Long fencing options on a budget?


In the Brooder
Mar 19, 2018
I would really like to free range my chickens but I need about 700 feet of fencing to fence in my yard. I want some input on fencing options. My neighbors hate that I have chickens(I don’t have a rooster, so it’s not that but ,”the neighbor is turning the community into a farm”) and I can’t under any circumstances have escaped chickens. There are also a lot of loose dogs in my area.

I REALLY wish I could privacy fence in the whole yard but I think 700 feet of privacy fence would be way more expensive than I could ever afford. I want to get the masses opinions on some things I’m considering. The main things are having a setup best suited for keeping chickens always in the yard(with clipped wings) and being able to actually afford it. My budget is about 5,000.

Although I’ve never built fencing myself, I’ve worked in construction a lot and I’m confident I can figure out how to do any type with enough effort, so it’s a factor to consider I could cut out labor costs.

The only factor I’m uneasy as far as doing it myself is about getting the fence correctly on the property line. Yes I could get the corners survayed but the issue it theres lots of Hill, valley, trees and two sides would be about 250 Feet so tying a string from one end to the other to line the posts along isn’t really feasible at my amateur level. I’m Wondering if it’s an option to cut labor costs by hiring a fence Builder and giving him 90 or so steaks and have them just knock a steak in the ground every 8 feet where the posts would go. That way I would just follow the steaks and dig a post hole at every one.

This is the other cost cutting thing I’m thinking about; I’m thinking that since I have people parallel to my house but the Marjority of the back yard is woods(once fenced, I plan to clear most of the woods out in my yard), I want to, without a doubt privacy fence the front section and maybe a ways back into the woods to have more privacy.

I thought maybe chain link could be used for the rest, but Are there other fencing types I could use for the rest that is good for containing chickens and keeping out predators that’s cheaper then chain link?

I would think privacy fence is all around the best design for chickens because no holes, the most high and a narrow top. The materials estimate alone based on Home Depot prices is about 4000 to fence the whole thing with a privacy fence. Maybe there’s sources for pressure treated pine that are cheaper then Home Depot? The privacy fence isn’t nessesary for privacy once so far back into the property but I assume would be the best for animals. Maybe for the rest in the woods, a 6 foot high chain link isn’t that much more expensive and still less then an entire privacy fence?

I would assume the farm style fences I’ve seen are cheaper then chain length but I would assume it’s not the best for chickens, keeping my animals/children in, and predators out.

In short, can I hire someone to competely mark a fence line to save money, and what’s the best options that are chicken proof but cheaper then chain link?

I know I could search and google a lot of info on these things, but I process better with open discussion.
I’m thinking the best option is a combination of the privacy fence(about 160 feet) and the rest being either 6 foot high welded wire fencing or 6 foot chain link fencing. If privacy is an issue still, maybe I can plant some sort of vine plant along the wire/chain link where the neighbors can see.

The holes of both are small enough for chickens I assume. Tractor supply has 100 feet of the welded wire for $115 and Home Depot has the equivalent height and length of chain link totaling 175. That would be like a 300 dollar difference between the two fencing options by themselves.

I would assume the hardware for the chain link would be more expensive such as the poles to increase the price more, maybe a lot? I don’t know yet. Also I would think chain link would be harder.

Also if the welded wire is used, should I use pressure treated wood posts or metal ones? The are roughly the same price within about 2 dollars each.
Hmm, well you could install high tensile woven wire fencing cheaper than chain link in the areas where you don't need the privacy panels. I'd put the fencing inside of where you think your property line is (assuming you don't want to pay to have it surveyed), then you can legally have access to maintain the fence from both sides. I own a farm, have about 2/3 fenced in with 4 foot high HT woven wire with one strand of electric at the top to deter coyotes from jumping the fence. The spacing on the fencing is graduated, with smaller holes at the bottom, fine for adult chickens. You would still have to check the fence for critters digging under it. If you're not going to put an electric strand at the top, I might go with 5 foot depending on your predator situation. Check out Wellscroft's catalog for ideas, they're the go to supplier up here in New England, and they put on a free clinic every spring where they address installation and types of fence: <https://www.wellscroft.com>. One of your biggest expenses with ag fencing is the 8 ft (and 10 ft), 5 inch diameter pressure treated posts, they're up to $20 a pop now, you'll need them every 20 feet and will need to build H braces for corners and gates. Here's a pic of my lower field, you can see a few of the H braces at the gates.
I did spend a small fortune on fencing at my place, it was too big a job to tackle myself. I saved a little money by installing the inside fence lines myself, had the installer drive the posts for me.
You might also consider fencing a smaller area with Premier's electric netting (you'd need to buy one of their chargers, solar, battery or hard wired). I use their sheep netting in my hay field to allow my sheep to clean up after the second mowing: <https://www.premier1supplies.com/poultry/fencing.php?fence_id=30>.

Welded wire will break down pretty quickly, you'd be better off with woven wire. High tensile allows you to place posts 20 feet apart (although you need a 5 inch diameter post to deal with the strain). Plain woven wire, you have to space the posts every 10 feet and you can definitely use t posts, but you'll still need to brace the corners. They do manufacture a bracing system for t posts: <http://www.wedgeloc.com>.
Geeze, twenty dollars a pop... from looking at Home Depot and tractor supply here, it’s $7.88 for round 8 foot pressure treated posts and $9.37 for 4x4 by 8 foot pressure treated pine...
20 feet in between? I was calculating based on 8 to 10 foot gaps. Is concrete needed for every post like that?
With each of the long sides, I have about a 20 degree decline, then a level plane for a little bit and then about a 30 degree incline on the other side so the fence will be going down a hill, in a flat area and then back up a hill. Are the 8 foot metal posts a bad idea? They are 2 dollars cheaper then then the 8 foot lumbers
I think the HD posts are smaller in diameter and length than what you'd need for the high tensile woven wire, although you might be able to use them or t posts with a plain woven wire, every 10 feet, that spacing will also help with the dips. I'd buy these: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/p...udded-t-post-8-ft125-lb-per-foot?cm_vc=-10005
definitely need a post pounder: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/countyline-t-post-pounder?cm_vc=-10005
and lots of clips: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/fence-fork-t-post-clips?cm_vc=-10005
Check out Youtube for videos on installing those clips, the first few are a PITA.
You do realize that fencing your property will not make it at all predator proof, don't you? For a lot less money, you can install a nice sized run which, depending on what you buy for fencing WILL be predator proof. I would be inclined to go that route. Or you can buy electronet poultry fencing from Premier1. That will give you a movable run that will keep MOST chickens in, but you may still have chickens that are inclined to fly over. I also doubt that perimeter fencing will keep a determined chicken in your yard.
Oh, and how the t posts will be an easier install than the PT posts, which you'll need to auger and backfill if you don't have access to rent a post pounder.

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