Some Fencing Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Juise, May 18, 2011.

  1. Juise

    Juise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey Guys,

    We're getting ready to put up our run, and I can't seem to dig up any clear directions online. We have metal chicken wire and green metal stakes. Mostly what I've been trying to figure out is how far apart to place the stakes to keep the wire secure, and whether or not I really ought to have something that runs along to top of the stakes. Something like 2x2s, to keep the stakes from pulling together and the wire taught, or will the stakes be fine on their own? Our wire is 4' high.

    Any other tips, tricks, or advice for someone who's never done anything like this before would be really appreciated, as well. Anything you may have wished to know before you started. [​IMG] Thanks!
     
  2. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep in mind that chicken wire is designed to keep chickens in not to keep predators out. If you use chicken wire you will be leaving your chickens wide open to predation!
     
  3. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When we installed our chainlink fence for the dogs at our first house, we put the metal T posts about 8 feet apart and did not put anything along the top of the fence. By not supporting the top of the fence, it prevented the dogs from using the rail to pull themselves up and over the fence, the fence would flex too much for them to climb out. Chainlink is alot sturdier than chicken wire, so I would put the fence posts much closer together, say like 5 feet apart. [​IMG]

    However, as previously noted, chicken wire is not strong enough to keep most predators out. I do use chicken wire to keep rabbits and deer away from my garden though.
    If you worry about the chicken wire being too floppy, you can run a single smooth wire a couple of inches down from the top and tie the fence to that to give it some support.

    Another thought is to use the chicken wire to create a no dig barrier by putting it 18" to 2' on the ground and the rest up onto the poats. Then get a good, solid woven wire fencing to cover the chicken wire and provide the full height. We have a 4 foot horse fence for our dog yard and I can say that there ain't much that could get through that stuff.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:What they said about chickenwire. Don't count on it for predatorproofing, if that's what you're looking for.

    It would be a real good idea to make your corner posts out of pressure-treated 4x4s, sunk at least 2.5' deep or below frostline (whichever is deeper). Otherwise you will probably have a perpetually wibbly fence. The metal T-posts can be used as "run posts", along the sides.

    Mostly what I've been trying to figure out is how far apart to place the stakes to keep the wire secure

    I would not put them further than 8' apart under any circumstances and the closer the better.

    and whether or not I really ought to have something that runs along to top of the stakes. Something like 2x2s, to keep the stakes from pulling together and the wire taught, or will the stakes be fine on their own? Our wire is 4' high.

    Yes, it'd be real good to run a top piece up there if you can; however it is hard to affix very strongly to T-posts so it doesn't slip lengthwise. This is made easier if you have wooden corner posts.

    Any other tips, tricks, or advice for someone who's never done anything like this before would be really appreciated, as well. Anything you may have wished to know before you started. [​IMG] Thanks!

    You may well also wish to do something to protect from predators that dig under the fence. You COULD bury the foot of the run fence 18" deep, but it is far easier and pretty much equally effective to do an apron of wire 2-3' wide laid on the ground outside the run fence, securely attached to the foot of the run fence and well weighted down by mulch/sod/rocks/pavers/whatever.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  5. Juise

    Juise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The chickens will be shut in the barn nights, and we have hardware cloth to bury an apron around that. We don't have dogs around here, so the chicken wire is pretty much to keep the chickens in, I think? Their run is pretty close to the house, maybe 10 yards out? So I wasn't worrying too much about predators other than birds for the run. We do have all the wildlife around, but I haven't seen then except at night, (fox, raccoons, opossums, etc.) We do also have 4 cats, which I think help some on keeping furry trespassers out.

    We have 4x4 posts on one side to fix the fence to, so we may need to put in a couple more on the other side for corner posts. Oh, that's another thing. We have 4x4 posts on one side because it is the pool fence, which is wood and I think about 6 foot high or so. Er... if the chickens got into the pool area, are they going to fall in and drown?

    How come green metal posts are called T-posts? They don't look like Ts! Okay, that's a bit off subject, but still..

    I think we have enough posts to put them at most 5 foot apart, if not 4, so yay!

    I was planning on affixing the 2x2s to the t-posts by bolting a 2x2 to the top of each post, and screwing the abutting 2x2 to the next bolted end. Does that make sense? I have a hard time explaining things without a pencil and paper. [​IMG] So each 2x2 will have one end bolted to a post, and the other end screwed into the bolted end of the next 2x2. Does that sound alright?

    I think we may have enough hardware cloth to bury an apron around the entire fence, but I thought that was pretty pointless since the chicken wire itself would give if something tried to get in?

    I don't have anything around our veggie beds, and we don't generally have issues there, the only rabbits, moles, etc I usually see are in pieces [​IMG] But I realize those aren't really the same as chicken predators. I have seen the cats run off foxes, raccoons, deer, and opossums before, but.. then again, I have also seen them all huddled in the porch growling at the fox outside the cat door, and also sitting quietly watching a HUGE coon eat the catfood out of their bowl IN the house without doing a thing. The thing was sitting right next to my feet while I was at the computer. Eventually something about the snarfing noise worked its way through my absent brain and I realized the noise I'd been hearing was not the way my cats eat, even at their most impolite. [​IMG] It didn't care a lick about my being there OR the cats. (We have a 3 season back porch that has a cat door going into it. There is another door from there to the house that is usually shut, but sometimes in the summer when I was tired of opening the door every 2 seconds for 4 cats to go in and out I would leave it cracked... not so much anymore! Certainly not at night [​IMG] One gets sick of coons and birds and small dead things that used to go "squeak" in the house.)
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Or, you occasionally do have a loose dog wander thru but don't *notice* it til you have an "attractive nuisance" like chickens.

    so the chicken wire is pretty much to keep the chickens in, I think?

    Well ok... that's a pretty optimistic view of the World Of Wildlife, but everyone has their own way of wanting to proceed. And yes, if you are not actually TRYING to keep fourlegged predators out, chickenwire is fine.

    Foxes and raccoons (just of the three items you list) DO sometimes hunt during the daytime though. Especially in early summer when they have "extra mouths to feed", but it can happen any time of year if they're hungry. Personally I would not want a run that wouldn't stop them.

    How come green metal posts are called T-posts? They don't look like Ts! Okay, that's a bit off subject, but still..

    Well, I was leaping to conclusions a bit <g> -- but they probably are t-posts, named for their cross-sectional shape. Unless they're just green-covered metal tomato stakes, which are not adquate for a run fence.

    I was planning on affixing the 2x2s to the t-posts by bolting a 2x2 to the top of each post, and screwing the abutting 2x2 to the next bolted end. Does that make sense? I have a hard time explaining things without a pencil and paper.

    Yeah, me too, it is a major failing of the internet that you can't easily just wave your hands or sketch out what you mean [​IMG]

    Your plan sounds reasonable to me -- it will not be super strong, but enough to keep the chickenwire taut at least.

    I think we may have enough hardware cloth to bury an apron around the entire fence, but I thought that was pretty pointless since the chicken wire itself would give if something tried to get in?

    I agree... I was recommending the apron from the standpoint of thinking you were trying to keep predators out of the run, but if you're not, then you're right, it is barely worthwhile.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  7. Bengalcats1

    Bengalcats1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you turn the green posts upside down they kind of look like a t [​IMG]
     
  8. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lay it flat and look at the end. You will see the "T"[​IMG]
     
  9. geobird

    geobird Out Of The Brooder

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    Some posts have a 'U' shape.

    The only way to predator proof (mostly) is to cover the top and bury or apron the sides. Entirely.
    Chicken wire is the minimum, so long as all supports are close together.
    Chain link, buried in the ground, when you live in bear country, is what I use.
    Possums are the more regular scoundrel.

    Good luck!

    16 BO's , 1 Barred, ++
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  10. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:A fence is normally pulled tight between corner posts and the line posts mostly just keep the fence from sagging. The corner posts are the only posts that the fence should be pulling on. The corner posts need to be set deep and braced well. Do a google search for "building fence corners". While you may not need 10" wood posts buried in concrete that some of the tutorials may show, it will give you a good idea of how fence corners are normally braced, so that you can come up with your own plan.

    I've used this hardware to build corners just out of t-posts: http://wedgeloc.qwestoffice.net/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2011

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