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predator-proof fence idea for spring construction.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KattyKillFish, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    for the past forever, ive been using shipping pallets as fencing because it's free and easy. the only problem i've had is having to bury 2 feet of it into the dirt and then my roos jump right on over. i've seen people cut of the branches of willow shrubs and stick'em in the ground to make a hedge and i though "hey! what could dig through that?"
    the roots of the willow in our area branch out and make a tighly-woven web-like barrier between the topsoil and the gravel underneath. i'm hoping that this will stop foxes from digging. we have Coyotes and Wolves but they shy away from people. i've never seen or heard of seeing any in town, so they won't be a problem. just the foxes.
    here is an illustration. please tell me what you think, and if you've tried it has it worked for you? your comments will be much appreciated!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  2. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    heh, just ignore that I put leaves in the roots... [​IMG] oops...
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  3. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    That is a cute drawing! I love the rooster! I don't know about the bushes, we always bury a part of the fence or put rocks around the run. That is a good idea, too bad I can't grow any kind of plant! I seem to kill them with just a look! *sigh*
     
  4. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    you just chop off a couple branches and stick 'em in the ground. not maintenance necessary. at least that's what the people here do. my hope is that they will grow healthy because of the poo and such..
     
  5. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    If you have foxes that you know will did under, Id at least put some wire flat on the ground around the perimeter to keep them from digging while the willow's roots grow.
     
  6. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    Hey it's worth a try!

    Good idea on the pallets for fencing too!
     
  7. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    thanks for the input guys!

    EGGCHEL: If you have foxes that you know will did under, Id at least put some wire flat on the ground around the perimeter to keep them from digging while the willow's roots grow.

    i won't be putting the chickens in there for a while after the coop & run is built and i'll be doing the fence first. the willow shrubs we have here grow very rapidly, too. thank you for the advice though! will be sure to do that just to be safe! i never would have though of it [​IMG]
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Not getting why you would do that? Burying pallets in the dirt is a little pointless as they will immediately begin to rot. If you want to bury something, bury decent-gauge *wire*, or lay it out as a 2-4' apron just below the ground surface outside the run.

    Mind, even if you use full height pallets for a 4' fence, chickens can still easily jump over if they want.

    i've seen people cut of the branches of willow shrubs and stick'em in the ground to make a hedge and i though "hey! what could dig through that?"

    Q: What could dig through that?

    A: nearly everything you want to keep out. First, remember they do not have to dig through, they can *push* through (only have to find one place where it's possible) or climb partway in the case of raccoons.

    Secondly, dogs and coyotes and foxes can dig through masses of roots if they want to. Foxes especially are *superb* diggers. If you have grey foxes, they can climb to a considerable extent too.

    Hedges make great windbreaks or aesthetic accents, but *lousy* livestock fences because there will always be 'bad patches' and all it takes is *1* weak area and presto your cows are in the neighbor's cornfield, or the dog is in with the chickens.

    I'd rely on a wide (4') heavy gauge wire apron to digproof your fence; you can still root willows there if you really want but don't expect them to play a reliable structural role IMHO.

    Good luck,

    Pat​
     
  9. Klorinth

    Klorinth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I hate to say it, but Patandchickens is right. Any of those predators would be able to get through. Foxes can not only dig well, they can chew through those roots with minimal difficulty. Foxes live in underground dens that they dig. These can actually be very large, containing multiple passages and chambers. Big enough for small kids to crawl into. I've done it myself.

    I really like this kind of fence idea. It is actually done here in Canada. Mostly in Quebec. It is a living fence used to surround housing developments as sound barriers. A very basic double sided fence is built. The center is filled with soil. The outside part is made of cuttings "planted" in the ground and pressed against the soil inside the fence. The cuttings then root into the ground and soil creating a very large and very solid barrier. Willow and other similar species are used because of the amount of succoring that they do, this helps to renew the growth as sections age and die.

    I say go ahead and do it! But... lay some heavy wire fence on the ground around the run first and plant the cuttings into this. You will get the best of both worlds. Just remember that some of those predators can climb.

    Good luck. Let us all know if you do it. PICS!

    Edit: You could also see about getting something that has thorns. I am looking at some Sea Buckthorn, and small bush plums. They have large thorns 1-2" in length. Very nasty!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  10. mightieskeeper

    mightieskeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Clio Michigan
    I think the best way to deal with this problem is a 1 foot trench with Quickcrete. It would be like Fort Knox!
     

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