yard fencing

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by omi4500, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. omi4500

    omi4500 Chirping

    Mar 3, 2014
    Fencing ideas needed! So my coop & the enclosed portion of the run have been in for about 3 months now. The chickens seem happy as little clams, and each morning I've been pulling out my German Shepherd's old x-pen to create a semi-circle just outside the coop for the girls to get out and scratch around for a bit. This was always my temporary solution to a "yard"...and now I'm starting to pull some ideas together for constructing a small, permanent yard area for them outside of the enclosed run (basically, when I open the door to their coop, the chickens will be able to walk out into their fenced yard area. The coop itself is constructed of stained Doug Fir with hardware cloth panels, etc. I'd like to keep the fencing simple, but sturdy and consistent with the look of the coop. I've seen some ideas online for building a wood-framed fence structure using materials like welded wire and similar - but I'm curious if you think I could substitute hardware cloth in place of welded wire? (IE - would it hold up over the long run as fencing material?). I want the fence to look nice, of course, but not spend a ton of $$. Per City code, the chickens are not allowed to free range my 1-acre yard because I'm not in an Ag. zone, but it is okay for me to create an enclosed yard for them. You get the picture.

    Speaking of pics, once the picture bugs here at BYC are worked out, I'd love it if you could post pics of fences you've built that might be similar to what I'm describing? Just trying to get some ideas and see designs others have incorporated.

    Thanks! ~Liz
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  2. C-Dawg

    C-Dawg Hatching

    Jul 31, 2014
    From what I've seen, the hardware cloth v. welded wire question is one for which everyone has a different answer. Here's mine: All my fencing has welded wire, because I think it's less confining for the chickens. They can see through the fence easier, I think. Perhaps, a bit more free/open.

    That said, the hardware cloth I've found at my local stores looks more durable than the 16 gauge welded wire on my fences. While I think the cloth is 14 gauge (thus thicker), I think the small dimensions of its openings (1/4" square) means more connections wire-to-wire, and probably less chances of the wires coming apart.
  3. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    What is the difference between hardware cloth and welded wire? To me it is the mesh opening sizes. There are different application for different sizes. I have been satisfied with 2x4 for fencing of the run, and 1/2 inch on the coop. I think the 1/2" mesh is more $ than 2x4 mesh.

    If the run will have chicks, you would want to reduce mesh size on lower portion of your fencing.

    Home Depot also has one that has different mesh size on the same roll.

    Just stay away from poultry netting (aka chicken wire).

    I built 3'x6' modular panels that can be configured into any size (multiples of 3) run. Check it in the photos in my profile.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  4. omi4500

    omi4500 Chirping

    Mar 3, 2014
    Thanks for the great feedback, C-Dawg and ECBW. You've both brought up good points, some of which I hand't considered before, and I am pretty sure at this point that I'll go with 2x4 welded wire. I appreciate you taking the time to share your input!
  5. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    My entire run, including the top, consisted of 2x3 welded wire.

    This worked great, till a daytime raccoon attack on my coop ended with the death of my attack bantam rooster...

    Bottom 2 feet of the run now has 1/2" hardware cloth.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Your typical 2x4 welded wire fencing is made from 14 gauge wire, typical 1/2" hardware cloth is made from 19 gauge wire.

    I just pulled up some 2x4 fencing that had been 'buried'(hadn't weed-wacked or sprayed and burned for at least 10 years, so lots of detritus covering the bottom strand) at the bottom for 15 years......it was all pretty rusty but still solidly intact, even the bottom wire that was buried was still intact tho those bottom welds were broken in some places.
  7. I used 1x2" welded wire for the coop, added 1/4" hardware cloth around the perimeter (3 feet tall) and put 1/2" hardware cloth where the roosts come next to the open wire of the coop.
    [​IMG]you can see the door in the background
    (And my Limin, isn't she pretty?)
  8. omi4500

    omi4500 Chirping

    Mar 3, 2014
    RonP - sorry to hear about your rooster. :( But I appreciate you chiming in with your experiences. I want to keep the girls safe.
    Aart - thank you, as well. Good to know that the welded wire product holds up that well.
    Subhanalah - yes, she's very pretty. :)) Looks like you have the Fort Knox coop (also beautiful).

    Based on the fact that we have both ground and air predators where I live, my girls wont be allowed out into the open yard area we'll be constructing unless we're outside with them (which will be every day while I'm tending the veggie garden) - next to the coop area. As you can see in this picture, the coop itself, and all of its window openings, are paneled with with 1/2" hardware cloth (solid roof). The bottom 16" of the coop has a solid kick board. Still, I want the future yard to be both safe and enjoyable for them (the "yard" will be an "L" shape that wraps around two sides of the coop). I was also considering continuing the kickboard design out along the fence as well....but not sure.
    (excuse the tools...that corner was a perfect storage spot while we were prepping for the garden beds [​IMG])

    Thanks again from this newbie. I am grateful for your input and open to your suggestions!
  9. your coop looks nice! Maybe you can use cheap cattle panels for the fencing and just put chicken wire along the inside of it. Although, cattle panels probably won't look as "nice" as the rest of your yard/coop...they are definitely more "farm-looking" lol Do you plan on making it fully enclosed to keep them out of your nicely manicured lawn? Mine have decided mu neighbors' yards have more grass and bugs, so I spend most of the morning getting them back over, lol. I'm very fortunate to have the neighbors that I do, and I'm ever so grateful for them. I know some people suggest clipping wings, but they can still get really good jumps in with one or both wings clipped. My husband worries that they won't be able to get up on their roosts if I clip them, so he hasn't let me do it, lol.
  10. omi4500

    omi4500 Chirping

    Mar 3, 2014
    I don't mind farm looking [​IMG] as long as the cattle panels can be framed in wood - I am aiming for this kind of look, regardless of the type/size of wire paneling I end up with. I plan to plant chicken friendly vegetation along the outside of the fence as well (mostly to screen from a neighbor).
    As much as the chickens would love to free range my yard, and as much as I'd like to be able to let them do so... the City Ordinance where I live prohibits true free ranging because I'm not in an Ag. zone. However, based on the size of my lot, I can have chickens...they just have to be confined. So, the fenced-in yard I want to give them will give them more room to run around outside of the coop itself, but will keep them legit in the city's eyes. Plus, I don't want them wreaking havoc with the veggies (and a neighbor has already proven to not be a fan of my chickens [​IMG] so I cant take the chance of one of mine ending up in their yard. My other two adjoining neighbors don't care (and one of them has chickens too!).

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