If you have decided to keep chickens, you’ll need a sturdy fence to help keep them safe. Here is everything you need to know about chicken fences.
A chicken run allows your chickens to get outdoors and do the things they love like taking dirt baths, foraging, and scratching. The enclosed space keeps them safe and allows them to pursue natural activities to keep them healthy. Chicken coops on the other hand are indoor spaces designed for sleep, nesting and producing eggs. Both your coop and chicken run require adequate fencing to keep your chickens safe from local predators or from wandering off.
Chickens aren’t known for their flying capabilities, but they do have the ability to fly up to about four feet. Because of this, you want to ensure your chicken fence is at least this tall to contain ambitious flyers.
A chicken fence Calgary chicken raisers install should consist of about 1-by-2-inch or smaller welded wire mesh. This makes it harder for animals of all sizes to enter, and also keeps animals like raccoons from reaching through the fence.
The smells and activity of your chickens will attract predators ranging from larger animals like coyotes and bobcats to smaller animals like raccoons. It really depends on where you live. The chicken coop keeps them protected at night as long as you have secure doors and gates. However, your chicken run fence provides added protection. Chicken runs leave a nice space between the coop and fence, which can deter animals from trying to get in. However, predators are quite cunning and will find ways to get into the chicken run and coop if you don’t provide adequate protection.
A sturdy chicken fence will help keep them at bay, but you also have to consider attacks from above. If your area is home to birds of prey, you not only need a fence, but also a crisscross of wires overhead. Owls and hawks are common in many areas, so your chickens are at risk both night and day. Wiring affixed to your fence can also keep animals from successfully vaulting the fence. Last but not least you want a fence that will protect your chickens from raccoons that can reach in and grab them. Although they might not be able to pull the chicken through the fence, they can cause stress for your chickens and also injure or even kill the chicken by shaking them.
Yes, this is an important consideration when constructing your chicken run fence. Predators that dig can easily make their way under the fence and cause plenty of damage to your brood. To be safe you can add a layer of buried mesh fencing at least a foot below the ground, or bend it outwards to create a wire weave that little paws won’t be able to dig around.
The three fences people most often consider for chicken runs are:
1. Wire Mesh Fence: Wire mesh comes in rolls that you pin to poles. It makes it easy to customize the size and configuration of your chicken run, so you can place your coop and run in just about any space. Wire mesh can be clipped with wire snips. This fence is resistant to rust and can be bent into any shape, as well as to create a protective skirt to discourage digging. It keeps most predators at bay and is also suitable for a mesh roof to keep birds away.
2. Chicken Wire: This is a budget-friendly option that is best used for a temporary chicken fence. It lacks the sturdiness of wire mesh so is more likely to allow predators access to your brood. If your chicken run is in an area you can monitor your chickens, you might get away with using chicken wire as a more permanent solution. However, all in all you want something a lot sturdier.
3. Chain Link: Chain link fences are very sturdy, but as a result also quite expensive. It is not as flexible as wire mesh, but if you live in an area with larger predators, this is the best solution. However, you’ll need to add an additional layer of mesh, to keep little hands from reaching through the mesh of the chain link.
You now have a good understanding of chicken fencing to help you create a safe enclosure for your brood.