Your flock of chickens deserves protection. One way of keeping them safe is to provide them with a fence around their coop or yard. Good fencing keeps your birds in and predators or pests out. Predators such as dogs, foxes, hawks, raccoons, and others want your birds for dinner. On the other hand, pests like rats, snakes, mice, and others want your birds’ dinner. With proper fencing, pests and predators will not wreak havoc to your chickens at any given time.
So, what are the Best Types of Chicken Fencing Available? The most common types of fencing for chicken coops include the galvanized hardware cloth, chicken wire, poultry netting, and electric fencing.
Keeping your chickens safe from predators shows you value your investments. Chickens are vulnerable to all types of predators, pests, and even thieves. If you don’t provide them with adequate protection in the form of fencing, you may find them gone.
Before that happens, you should think of the best type of fencing that suits your needs and budget. Most importantly, the fence should be able to keep your birds safe throughout the day and night. Security around the coop will give you peace of mind as your birds are well-protected from danger. Below are the best types of chicken fencing that you can use to secure your birds.
Best Types of Chicken Fencing Available
Galvanized Hardware Cloth
This type of fencing is suitable for enclosing chicken coops and enclosed run. So, if you decide to go by this fencing option, there are some considerations to make. First, you will need 0.3 inches galvanized hardware cloth which is normally 19 gauge. Keep in mind that smaller openings are too brittle while larger ones will not keep snakes or rats away.
Different Rolls of Galvanized Hardware Cloth
Galvanized hardware cloth comes in different size rolls, such as 3, 4, 5, and 6-foot rolls. The most common ones are 3 and 5-foot rolls. These can range anywhere from 5, 25, 50 all the way to 100 feet in length.
The mesh on this type of chicken fencing option consists of weaved or welded steel wires. The welded wires are then dipped in zinc (what is popularly known as galvanization) to protect against rust.
Even though this is a very stiff fencing material for chicken coops, you can still bend it easily by your hands. Also, you can cut it with a pair of snips and attach it to the posts using galvanized staples. Once bent into the required shape, this galvanized hardware cloth maintains its shape pretty well.
Use Galvanized Staples for Adequate protection
If you’re going to use galvanized hardware cloth as your chicken fencing material, don’t use the hand-powered stables. This is because these accessories rust quickly.
When these staples slip out, chickens might peck at them and even try to eat them. Instead, use the galvanized staples from a pneumatic staple gun for adequate protection. If you install properly, galvanized hardware cloth can give maximum protection to your birds.
Chicken Wire Fencing
Chicken wire, as the name suggests, is one of the best types of chicken fencing available that you can use. Though this is not a reliable fencing material to prevent large predators from attacking your birds.
For instance, a raccoon or dog can easily rip through this fencing material. Also, baby chicks can force themselves through the holes and become an easy target for predators outside their coops.
Choose the Right Chicken Wire Fencing
Typical chicken wire has 1-2 inch-sized hexagonal holes that are large enough to let rodents and snakes through. For that reason, you should not place it on chicken coop vents, windows or any other openings. Also, you must not use it to secure your run if you are away from your chickens for long.
This option is ideal for covering the top of the run to deter aerial predators during the day. However, it won’t prevent the weasel or raccoon from climbing the side of the run to reach your birds. But it will at least slow down any of the larger predators a little bit.
This does not mean that the chicken wire is ineffective when it comes to protecting your chickens. You may use it to keep your birds safe during the day provided that someone’s watching your coop constantly.
Ideal For Separating the Run
Additionally, the chicken wire is a better option for separating your run or yard. This is important, especially when you are integrating new birds. Likewise, you may use it to separate brooders and their chicks from the rest of the chickens in the coop.
Suitable for Your Garden
Chicken wire plays a crucial role in several fencing options for your garden. This means you can use it to keep out chickens, rabbits, cats, and rodents from destroying your crops. Also, you may use this option to protect your small trees against chickens by creating a cage around them.
Your chickens will not have access to your growing plants once you use this fencing option around those plants. With that in mind, you may consider this option for your chicken coops or run for various reasons. Chicken wire fencing is relatively cheaper, easy to work with and bendable.
Poultry netting is similar to chicken wire fencing although the holes vary in size. Just like chicken wire fencing, this material is cheaper when it comes to keeping your birds safe.
Poultry Netting is Affordable and Easy to Use
This plastic-made chicken fencing material is an affordable way of protecting your birds when in the run during the day. The main reason you should consider this chicken fencing option is that it’s easy to cut or work with. Besides, it is bendable, durable and lightweight compared to other chicken fencing options.
Rabbit Wire Fencing
Rabbit wire fencing comes in handy as the most effective fencing option to keep away most of the predators. This heavy-gauge welded wire fencing has 3-4 inch rectangular openings that prevent predators.
Rabbit Wire Fencing Enhances Security of Your Chickens
For the security of your birds, you may attach this wire to the floor of your chicken coop or tractor. This option keeps away predators but allows chickens to graze or scratch at the floor more naturally during the day.
Alternatively, you may use the rabbit wire fencing to border your daytime yard. Anyway, there are variations that you can use for this purpose. These variations have narrower or smaller openings at the bottom of the fence and a wider opening at the top. Rabbit wire fencing comes as one of the most effective and best the best type chicken fencing for your coop.
If you are living in an area with larger predators then you need a strong and reliable fence. Your ultimate choice of fencing is the electric one to keep these animals away from your coops. Although expensive to install and maintain, it is ideal if you want enough security around your chicken coops.
Double Layer of Fencing
To make it more effective, you should structure a double layer of fencing. The fence needs to run around your chicken yard with some space in between for maximum safety.
Electric fencing is the best option so far if you are planning to raise your chickens on a free-range. The fence can also become helpful if you often change your chicken’s roaming ground.
Ideal For a Large Roaming Space
Even though it’s costly, electric fencing can secure a large roaming space for your flock of birds. All you need to do is to invest heavily in it. You purchase the right kit, set it up and check its working condition regularly for better security.
With an electric fence, you can rest assured that your chickens will stay protected as they free range. Invest in this fencing option if you’re planning to have a large free-range space for your flock of birds.
How do you enhance protection for your birds during the night? The most effective way of securing your chickens during the night is by installing night guard solar predator lights. These lights will scare away predators trying to reach your chicken run.
What do you consider when choosing the right chicken fencing? The choice of your fence will depend on several factors. Key among these factors is the arrangement of your chicken coops, the type of coop, geographical location, the type of predators lurking in your backyard and your budget. Once you have these factors, choosing the best fencing for your chickens will not be a problem.
Fencing is not something to debate about, especially when it comes to the safety of your chickens. You can avoid losing your birds in the future by installing an effective fence around your chicken coop. Choose one or several options from the best chicken fencing mentioned above to secure your birds.
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Best Ways to Protect My Chickens From Predators