Underground Fence

Sherpa

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
3
0
7
Old Chatham, NY
Hi.
I'm VERY new to chickens. My hens are still babies- about 4-5 weeks (and inside still). I'm gettting their coup ready. I bought a fancy Quaker style (as I wasn't able to build one myself). I want to make additional space for them by attaching a SAFE outdoor area for them to use. I'd like for them to be able to go in and out as they please. I've seen a few- but am afraid that preditors will dig under & get in. Any suggestions?
Thanks!!!!
 

missnu01

Songster
7 Years
Nov 16, 2012
2,749
147
226
Well you just build or buy a run...some people use dog kennels or chain link...some people use hardware cloth...you have to either dig the fence line as a trench and fill with cement, or bury a foot or so of the fencing material under the ground to keep things from digging under the fencing...
I don't use runs all my chickens are 100% free range..they come into the coop at night, and I go shut the door then in the morning I open it up again...
So far no losses..
I count myself totally lucky, and that is all it has been...We lucked out when we got this property..there was already a really large 2 story building on the property, it's 18x20 or 22 feet...and we made the whole upper level into the chicken coop...once i pull the ramp in no night time creatures can possibly get into the coop...the ramp lets the chickens out right onto a bank that is heavily wooded and shrubbed...so my chickens go out in the day into the woods and the safety from hawks that cover provides, and at night they are safe from ground creatures...
All the dogs in the neighborhood are used to chickens so no issue there.

Here is my only issue...we do have hawks I can hear them making that Shweee sound and see them flying over our field...the field I was super hoping my chickens would de spider for us, but they never ever set foot in the field. Perhaps I will leave my gardening spot, and plant a number of trees and shrubs all about the field down there so the chickens can peruse the area in relative safety.

Blah blah blah I'm apparently feeling chatty today, Now to get back on track...

Your first step would be to figure out how much run you can afford to buy, or build...It's easy to build you need some posts and you basically just frame it up, bury your posts with cement or just packing the ground super super hard, and then you string the hardware cloth along the posts and under the ground...Either way you want the run as large as you can get it...the larger it is the happier the chickens will be...You can also add to the run as you go which is what i think alot of people do...
Anyway so figure out the amount of space you need and what you can afford to do and then just attach it all together so that when the chickens leave the coop they are set out into your run...You would still probably want to close their coop at night and reopen in the morning just in the event that a nocturnal creeper does break through your defenses it still won't be in with the chickens...
 

Sherpa

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
3
0
7
Old Chatham, NY
Thanks.....I'm guessing we will have to bury the fence (any particular kind?). I'm planning- when they're old enough to let free range- when I'm outside with them (or at least my dog is). Unfortunately where we live there are ALOT of predators.....we see a fox often (even with the dog around) and apparentely our neighbors lost their chickens last year to a fisher! I'm just overly worried- as this is my first (adult) chicken expereince and we jut moved to this area. It's pretty secluded- mostly woods and no neighbors near by.
I've got pretty attached to them already! :) I also will definately shut (the outside part) at night to be safe.
 

LillianMae

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 15, 2013
266
9
93
Oregon
Woods definitely mean more predators, I live near woods and when my chicks get big I am going to never let them free range because that pretty much invites a predator. Keep a good eye on them ;)
 

shmccarthy

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
1,384
132
173
Michigan
I live surrounded by woods, and to the left of my house is 600 acres. We have daily visits from everything; hawks, fox, eagle, raccoon, possum, snakes, stray dogs..everything. My chickens free range everyday and I lock them in their coop at night.

I have my run fenced in with chain link dog fence, buried a few feet underground. I also buried large stones around the perimeter, and stacked big stones around the fence as well. The top of my run is covered and reinforced with wooden beams. I know nothing can get in because a 40ft tree fell on top of the run and it held strong. *knock on wood*
I also have a cable and master lock to lock the door to the run. I am installing a locking door to the hen house soon too. I check every day for any possible weaknesses and fix them immediately.
I haven't had a single animal get my chickens to date.
I had a fox try, and fail, to dig under my fence. It is a very good idea to have a buried fence.
 

Bear Foot Farm

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
5,543
306
288
Grifton NC
Quote:
Quote:
Quote: You can stop predators just as well by simply using an apron of wire layed flat on the surface
All the digging is just wasted effort, and just turns a 20 minute job into an all day job
 

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