Feb 142012
 

Installing Chicken Fencing – Tips

 

Installing chicken fencing is pretty straightforward and there are plenty of how-to guides online.  Anyone that is handy should have no trouble designing a chicken run and installing the fencing.  But there are several things that you need to remember as you are installing your chicken fence.

There are 3 main reasons you install chicken fencing. 

  1. Let’s face it, most chickens are free spirits and without chicken fencing, they are free to wander anywhere they want.  Not all of your neighbors appreciate your flock’s ability to completely turn a flower bed under in 10 minutes flat!  Installing something to keep your chickens confined is a must.
  2. Also, since most of us want the eggs that our lovely hens produce, we need to have some control over where they lay their eggs.
  3. And last but not lease, I don’t like it when predators get into my chicken area and my chickens are killed.

Before you start installing chicken fence, let’s talk about some things that you need to think about.

* What type of chicken fencing should you install?  The most commonly used types of wiring are the chicken or poultry wiring or the smaller mesh with the very small square openings. Either one should work just fine.

* I always strongly recommend putting up a double layer of wiring because I have had chickens pulled through just one layer of poultry wiring.

* Stretch the wiring as tightly as possible between the posts so that there is no give in the fence.

* I would also recommend burying the fence at least a foot in the ground and some people recommend that you bury it at least two feet in the ground. Many predators are very determined and will dig down and go under the wiring to get to your chickens.

* Another idea is to burying the fencing is to create an “apron” of sorts. You bend the fencing along the bottom so that it is an “L” shape. You can secure the apron portion to the ground using landscape anchors and also allow grass, plants and weeds to grow up through it. It will be very secure and you won’t have to dig any trenches to bury your fence.

* Make sure that there are no gaps anywhere in the fence after it has been installed.

* And lastly, be sure and check your fence periodically for holes, loose areas or damaged wiring.  I am paranoid about the safety of my hens and I tend to check the fencing at least once a month but do whatever works best for you.

These are all common sense things to think about when you are installing chicken fencing.  Different areas of the country have different predators to worry about so you may think of even more things to add to the list.

 

Learn How To Build Your Own Chicken Coop

 

Feb 132012
 

Chicken Fencing Basics

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Keeping chickens in your backyard is so much fun.  While they are cute and make great pets, they have zero ability to protect themselves. Installing the correct type of chicken fencing is ESSENTIAL if you want to keep your chickens alive. Chickens, while normally very hearty animals, are not able to protect themselves from chicken predators that see your hens as their next meal!  They are pretty low maintenance animals but they do need a secure place to sleep, lay their eggs and scratch around during the day.

Poultry Fencing

There are a variety of chicken fences that you can use to protect your chickens in their chicken run. The most common type of fencing that you will find is poultry fencing. The biggest advantage of poultry fencing is that the mesh has very small openings so it is difficult for predators to reach through and grab your chickens. One the other hand, it is not as strong as some of the other wiring that is available.  I’ve seen poultry fencing that was stretched and /or chewed through by determined chicken predators like raccoons.

Welded Mesh Fencing

Another type of chicken fencing that I love to use is welded mesh fence. I have found this fencing to be much sturdier and it stands up to attacks by predators much better. This type of fencing is strong and I think it looks good.  It is also long lasting.  But, it will need to be stretched securely and

Chain Link Fencing

I would have never thought to use chain link fencing to keep my chickens safe but it actually works very well.  It is too strong for any type of animal to stretch or chew threw and it is long lasting.  You can buy it is convenient panels that you just have to secure together so it is easy to use and no stretching is required.  You do have to be careful to properly secure the panels together so that there are no large gaps that could allow a small predator to get through. If you have chicks, you will need to install some type of small mesh wiring along the bottom to keep them contained until they get too big to run through the holes. Although, of you use it to fence off a chicken run and it isn’t covered on the top, this type of fencing does little to stop cats or animals that are adept at climbing from entering your yard.

Other Considerations

I protect my chicken flock by installing chicken fencing in layers. I use the welded mesh fence on the interior framing of my runs and place a second layer of poultry fencing on the outside framing. This may sound like overkill but I have lost a lot of chickens over the years and I hate going out in the mornings to find chickens maimed, dead or missing.  I recommend installing a wire apron along the bottom to make sure that predators can’t dig under the wiring.

Chicken fencing is not complicated to install but be sure that you install the correct type of fence for your chickens because their lives depend on it!

Learn how to build a predator safe chicken coop for your chickens.

Aug 112010
 

Well, I had every intention of keeping the chicks indoors until they were at least a month old but they didn’t like that idea.  It is very hot here and I started taking them outside twice a day to a specially fenced area fortified with chicken fencing that I made just for these babies. 

I didn’t leave them unattended but since I had a lot of yard work to do, this worked out well.  I put a large deck umbrella over part of their area, added food and water and a pile of straw.  I also failed to mention that the grass and weeds were pretty tall in this area so they had lots of cover.

They had a ball running around and acting silly.  They figured out how to take their first dust baths and how to sun themselves.  They were not happy when I rounded them up and took them in each time.  It got to the point that they screeched incessantly while they were inside.

When the chicks reached 3 weeks of age, I finally caved and put them outside in a very secure little chick house with an extra secure run and double chicken fencing.  They were driving me crazy at this point and they were very unhappy.  I also started leaving my two labs outside at night to patrol the yard, which they loved!  So far, so good.  My little family of 8  chicks is thriving being outside and they are growing fast.  They also eat a lot less chick feed since they are busy running around and taking dust baths.



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Jun 012010
 

Fencing For Chickens – Why You Should Invest In Good Fencing!

Fencing for chickens is the best way to stay on good terms with your flock of hens.Fencing for chickens will protect your flock.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my chickens but one day I was at the end of my rope!

Why you might ask?Fencing for chickens will protect your flock.

I came home from work one day – not too long after my first chickens were finally old enough to free range – and discovered that ALL of my flower beds and my garden had been completely destroyed!

It seems that while they are out puttering around in my yard, they discovered the joys of scratching around in my garden and my flower beds.  The problem is that they can destroy these areas in a very short span of time which I  unfortunately discovered.  I obviously was not going to get rid of my chickens but when I finally got tired of my flock going where I didn’t want it to go, I started investing in some chicken fencing.

Fencing For Chicken Options

There are several options available when you go online and look for “fencing for chickens”.  The old standby that is still commonly used is the chicken or poultry fencing.  It is a mesh type fencing with small openings that can be ideal to help keep the little darlings out of areas you don’t want them in.  Just keep in mind that poultry fencing is not a good option for predator control as it can be pretty easily torn through.

Poultry Fencing or Chicken Wire

The basic problem with any type of fencing for chickens is that those girls (and boys) are smarter than most people give them credit for and they can fly pretty well too.  Most of my chickens were most appreciative of the fact that I was nice enough to provide fencing for them to land on and perch on.  So I found that when I used this fencing to basically cordon off my garden and flower beds it was very effective, as long as I also put it over the top as well as along the sides.  I also had to build frames to support the weight of the chickens as they walked over the top of the mesh trying to get to the flowers and veggies! It was a huge pain in the you know what, but well worth it to me.

 

Plastic Mesh Fencing

A friend of mine got creative when looking at fencing for chickens and used the plastic mesh fencing to try and contain her birds.  It comes in a variety of colors including orange, green and white.  I was skeptical about it working but, while it didn’t look great, it functioned surprisingly well. It’s a fairly tall fencing and is durable so it can be moved around if you want to.  It is easy to work with and can be stapled or hooked to posts, garages, your house, etc.  Again, the biggest problem is that smart chickens figure out how to fly over it or try to perch on it.  I personally didn’t find it very effective at keeping my chickens in or out of certain areas.

Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fencing actually worked very well too.  It is very durable and predators cannot tear through it.  The biggest problem with using chain link is its cost and it is harder to install.  But, you can go to Tractor Supply or just about any other hardware or feed store and by chain link panels to use as fencing for chickens.  These panels can then be secured together and assembled pretty quickly.  I recommend lining the inside of the wire with a layer of chicken wiring along the bottom as an added layer of protection.

2 inch x 4 inch Mesh 14 Gauge Galvanized Wire Fencing

This is another type of fencing that can also be successfully used as it is very strong and more affordable.  Chicks can also squeeze through these openings so it is a good idea to use some chicken wire along the bottom of the larger galvanized fencing to prevent escapes until they are bigger.

Electric Fencing

Electric Poultry Netting can be very effective at corralling your birds if they aren’t very good fliers.  It also helps to keep predators out of your chicken area which is great.  Because they get a mild shock if they touch it, they don’t land on it and very quickly learn to just stay the heck away from it.  Even some of my fliers now won’t fly over it because they touched it as they tried to escape.  Again, it doesn’t contain all of your birds but I have found it to be very good at containing all but the most escape minded hens.

Choosing fencing for chickens can be overwhelming but keep in mind that there is a wire type for just about any budget out there.  Each type of fencing has it’s advantages and disadvantages so my advice is to know what you want and how much you can spend.

Check out these options for Fencing For Chickens


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