Living Fence?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dottysfarm, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. dottysfarm

    dottysfarm Chirping

    Jun 22, 2010
    Eau Claire, WI
    I am looking into the concept of the living fence idea... Anybody out there do this or interested or have any expertise in this area? How well would this work for chickens? I am thinking one would have to have a three tiered living fence.... a tightly woven thorny bush (found one that reaches 5' height), then a tight shrub maybe and trees for something a little taller?

  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Most chickens will penetrate or go over. Mine would probably roost in it. Penetration can be stopped by having actual fencing material embeded that might also support living component.
  3. Buckguy20

    Buckguy20 OKIE MOSES

    Apr 13, 2007
    Choctaw Oklahoma
    It won't kept predators out.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Fencing for me is a suggestion for the poultry. Other anti-predator measures needed if free-range within "fenced" area desired.
  5. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Flippin, AR
    Put up a good fence, then plant Osage Orange Trees along it. It will form an impenetrable barrier in a few years. You will need to keep it pruned to keep the thorns away on the chicken side. The wood of the Osage Orange tree is one of the most sought after for fenceposts.

    For those that have never heard of an Osage Orange tree... think Hedgeball.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Or hedgeapple. Some folks around here also call then crab apples. My birds can penetrate even a mature stand, as can foxes and racoons and opossums and............
  7. FiveHens

    FiveHens Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    I have heard of planting small locust trees (which you can do from cuttings, I believe) very close together in a straight line. Every few years, trim them back (a lot!) to the size of a fence--they should form a prickly, impenetrable barrier.
    Please note--I have only heard of this and not seen it.
    Also, it probably will not be terribly effective at keeping out predators or maybe even keeping in chickens, as they may be able to roost on parts of it. However, I believe it works well for larger livestock.

    Good luck! [​IMG]

  8. classicsredone

    classicsredone Songster

    Jan 6, 2011
    Crunchy California
    Mother Earth News had an article awhile back about using osage orange plants as a living fence. They have a lot of old articles online, and the others are available on cd if you need them.
  9. DAFox

    DAFox Songster

    Nov 7, 2009
    SW MO in Vernon Co
    Quote:I was trying to remember which magazine I saw an article about living fences in recently. Thanks for jogging my memory. Oct/Nov 2010 Mother Earth News has an article:
    I wouldn't use a living fence on its own as fence for chickens. I think they would end up finding a hole in it. It would pretty up a regular fence though.
  10. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:I just read up on the Osage... They warn that it can become invasive and the thorns are bad enough to puncture even tractor tires.

    here in Southern California we have several things we can use for living barriers. Good ole Oranges have thorns too and can be Espaliered. but youd have to run chicken fence about two feet high to the beginning of the branches. Some Lemon, Lime, and Mandarin orange species are hardy down to 30 degrees for a short period of time.

    Most are of no use to you because you are in Wisconson and the climate. One comes to mind and that is Climbing rose. They need a trellis or Espalier support so put up a chicken proof fence and grow the roses in the wire. Though I dont know how well they grow in cold climates.

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