How to Build a Fence around Your Chicken Coop
You must protect your chooks from foxes
Some people are entirely happy to build a chicken coop and expect their chickens to live in that all their life. We prefer our chickens to have an outdoors life during the day, because we feel that keeping your chooks cooped up inside all day isn’t a nice thing to do to them.
So if you’re going to let your chooks out of the chicken coop during the day you have some decisions to make.
Will you allow yourchickens to free range around the garden? There are some advantages and disadvantages to allowing your chickens to free range around the garden. They will clean up the garden of many nasty bugs that are probably eating your flowers. However chickens love to scratch and they will also scratch up the garden as well. If you have lots of nice vegetable seedlings recently planted chances are they will scratch these up, so you will need to protect them.
And if you allow your chooks to free range then you must ensure that they are all back in the chicken coop at night, or chances are very high that a predator such as a fox will turn one of your chooks into a tasty meal.
If you prefer not to allow your chooks to free range around the garden but wish to allow them out of the chicken coop during the day you will need to build a run for them. As we live in the country and have plenty of room our chicken run is enormous, and would be at least 30 metres square. This is probably too much but if you can why not.
However chooks can fly quite well and if you wish to keep them in the run you will need to build fences at least 1.8 to 2 metres high. Otherwise they will fly over the fence.
It’s also very important to realise that predators and in particular foxes will make all efforts to get your chickens. This applies in the city as well as the country. There are several ways to protect your chickens from foxes. Foxes will dig quite happily so when you are building your fence lay about 15 to 20 centimetres of the chicken wire horizontally just under the ground pointing outwards so that a fox who digs will encounter this and will be unable to continue.
If you’re lucky to live in a country like us and have access to an electric fence it works extremely well to place a single wire around the outside of your chook run at a height of about 15 centimetres, and when a fox starts to dig you will encounter the wire and will be gone.
So spend a little time thinking about your plans for your chooks during the day. Will you allow them out of the chicken coop or not, and if so will you hous them in a chicken run or allow them to free range around the garden? If it’s to be a chicken run then spend some time designing it to be fox proof.
Filed under: Just Chook Stuff
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