Need advice on fencing material for big chicken/duck pen/run

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Parrotchick, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Parrotchick

    Parrotchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2009
    Boonsboro MD
    I have started building my pen that is roughly 48 x 24 feet. I am using kennel panels with chicken wire for the back of the pen. The front and sides are made of 4' x 4 'posts, 8 feet apart, with 2 x 4's top, middle and bottom for supports. I am going to use 2 foot vinyl coated welded wire (2" x 3" opening) on the ground to keep digging predators out. (I am not able to make a trench to get the fencing down into the ground as it is really rocky where I live and there are million year old white pine roots all over). I am using
    2" x 4" welded wire on top with plastic deer netting. My question is, what is best for the fencing material between the posts? I'm having a devil of a time finding what I'm looking for without hitting up pricey industrial suppliers. I would love 1" welded wire, but can't seem to find any. Looks like my best choices now are 1 x 2 welded wire or 1/2 inch hardware cloth, which seems kind of tight to view the chickens well. Any recommendations? I live in western Maryland if that helps, but don't' mind travelling to Baltimore, DC, etc to find materials.

    My birds (15 chickens and 5 ducks) have free ranged during the day and had dog kennels to sleep in at night with not the most secure housing. The chickens have a secure coop now but the ducks only have dog houses. So far I know I've been lucky; probably the proximity of the crazy dog on a run has helped. I'm not sure what predators frequent my place, but all the major ones have been spotted at the neighbors' bigger farms. Some mysterious creature has been digging under my pens, leaving 4 inch diameter ankle twisting holes. I'm trying to make a decent looking place for my birds, but most importantly, I never want to lose a bird to a predator. All suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Hardware cloth is usually the best at keeping out predators.
  3. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    If the chickens are in a secure coop at night then you have less problems with raccoons and most predators. My chickens are behind chainlink, 2x4" welded wire, and cattle panels with chicken wire at the bottom during the daytime. This keeps out dogs and daytime predators.
    At night, I lock them up in the coop to keep out raccoons and more crafty boogers.

    IF you lock them up securely at night, then just go with the welded wire for their daytime run. That's what I'd do.
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I agree with Tala. Hardware cloth is the way to go- relatively inexpensive and very effective. I lock my birds into their houses at night, which are built like tanks. Good luck.

    Edited to add- Sorry reading before coffee. Agree with Tala on locking birds in at night and agree with ChickenToes on hardware cloth. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009

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