T-posts for a fence?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Wabi Sabi, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Wabi Sabi

    Wabi Sabi Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2010
    How would one go about using t-posts to make a chicken fence and still be able to attach some sort of top/roof/netting/cover over it?

    We were going to just use 1/2 inch hardware cloth and t-posts to build a fence without a cover since the chickens are always locked up securely at night and I wasn't really worried about too many daytime predators. However, just yesterday we learned the hard way that we're going to have to cover it somehow. A dog that lives down the road jumped HER fence and then came snatch a chicken right out from under our noses. So, if she can so easily jump her own fence I'm sure she'll be able to jump ours too, sigh.
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My run is comprised of T-Posts and layers of fencing: chicken wire 6 feet tall, hardware cloth 3 feet up, and poultry fencing - that plastic green or black stuff OVER the hardware cloth. Then I put bird netting over the top, secured with zip ties. I use some of those six foot green plastic poles in the middle of the run, here and there, to hold the netting up across the spans.

    I realize bird netting is pretty flimsy, but it DOES hold the weight of a full grown rooster without tearing! My EE roo, Carl, panicked one day and flew up over the fence onto the netting. He then bounced across it about six feet, until his feet got tangled in it (and he continued to panic). It supported his weight very well; I had to get into the run and use my hands to RIP the stuff for a hole to drop him back into the run.

    Then I zip tied the tear closed.
  3. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    I use the plastic netting as well. It won't stop a dog, but it would slow it downand likely get it tangled. Then I'd shoot the dog.
  4. Wabi Sabi

    Wabi Sabi Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2010
    Quote:My only one concern is this particular neighborhood dog who is a fence jumper. If she tried to jump the fence and got all entangled in the netting could it possibly mean I'd have dead chickens, a dead/strangled/entangled dog and a torn-down fence to deal with?
  5. SandyK

    SandyK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2009
    Eldersburg, Maryland
    I would never trust just the plastic fencing. The heavy duty nylon netting that is sold online is very strong and will last years. I've seen both raccoon and fox during the day looking into my run at the girls. Better safe than sorry.
  6. calista

    calista Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2010
    Wabi, this technique won't hold the weight of a dog, but it's worth checking into if you're going to install flexible netting as a roof over your run:

    Do you want to keep your birds or poultry safely contained inside the pen?

    Have you purchased or are you considering purchasing a woven net to cover the top of your bird or poultry pen?

    The potential for problems comes from the fact that any woven material is subject to distortion unless handled properly. Woven netting is light weight and flexible and particularly subject to being pulled out of shape. Unless it is installed correctly, a 20'x50' piece of netting will lose its ability to cover a 20'x50' pen.

    When the roll is opened it is longer than its stated length. As it is installed correctly, this length will shorten to its proper dimension.

    How do you install it? The following steps can help you avoid problems and do the job right.

    1. Stretch one end of the roll out to its full width.
    2. Fasten one end of the top netting to one end of the pen.
    3. Starting from this fastened end, pull out only a few feet on each side.
    4. Secure the footage you have pulled out to each side of your pen. It is very important to attach the sides before stretching the next length. Do not over tighten the netting.
    5. Pull out another few feet.
    6. Fasten this footage to each side.
    7. Continue down each side of the pen a few feet at a time.
    8. Be sure to fasten both sides of what you have pulled out before moving on.
    9. This is very important. Failure to do this can result in a distorted piece of netting that will not cover the entire pen.
    10. When you reach the other end of your enclosure, attach the remaining end of the netting to the structure.

    Attach Top Net to the pen sides using hog rings or safety ties for attaching to wire or staples for attaching to wood.

    When properly installed, the stated size of the rolls will cover a pen of the same dimensions.


    We tried this installation method on a small pen and it ended up aligned correctly and tight. [​IMG] Might keep the dog you're worried about from breaking through.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I hate to say it, but no top that you can put on T-posts is going to keep a dog out. Honest.

    You would need a strong wire top supported by wooden 'rafters' on wooden posts.

    You can try running electric wire on the fence -- or better yet, on your yard fence, if that is legal and socially-acceptable where you are located -- but I would not depend on that 100% since all electric fences fail *sometimes*.

    Best of luck,


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