When you live on a farm and have animals, you quickly learn that protecting those animals becomes a chief concern for your daily life. Predators are a major problem on all farms. If you think you are safe because you don’t have the standard raccoons, opossum, weasels, hawks, or your typical chicken predators around, don’t be fooled. First of all, one or all of these will be there and you don’t know it, or will be drawn to the area because of the presence of the new food source, a.k.a, your chickens. Next, you will discover that your neighbors dogs may be the worst predator of all. We had to install this fencing for that very reason. Several of our neighbors allow their dogs to run loose, even when asked about keeping them on their property, they don’t. So, even though we live on 8 acres, our chief predators are the neighbor’s dogs. However, we do have raccoons, hawks, opossum, and coyote in the area that we have to prepare for.
So, keeping all this in mind, 9 years ago, we researched the fencing that we would use to surround our coop area. We decided on a 1 inch square, vinyl coated, welded wire fencing.This came from Academy Fencing, and we had it delivered. Here is the actual product we purchased. The fencing you see here, is attached to these poles, and also buried nearly a foot underground, curving outward at the end. Adding this extra bit of wire underground helps prevent animals, especially dogs, from being able to dig under your fence. As you can see in the next image, we discovered a recent attempt at digging under the fencing. Once the fencing underground was encountered, the animal apparently lost interest.
So, to answer a few other questions that have come up. We have enclosed approximately 1800 square feet of area in this fencing. It runs through the yard sections, as pictured here, and also through the woods. This allows the chickens access to grass and sunshine, as well as shade, woods, and the protection that trees offer.
The chickens, turkey, guinea fowl, and outdoor rabbits all have access to this area, all day long. At night, each have their own coops that they return to for protection. The chickens have a coop of their own, as does, Happy and Velvet (Rabbits), the turkeys, and the guinea fowl.
Overhead protection is also very difficult. You can’t see it in this image, but the majority of this fenced area is protected by an intricate lattice work of clear, heavy grade, fishing line. Is it perfect? No, but it is a great deterrent, and we haven’t had any problems.
You can also add some simple landscaping around the outside perimeter. This adds another barrier to approaching the fence. We planted liriope, aka, monkey grass, around the entire outside edge of the fencing. It spreads quickly creating a nice, thick, border. I love how the black fencing disappears from a distance also.