Moving to the country, need help figuring out fencing and new coops! My neighbor's loose dogs are c


11 Years
Aug 26, 2008
Lexington, Kentucky
We're moving out the country and I am so overwhelmed by the fencing and predator proofing options. I don't know what to do!

My neighbor, whose field backs up to mine, lets her dogs roam and she warned us they love to kill chickens and get a hold of cats. I have 30 chickens and four ducks. I also have three dogs (who are trained to not touch my birds!) and four cats. I'm kind of panicking that these dogs are going to hurt our kitties and birds, and that my dogs will fight with them.

My other neighbor, whose field also borders the chicken eating dog owner's field, told me that she lost most of her chickens to those dogs and other predators. She said their electric fencing didn't keep them out at all. She has livestock guard dogs now. She offered to give me one, but I'm not sure if that would just give me more to deal with or be a good idea. She said this dog loves to play with the other dogs and distracts them so she needs to be out in the field alone and learn to do her job. She is currently chained by their chickens. Her dogs are great pyr/border collie mixes.

We are just renting and don't want to put a lot of money into fencing at this point, but I also want my creatures to be safe. Our field is about 3.5 acres of clear land. It's partially fenced already, but the fence isn't secure. The neighbor's dogs go through it.

I need to build new chicken pens because we can't move our current ones out there, so I have to decide what kind of safe pens to build for about 30 birds and the four ducks ASAP in addition to some fencing. We also have a lot of coyotes, and all the typical predators like hawks and raccoons. I'm in Kentucky.

Completely overwhelmed! Need suggestions!
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The first thing I'd be doing is looking up the local laws on letting dogs run loose. I'd print off the pages pertaining to that and politely deliver them to said neighbor. Then I'd politely tell him/her that if the dogs were on my property they just might not show up at home again. If you're Against shooting them then the first time they're on your property coax them into a garage/shed & call Animal Control to pick them up. If there's no AC in your county take them to the nearest shelter or Humane Society.

I know NO WHERE in the entire USA where it is permissible to let KNOWN stock-killing dogs run free & kill whatever they like.
I agree with the above poster. Dogs belong on the owner's property and you should be able to get help enforcing that. Check and see if you are allowed to shoot. It's a great motivator if they care at all about their animals.
I live in a similar situation and have gotten control even though I lack a proper barn. Electrified poultry netting will stop them and be an investment than can be moved when you do. Properly placed electrified high tensil will do as well if properly installed and maintained. Dogs may penetrate latter a couple of times before they get point. Also put some hotwire around coops to prevent dogs from trying to chew of dig through. Try to have layers of protection, not just one that is considered fool-proof.

The known dogs will not be your only dog problem to concentrating all effort on that neighbor will only cause hard feelings without providing a solution that protects your birds. If shooting dogs is considered an option, do not give warning or brag once deed is done. Be discrete.
Wonder what kind of electric fencing these dogs have breached in the past and if the poultry netting might be the way to go...with a REALLY good charger? If you're just renting then the fencing could still be a long term investment.

Do you have a secure coop to move with you? If not, build something portable and secure.

Agree totally that you need to learn the laws pertaining to the new situation asap.
Build a coop on skids so you can winch it up into a flat bed trailer for the next time you move. Attach a hoop run, made from cow panels with hardware cloth hog ringed to it.

I made my hoop run, then attached the hardware cloth. i will never move it. If I were building one to move, I would attach the hardware cloth to the cow panel, then assemble the panels. I also hog ringed a 2' wire apron all the way around the coop and run and pounded rebar in the ground to hold the wire in place.

I put concrete wire on the end and hog ringed the hardware cloth to it. I built my frame off the ground because the beams were not treated wood-I used what I had. My run is 12'x8' and my coop is 8'x7'. I have 20 chickens in it right now. My run is very strong and sturdy. It might be what you need to keep dogs and other predatore out. In some of these links, it shows hoop coops covered with tarps. IMHO, this would be a mistake. Tarps tear easily when dogs or other predators attack.

Here are some links to hoop coops.
If you were an owner then I would advise a perimeter fence enclosing your property. Some dogs can easily climb a field fence with a top strand of barb wire but it will keep out 95% of dogs. Since you are renting, I would build a large secure run (woven wire fence) that is fully enclosed and protected from predators. This would keep them safe while you are not around to watch over them. You can also add a large temporary free range area with wire and netting but you would need to be with the birds while they free range. We have several dogs and chickens that free range but they are separated via fencing. Hope this helps!

I would tell the neighbor, to keep their chicken killing dogs on their side of the line, or the dogs will end up taking a dirt nap. That would be the one and only warning they would get. Now if you are looking for something to keep the birds safe from other ground preds, including the dogs, then I would second the recommendation of electrified poultry netting. I have 600' of it from Premier, and it has been probably one of the best things I have done for my birds. It's easily moved around if you want. You can power it with home electric, or solar. A dog, fox, or whatever sticks his nose to that fence, they will quickly change their mind about chicken dinner that day.


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