Large fenced in area

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sherry36, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. sherry36

    sherry36 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 2, 2013
    I need advice please. I can't free range my girls as I would like because some people drive very fast on my road. The speed limit is 15 miles per hour. Ah well
    I do have a lot of land however. Their run is 12' by 14'.and covered in wire. How high a fence do I need'',uncovered,, to keep them in, and what kind of wire?
    Cost is important also.I would like to built a pretty large area.
    I have 15 girls and in May I will get 10 more. I love them so much!
  2. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2015
    Walla Walla WA
    I'm not an expert by any means, but it seems like you could use a 6 foot fence.
    Some breeds Fleye better than others. Heavier breeds don't fly nearly as well as lighter ones. There are several threads on fencing ideas. Do a search here and see if there something that you could use. It doesn't have to be expensive. You could make a portable run that you could move around the property.
  3. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    my chook yard is just aviary mesh (12mmx12mm squares) and star pickets. When I put it up, I used 120cm wide aviary mesh. I had some 90 cm and also used that. I thought I'd have to join some to make it higher, but nobody's tried to get out.

    I think it depends on the chooks and the circumstances (whether they are "fliers" and whether they might have a reason to clear the fence), but I've found that they stay in the yard with quite a low (by people standards) barrier.

    EDIT: I have to revise what I said earlier on. It definitely depends on the chooks. I brought home some new ones today and one had no trouble "taking to the skies" and flying over the fence - BUT she had a hen house that she jumped onto before she cleared the fence AND she was trying to "escape" from me - she doesn't know me yet and she's very young, so hopefully she won't always be so "flighty". I expect that once she learns that I bring the food, she'll be more interested in that than escaping.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    A lot of it depends on motivation. It’s not how high “can” they fly, it’s how high “will” they fly. As Potato Chip discovered they can fly quite well, a lot better than most people give them credit.

    I use 48” high electric netting and don’t have much trouble keeping my flock of full-sized fowl in. But there are a few tricks to that.

    Chickens like to perch. If your fence has a solid rail on top or something that looks good to perch on they might fly up there just for fun. Who knows what side they might fly down on? So don’t have anything that looks like a good landing spot. Keep your wire a few inches higher than any top rail or solid fence post. T-posts and such are not a problem and can work well for intermediate posts but you may need a more solid corner post.

    Another potential problem is that chickens can get over a fairly high fence if they are motivated. Say an amorous rooster corners a hen that isn’t interested. She may go vertical to get away. Who knows where she may land. I had that happen once in my main run that was five feet high at the time. She actually learned she could get out doing that so she started flying out on her own. I had to do some work to keep her in. About the only time I have any get out of my 4’ electric netting is when I have several young cockerels going through puberty. They get into their fights next to the netting and the loser goes vertical to get away. That used to happen a lot but not so much anymore.

    One trick is to give them enough area so that they can get away by running instead of being trapped against a fence when they have their conflicts. It sounds like you are going to do that. Another trick is to not create sharp corners. I don’t have much trouble with 90 degree corners but the number of escapees goes up if I get sharper than that. If you can round the corners out a bit that’s even better but it’s usually not as pretty. Another time I had a problem when I had a fairly narrow section of the netting that led to a wider area, say about 15’ wide. They were obviously getting caught in that. So keep the area as wide open as you can.

    For me, four feet high is sufficient but a lot of wire is sold in 5’ widths. Five feet is more secure than four feet but if they really want to, they can still get over it.

    What kind of wire is best? How big are your chickens and how pretty does the fence need to be? All you are trying to do is keep chickens in, not keep predators out. That’s what chicken wire is made to do and it is fairly inexpensive. Netting can work too. One thing to watch is the size of the holes. Baby chick scan walk right through fencing that adults can’t get through. Bantams are smaller than full-sized fowl. My suggestion is to go to Tractor Supply, Lowe’s Home Depot, of some similar store and look at what’s available, what size rolls it comes in, and the price. Pick something that is suitable.

    Good luck!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by