1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Never touched the rabbits

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chick-a- doodle, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. chick-a- doodle

    chick-a- doodle Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 6, 2015
    Smith County, TN
    We kept two rabbits in a ground pen with chicken wire (hex netting) on top, sides and bottom. Each corner had a metal post. The pen was approx. 4 foot by 6 foot. The gate was only a rebar post laced through the chicken wire and a simple wire loop closure. These rabbits were never harmed by a predator of any kind; nothing ever tried to get through that fence. One day, my son left the gate door open just enough for the rabbits to get out - one was killed by a dog, the other died later inside the pen for unknown cause (maybe a broken heart). They must have been out there for several years with no predator problems.

    Okay, so now I have 8 pullets and one attempt by a stray dog or two has yielded some bent wire and a torn tarp. The main part of my chicken tractor is cattle panel with chicken wire on top of it. The ends have the egg boxes and less secure access doors to the coop aka just chicken wire. In hopes to discourage future dog visits and other predators, I have surrounded the tractor with 4 strands of electric fence affixed to the base of the tractor. The bottom strand is 6" off the ground. See the photo below. {I don't have the other heights.} Yes, I wish I had used different mesh, but, I thought years of rabbit experience said nothing will bother the chickens!

    Should I be worried? After all, my rabbits went for years in only a crudely erected, chicken wire enclosure, and didn't have an electric fence around them at all. I check the fence every morning and evening...and, often, I test it (ouch) because I want to make sure all is working! [I also have been shocked putting treats through to my girls...even when I thought I was being careful!]

  2. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    Depends on what kind of predators you have. Raccoons can tear through chicken wire fairly easily but then you have the electric on it, so that would seem to make things much safer but I know nothing about electric fencing. 6 inches of space is plenty of room for predators to crawl under though. The fox that drug my guinea out of a wood enclosed stall only had 4 inches and managed.
  3. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

    Oct 21, 2015
    You can get electric fence tester circuits. They are very inexpensive and you won't need to get shocked to see if the fence is working. Although even I get forgetful and touch mine a time or two. In the morning it's better than coffee.

    Looking at your picture you should be ok. It appears you covered various types of predators. Raccoons can tear or even unravel chicken wire and undo many hasps and locks. But I can't see them getting through that without a shock.
  4. chick-a- doodle

    chick-a- doodle Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 6, 2015
    Smith County, TN
    There is a 2x4 base, so that leaves 2" of unprotected area, but I guess diggers could still go under. I did 6" because the grassi s that high, although, I read recently on this forum that grass does not impede the electric flow? I would feel better if I had used the galvanized mesh instead, but, like I said, I never had trouble with the rabbits in a chicken wire run and no hutch. In all my research about chicken tractors and run, I saw somewhere that a man just put electric to his chicken wire and never had a problem with predators or chickens dying from a shock. I haven't been able to find that advice since and have not seen where anyone has used regular chicken wire with pulsing electric on a chicken tractor. Anyone have any experience putting electric to chicken wire (and I mean the regular kind not speciality)?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by