regular tarp to keep the leaves out on your pool in the winter (does that make sense?)
    Well, its a giant cloth net, with about 1/2" openings. Would that be strong enough to keep out hawks and birds, or would they (and climbing raccoons, opossums, etc., rip right through it? Ahh... I'm answering my own question.

    I'm just so cheap!! But I do actually have nearly 100' of 24" poultry wire, so to just buy the 2 x4 won't be too bad.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    103
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Should be, at least most of the time.

    , or would they (and climbing raccoons, opossums, etc., rip right through it? Ahh... I'm answering my own question.

    Yup, fraid you are [​IMG] -- won't stop a raccoon etc for a moment.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  9. Buzzy

    Buzzy Out Of The Brooder

    32
    0
    22
    Sep 1, 2008
    Hi, back again.

    You say you are in the woods so I guarantee you there are racoons out there waiting for chicken dinner. The kennel wire is the 2 X 4 stuff, but it's also strong enough to keep dogs and coyotes out.

    Racoons bite right through poultry netting. I don't know how strong rabbit wire is.

    If your coop is open to the run at night you MUST cover it with same wire or the racoons will be in there like a shot.

    When you set up a chicken coop in the woods (like we have) you are posting a huge neon sign all the baddies can see: EAT AT JOE'S - FRESH HOT BLOOD CHICKEN HERE!
     
  10. Buzzy

    Buzzy Out Of The Brooder

    32
    0
    22
    Sep 1, 2008
    o9ops, I clicked too soon.

    last exhortation:

    you don't want to skimp because there is NOTHING like coming out in the morning and discovering that your run was breached and something evil devasted your coop.

    We don't know what got in to ours, we guess weasels. The bodies were everywhere, including our favorite pets. Heartbreaking, and just because we weren't careful enough.

    That's why I'm being such a Jeremiah here.

    we want your fluffbutts safe!

    good luck!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by