Chicken Coop Fencing

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bonniethomas06
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Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #148289 bonniethomas06
Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:01 pm

Hi,

I am about to take on some hens and have a lovely new henhouse on the way.

I need to build a permenant run area in the garden - foxes not really a problem and have timer door so they won't be out after dusk/before dawn.

Can anyone please give me some advice as to how I can build an incredibly cheap fence? It will be a 3mx5m area - one long side is a fence which is already there. So far I have found deer fencing which is £45 for 25m - more than adequate, plus fence posts and staples.

I have put an add in freecycle, but so far no luck. Chicken wire seems to be so expensive, and my carpentry skills are...ahem...not.

Any tips would be great!

Thanks

Bonnie
"A pretty face is fine, but what a farmer needs is a woman who can carry a pig under each arm"

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JulieSherris
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #148299 JulieSherris
Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:26 pm

Bonnie - a few points to make here...

Timer doors - sort of a good idea, but what if it closes & all your chooks aren't in? They're locked out for the night then :(

Chicken wire.... or weld mesh - your mesh spacing really does need to be a minimum of 1 inch, else the chook puts its head out & can be at peril at having it's head lopped - as has happened to a few of our members on here.

You say that foxes aren't really a problem - but how do you know? It's surprising what comes out of the dark once you get chooks in :?

To make up a run, you really only 2x2 batons for the framework - then get a cheap staplegun to attach the wire meshing - if you bury the bottom of the frame into the soil a few inches as well, that will help stop anything trying to burrow underneath.

Also - try & incorporate a top on the run - this helps stop any other birds from getting in & attacking the hens.

Depending on how many hens you're getting, you could start with a smaller run & add to it as time (and addiction!)goes on?
The more people I meet, the more I like my garden :wink:

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Thomzo
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #148324 Thomzo
Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:53 pm

Where are you Bonnie? If you are in the UK, then I have found the Countrywide stores to be quite cheap for chicken wire. My neighbour bought some off the internet even cheaper but it's rusted within a few months.

Otherwise, can you beg some old pallets? If the slats aren't too far apart then they can make good fences. Try looking around at your nearest industrial estate, my old place had real problems getting rid of pallets and were more than happy for me to bring them home. Make sure you ask first as they sometimes have to be returned to the supplier.

I echo the caution about the gap sizes. I have lost three hens when they stuck their heads through the wire and got bitten off. Also do either dig the fence a good six inches into the soil or pile up large rocks either side. Foxes are expert diggers.

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Odsox
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #148335 Odsox
Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:26 pm

JulieSherris wrote:Also - try & incorporate a top on the run - this helps stop any other birds from getting in & attacking the hens.

Wow, what sort of birds do you have up in Galway Julie, harpy eagles ? :lol: :lol:
My old hens will see off hoodies and magpies no problem :cheers:
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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JulieSherris
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #148346 JulieSherris
Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:37 pm

Ha! You never know, Tony - but I think the only harpy round here is probably me :mrgreen:

Actually - I was thinking of you the other day - have you seen the chicken plucking machines? Andy says they look really easy to make - OCD or no OCD, he knows his stuff when it comes to building auto machines.... anyways, if he gets round to it & we can prove it works, he says would YOU want one?
Actually, I was thinking we could offer them out to the ishers for the cost of materials & postage.... I was just thinking about it is all..... Thoughts?
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #148350 Odsox
Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:12 pm

Sounds like it could be a good idea Julie, especially as you must have loads of spare time :lol: :lol:
You never know it might be the start of a cottage industry for you.

As for me, I'm in two minds. One half of me would love to have fatteners again all the way from fertile eggs, but the other half still remembers the pain (literally) of having a rooster about. That's one of life's mysteries, every cockerel I've ever had always tried to beat me up when ever I got too close to his ladies, but female members of the family could do anything and not get attacked.
And it's no laughing matter getting beaten up by a cockerel, I still have holes in my legs where the spurs went in and that was through wellies. (ouch)
Tony

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JulieSherris
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #148361 JulieSherris
Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:01 pm

Sorry Tony - I didn't laugh..... honest..... :lol: :mrgreen: :lol:

In our house, I can do ANYTHING with our big lad Basset, he turns into a right slushy nancy boy - then Andy suggests they might want to wake up in the morning & go out for a wee & he gets growled at! Big deep manly growls too...
OK, it's not funny - oh, but it SO is! :mrgreen:
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bonniethomas06
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #148399 bonniethomas06
Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:57 am

Hi folks,

Thanks for all of your suggestions -

I appreciate what you say about foxes, however I have kept chooks in this garden before without any problems at all - I used to just use chicken wire with some bamboo canes but this was a) unsightly and b) totally ineffective - plus I got fed up with having to repair it on an almost daily basis. It is quite a rural area and I think the foxes have so much grub elsewhere that they were not interested in my five skinny exbatts! I don't mean to be carte-blanche about it, but I think provided that they are in by dusk, it should be ok.

...provided the timer works (I think it is light sensitive - it is currently on its way from Germany), although I am here most nights to make sure that they are all in just incase. This seems to be a devisive issue! It is mainly the wrench of getting out of bed early at the weekends (I am up at the crack of dawn anyway during the week) that has put me off having them again, rather than being around to put them to bed. I figured that even if it fails, they will only be in the henhouse for an extra couple of hours (ok, several hours at the weekend!) past dawn anyway so no major disaster. Will let you know how it goes.

I am in Wiltshire btw - we have a countrywide not far away so will go and check out their wire. This seems to be the best idea - have now designed run area 3mx5m (I want 6?) which should cost under £60 - £30 for wire, £25 for posts, an old gate and bag of staples. I can't wait!! Shouldn't have blown the budget on the door and henhouse really, but it is so gorgeous!! :lol:

Thanks again,

Bonnie
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #148413 Shirley
Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:50 am

Good luck with it :-)

Julie - I'd be interested in more info re the plucking machine please.
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #148416 JulieSherris
Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:15 am

Shirley - I've sent you a PM :flower:
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #160622 coopking
Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:14 am

Building a proper chicken coop will ensure that all predators are fenced out and keeping your chickens safe. Beware that the fence may not be strong enough to hold against some big predators such as foxes which may be able to push down some flimsy fence. :rabbit:

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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #160628 Anne A
Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:08 am

Ask at 'tool hire shops if they have any damaged Hertas (the temp fencing stuff you see on building sites) its very easy to cut/ shape with grinder and is fox proof, although you might want to run some netting along the bottom to stop the hens sticking their heads out.

paddy
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #161938 paddy
Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:09 pm

Sooner or later a Fox will be a problem. As soon as he discovers your chucks he will be there and you will be sorry. A Fox will strike day or night he isnt fussy he will strike whenever he gets the chance, he may even hide under a neighbours shed waiting for you to go out, and yes he is that clever.

Apart from that you could get a visit from a neighbours Dog who just fancies a play or even worse there could be a Mink around.

Then take into account a rogue Cat and maybe even a hungry Badger or maybe a Stoat/Weasel

All in all you need to fence your chucks properly if you value them and want to keep them, the only other way is to lock them in or guard them day and night.

An electric fence is the only way tried and tested and almost 100% predator proof.

Electric fences will not work if you have a blackout or a fuse blows so buy a battery energiser backup, and also they can short out due to long grass or weed growth, so you need to go around with the strimmer or one of these tools called a Grass Slasher/Weeder http://www.chillingtonhoes.com/grass.html You can buy good quality electric fencing supplies anywhere now, i purchased a mains Rutland energiser which i have had no problems with, but also you must protect your electric fence from lightening with a special kit sold by the fencing people.

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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #162020 lsm1066
Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:45 am

I built a beautiful new coop for my hens (suitable for 20 and I only have 7 - OH thinks I'm trying to pull a fast one :wink: ) and fenced them in to my 360 sq ft orchard. Since when they've nested in the trees and not set foot in the coop except to lay (and that's only 3 of them!) Consequently the pop hole is permanently open. I'm sure they'll get the idea when the weather gets colder.

For fencing the orchard I got small hole chicken wire and built frames for it, so that I also have a gate in it. As for the "laying away", I'm keeping the weeds down so that they only lay in a couple of places. But why is it they always go for the nettles? :( Good job I've got plenty of vinegar!

Lynne

paddy
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Re: Chicken Coop Fencing

Post: #162037 paddy
Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:01 am

Well you must have lots have money :wink: Vinegar works by making the ground too acid for plants to live in and as far as i know doesntt affect anything else. But after more and more rainfall the acidity of the ground becomes less or you may have put an alkaline there in the form of limestone, in which case plant life begins to establish itself again but the trouble is that the plants that come back are always weeds instead of grass....so you are back to square one again and spending more money on vinegar.
I did ask about buying Acetic Acid concentrate (which you water down to make vinegar) i was told 80.00 euro plus vat :shock: bit of elbow grease is cheaper, besides you only do it 2 or 3 times a year and that tool will last quite a few years.
Last edited by paddy on Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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