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Question about fencing, and one about cats!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by littlelemon, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. littlelemon

    littlelemon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Ohio
    Our chicks are 3 weeks old and I am planning on putting them out in the coop in another week or so. Our coop is in our barn, but there is a door that we can open so they can run outside. The chickens will have a large area that is enclosed by a chain link fence. I am worried that even when the chickens are grown the fence will not adequately protect them. Do any of you have chickens enclosed with just a chain link fence? I am thinking of wrapping chicken wire around the fence so I can let the chicks out-will I need to find a more permanent solution?

    Also-have you found that barn cats will bother grown chickens? I am worried that our cats will go after them. My daughter plays with the chicks outside inside one of those portable baby gates and the cats just hover around, waiting for the chance to get one of those chicks. How big to the chickens need to be before the cats leave them alone? I am paranoid to let the chicks out of the coop at 4 weeks-maybe I should top the fence with chicken wire as well?
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    I had my chicks in a chicken tractor when they were about six weeks old. One of them stuck it's head through the wire (2x4 welded) and my dog grabbed it, pulled it through and killed it. I was horrified that I let it happen. I immediately put 1" chicken wire around the chicken tractor.

    When we were putting up our fence around the chicken house I used the 2x4 welded wire again and also put the 1" chicken wire around the bottom two feet with 15-18" buried in the ground. If you can put a protective wire over the top I would encourage you to do so ... it can only help.

    My barn kitties were fascinated with the chickens. I didn't let them near the chickens until the chickens were four months old. The first time one of my cats jumped into the fence enclosure my chickens all ran toward it and my poor kitty about had heart failure trying to get out of that run. Since then I've watched all my cats get within a few feet of my chickens (when they are free ranging) but none of the cats have tried to attack the chickens. However, I don't trust the cats and still keep an eye on them.
     
  3. nccatnip

    nccatnip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    I understand your worry. I have two barn cats, one tame, one feral. When the chicks were small, I built a run and covered it with plastic poultry netting. I only let them out at first when I was able to watch them. The cats showed alot of interest but I would run them off. They eventually gave up. With much anxiety, as they got bigger, I only let them free range later in the day when I could watch them. The cats would hang near by but were pretty easy to discourage from bothering the birds by either yelling at them or throwing a rock in their direction. Now that the birds are big, they free range all day and the cats don't even notice unless I feed the cats with the birds out. The chickens run the cats off their food. I never thought I would ever say You chickens leave those cats alone"!!!!!!
     
  4. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2007
    Connecticut
    I have a chain link fence. I had a weasel actually get through the chain link and get at my chickens. I shut them in everynight.
     
  5. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

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    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Racoons can tear up chicken wire and will reach right through the 1" chicken wire to get at them also. Our land lady has had many deaths of her flocks due to them (coons). Since our place is in front of hers, we're spending the extra money and using 3 foot tall, 1/2" hardware cloth on the bottom end of our run. Better safe than sorry, is our motto after hearing some of her horror stories.

    Dawn
     
  6. littlelemon

    littlelemon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Ohio
    Okay, I will definitely wrap some chicken wire around the fence! The chickens will be shut up at night.

    Here's the baby gate I was talking about in my original post. I wrapped chicken wire around it today and put some welded wire strips and screening over the top so the chicks can have a more secure play yard. I fastened it with wire and put the lumber on top just for some more stability. They love it, and no more worries about the cats!

    I cannot wait until they are big enough to go in the coop. I am looking forward to getting them out of my kitchen!

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