Lots of FENCE questions from a newbie!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by QuakerMom, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. QuakerMom

    QuakerMom Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2012
    Alright, the plan is starting to take shape in my head, but I still can't quite figure out a few things and would love some input!

    --For a 'chicken garden' plan, is it okay to put the vegetable garden (will be raised beds, 12" high) inside the fenced chicken area, or will they destroy the plants? I was originally going to fence around the garden, leaving the perimeter (on 2 sides, since it's on the edge of our property) of the veggie beds for the chickens, but I really need to fence in the garden anyway to keep whatever ate my peppers last year out of the garden too. Is it a bad idea to have to go inside the chicken yard every time i go to the garden?

    -- What about the compost bin? Best to have this outside the fenced chicken area, or is inside okay?

    -- I'm planning on using the 2" x 4" welded/galvanized wire mesh fencing on most of the perimeter, plus 1/2" mesh hardware cloth around the bottom 2-3' as i've read about here for predator control. So, my questions:
    If I want a 4' high fence, is the larger wire mesh fencing just 4', and the hardware cloth the only part that gets buried underground to prevent burrowing?
    What do you use to attach the hardware cloth to the other wire?

    -- The back side of my roughly 20' x 27' chicken area (which will include the 3-4 4'x8' raised garden beds) is our back property line, which currently has an old and not well maintained chainlink fence, and that neighbor has a pretty mean sounding, loud barking medium sized dog (boxer, perhaps?) that I am not fond of. I know the chain link fence will not be secure against many predators (though I don't think the dog will jump it -- but not sure once the chickens are back there if that might change??), and so I could just put the wire mesh fence right inside that, but it might be hard then to dig down under to bury the hardware cloth unless i move it in a bit and create a narrow little alley/deadspace (which will cut down on my garden space a little). Another option i've considered recently is to put a 6' tall wood privacy fence on that edge of the property (only 40' long, so not too expensive). I really don't like that dog, have nothing against the neighbors, but a privacy fence on that boundary is appealing. But, i'm wondering: if you use a wood privacy fence as part of the open chicken run area, do you also have to bury hardware cloth and attach to the bottom of the wood fence for burrowing predators? Mind you, the chickens will always be in their coop at night; only planning to let them roam in the yard/garden during the day.

    -- Current plan is for the proposed 4' x 6' coop to be in one corner of the enclosed area -- does it make sense to use the two corner coop walls as part of the fence -- attaching the rest of the fence to the edge of the coop? Or, is there any advantage to having the coop fully inside the walls of the fence with a 2-3' perimeter of yard around it?

    -- Oh yeah: about the gate! How do you keep the area underneath the gate secure -- i.e., from burrowing predators??

    Guess I'll stop there for now. :)
    Oh, and if it helps: I'm planning on getting 6 hens, so I think the proposed ~500 sq ft area will be a nice big space for this little flock. I am hoping to try a 2-zone paddock system for the grassy areas. The chicks are ordered (yeah!) but won't arrive until mid-June, unfortunately -- but that means I do have some time to get this all figured out and installed.

  2. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    The only other thing I could add is that without my "lid" on my run my chickens would be hawk food. Do think about a lid for the run.
    I let mine out in the yard when I am home and can be out there with them. My run is split up now since my existing flock would not accept my new chickens. It was about 20' x 10' and the six original hens had plenty of extra space. Maybe a smaller fully secure run with access to the yard when you are there would be nice.
  3. QuakerMom

    QuakerMom Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2012

    Yep, the hawk protection is still on my list of 'to figure out', cause we definitely have some nearby. what I'm thinking of so far is either string a lattice of fishing wire across the entire thing from the top of the privacy fence to the opposite 'wall' which will be the garage wall. Or maybe aviary netting -- found some that comes in 25' width which I think would work. Only issue is IF i keep the garden beds inside the chicken yard, i have to keep the top high enough to walk under the whole thing. I'm starting to think of making the yard an L shape with the garden beds outside it (which was plan A), then I won't have to make the top netting/enclosure quite so high... ? As I said, still working on this one, but I definitely haven't forgotten that part. I read the 'predator' thread a few days ago and love the milk jug scarecrows too -- wonder though if that's enough protection.? And i've also been thinking of exactly what you suggest at the end -- fully secure enclosed run, maybe 6 x 8, attached to the coop, possibly coming off the back garage wall. I was hoping not to have that kind of set up, much prefer just a coop plus fenced yard. But, the hawk problem is vexing indeed.
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    -- Oh yeah: about the gate! How do you keep the area underneath the gate secure -- i.e., from burrowing predators??

    I lay a sheet of wire mesh under the gate so that it extends out from fence line to prevent digging.

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