Pick a fence for me!

Nestled Chickens

12 Years
Mar 3, 2010
Pacific Northwest
We have young chicks right now and will be spending the weekend building our perfect coop (right).

On the inside of the yard we will have between 25-35 chickens.

On the outside of the yard we will have 4 children (5 in a few weeks), 1 doberman, 2 cats, and a heckava lot of wild predators (raptors, raccoon, coyote, feral cats, neighboring dogs, maybe even the bear will show up). Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

I'm mostly worried about the dog/chicken interaction. She is not easily trained (failed obedience class twice) and I'm not in a position to follow her around outside every time she needs to pee. She likes to jump on fences and bark at what is on the other side- even if it is just me in my fenced in garden. I would lean toward an electric fence, but how does that work with 2 year old kids who want to see the chickens?

Anyone with this kind of experience?
I would say that all it would take is once, and the kids will learn not to get too close to the fence, just like the dog.
I would say that all it would take is once, and the kids will learn not to get too close to the fence, just like the dog.

So you don't think the voltage needed to keep a 70lb dog off would be harmful to a 30lb toddler?
Nah. If you use something like a charger for a cattle fence, it's designed to zap something that you don't want to "hurt". I wouldn't use one that runs 15 miles of fence or anything though. HOWEVER, an electric wire won't stop a truly determined dog. If you think that a zap on the nose will deterr your dog, go for it. If you think that once your dog got a good look at the chickens he/she would REALLY want to get to them, I'd do heavy framing and welded wire for the run and forego the electric fence idea. It'll be alot more expensive to go that route, but that's better than forking out the money for weaker fencing and an electric charger, and still having to redo it all later anyway, plus replace some birds.
4' tall electric fence w/solar charger...no dogs, no rat-coons, no worries...and i can move the entire set-up to new pasture in under 2 hours.

I found some chain link real cheap at a garage sale and used landscaping timbers as posts. It has worked out really well. Since the dog will be jumping on the fence, it will need to be pretty sturdy. I raise puppies for Freedom Guide Dogs and have my own pets- the chickens really don't care. They pretty much ignore barking, running, etc. Hopefully, your dog will not obsess too much about the birds... Good luck.
I'm thinking 6 feet of steel reinforced concrete and a covered roof.......but barring that........Chain link or hardware cloth should work ok......just bury the fence deep enough in the ground that something can't dig under. Cover the top so something can't climb over, run a short run of chicken wire down low for the peeps to keep them inside. And if you want.....run an electric wire or rope or two around the outside for the dog.

Can't help you with the bears......you're on your own unless you go with my original suggestion !!!!

One interesting idea.....a friend of ours ran 2 fences.....an inner fence to hold in the chickens.....and an outer fence to separate and keep animals away from the inner fence. He put the door on the end to make the space between into a walkway and it went to the coop door to get to the inside part. It was really nice.
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