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Run fencing on a budget?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HennaRose, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2014
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    I need to fence in a 12' wide x 8' long x 6.5' high run. I want it big enough I can walk in for cleaning and maintenance, and in case any of my birds prefers to lay her eggs somewhere other than a nest box. (Some chicken-keeper friends have mentioned hens that like to lay in the dustbath or near the feeder.)

    I know not to use chicken wire, but that much hardware cloth is cost-prohibitive right now. I could afford to do the whole thing in hardware cloth if I had another month, but my chicks need to move outside sooner than I can afford that much hardware cloth.

    Would it be safe enough, you think, to use 2"x4" welded wire on the whole thing and 1/2" hardware cloth on the bottom half? As for the ceiling, I want something birds can't get through (songbirds as well as hawks, I don't want the former eating the feed/spreading disease or the latter eating my chickens). Hardware cloth seems ideal for this, but is, again, expensive to get enough to cover 96 square feet. Would aviary netting work in a pinch until I can afford a more secure top? It'd be about two months.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    St. Louis, MO
    If they'll be locked in a predator proof building at night, you have more options. The welded wire will work with either chicken wire or plastic poultry netting on the bottom to keep the chicks from escaping.
    Is chain link out of the price range? probably.
     
  3. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2014
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    That much chain-link plus posts is more expensive than the wire. I already have the posts for using a wire fence.

    They'll be locked in the coop at night, and that will have hardware cloth on all the windows and barrel-bolt or hasp locks (I haven't decided yet) on all the doors.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I think you're good then. I just happened to have a large chain link dog kennel I repurposed for one of my pens so when one talks about keeping wild birds out I think of that. I'm not real successful but I plan on putting bird netting over the whole thing.
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    We used 3 cattle panel arched and attached to steel fence points driven into the ground, covered the entire thing in chicken wire to keep out birds and such, then just used hardware cloth "sewn" with wire to the panel/chicken wire combination. The hardware cloth goes up about 2 feet, then folds out at the bottom for an apron extending another approximately 2 feet. The grass has grown up through the hardware cloth now so it's easy to mow over and invisible. It works too. Our dog tried digging under it the first day the chickens used the run and she broke and bloodied a toenail.

    The cattle panels are attached to steel fence posts dug deep into the ground. We used 8 posts, four on each side. We are planning to enlarge the run this summer and it will be a snap - just remove the welded wire end, pound in two more posts, arch the new cattle panel and anchor it, then repeat the chicken wire/hardware cloth treatment before putting the end piece back on. This setup has stood up to heavy snow (even though the last heavy snow we got was in November) and Wyoming's notorious extreme winds. We didn't spend a fortune, it looks nice, plenty of head room, easy to work in and enlarge, and the girls are safe. We are very pleased.

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