omlet netting, electric fencing and foxes

Sar0112

In the Brooder
Aug 8, 2019
11
9
26
So I've got myself in a panic about how I'm going to keep my hens safe from foxes when they are old enough to go in the garden.
We're lucky enough to have a large garden (1 acre) with a 10ft x 5ft wooden coop already in place when we moved in. We're in the countryside and surrounded by fields so likely have foxes lurking nearby too.
When we first got the chicks my dream was to allow them to roam free range around the garden. I stupidly thought foxes were only a night time problem which after lots of reading i see they're a daytime problem too. I'm worried about letting the hens free range in the whole garden as a result; especially as we're at work during the day.
So i decided to buy the omlet netting to pen them in to a specific area but am worried now that this won't be safe enough either. I've looked at electric netting but it's going to cost a fortune. Electric tape/ wire seems cheaper outside of the omlet netting maybe?
I guess I'm just disappointed as i wanted the hens to be able to roam free. Am i being overly cautious or do i need electric fence?
 

Criticalicious

Crowing
Feb 25, 2017
915
1,693
262
New Market, VA
Free ranging will always come with risks - foxes, hawks, raccoons, owls, bears - everything eats chicken! You can setup a small electric poultry netting area for less than $500. Many people do it for significantly less than that (Premier1 fence: $150 plus energizer and grounding rods cost about $100 depending on which one you get; sometimes they have closeout discounts too).

Electric is the best way to deter ground predators. If the chickens are confined to a covered enclosure then they should also be safe against hawks.

I keep mine in a covered run during the day when I can't watch them and let them out to free range within an electric poultry fence when I can watch them. They have a big tree to run and hide under if something flies overhead. The fence has the added advantage of not allowing the chickens to run in the driveway or through the garden or get lost in the woods nearby. We have seen bears, foxes, skunks, and hawks on our property and after 18 months so far no losses.

The nice part about the Premier1 poultry fence - we can move it around any time we want to change things up - and adding a second or third section to make the enclosure bigger is easy (get a bigger energizer than you think you need to plan for adding on)
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
28,423
25,409
881
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
:welcome :frow We are rural on a dead end road. A few months ago I let my favorite bird out and she liked to dust bathe in the gardens. I was occupied but she had been fine. To my horror a fox grabbed her and killed her during the middle of the day. I was terribly heartbroken she was such a gem and loved being with us and would come when we called her. I still think about her. She loved to be held.
 

123RedBeard

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 20, 2014
1,423
1,848
336
Arizona
Seems like the OP is in the United Kingdom ...

Yes, foxes like chicken anytime of the day ... I'm not sure how tall your omelet fencing is, but ... yes could run a few stands of electric around it, at nose high, and the top, at the very least ...
 

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