The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Poultry & Waterfowl => Topic started by: bazzais on March 06, 2010, 10:55:20 am

Title: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: bazzais on March 06, 2010, 10:55:20 am
Hi Ya

I know there is nothing like trial and error when it comes to keeping your chooks safe in how you fence them off, everybody seems to have a different method.  However I would like to do as little trial and error as possible!!

I want to put my chickens (which I have not purchased yet) into a small paddock in our front field.  Its about 75 meters by 75 meters square and has a wood up one side and a sloped bank going up on another, the other two sides face the pony run around area.

The paddock has stock fencing all the way round already (a bit shaky as the ponies had a good scratch on it the very first day - damn) - What I wanted to do was cover the bottom 2 foot of the stock fence in chicken wire and bury the bottom bit of the wire to stop there being a gap, then I wanted to run electric fence strand round the outside at about 10cm then at 25cm up on the outside.

The trouble is I cant put the electric strand on the outside cos I just know the ponies wont see it and will just wreck it in a seconds.

The only idea I can think of is to make a smaller chicken wire fence on the inside of the stock fence (two foot high and about a foot away from the stock fence) and then run electric fence in-between.

Does this sound like overkill?
Does anyone think the fox could jump the whole lot?
Another downside is that if the chickens get stuck inbetween the two fences they will be on the electric fence!! Do you think they will get inbetween them?

The chooks will of course be in every night - do they even need such a drastic protection system?

Ta

Baz
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: Wizard on March 06, 2010, 01:23:01 pm
Yes Baz as many on here will tell you Protecting your birds is a big problem you need at least six feet high wire fencing,then foxes have been seen climbing over it.Other posters may come on and tell you of their experiences.
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: bazzais on March 06, 2010, 02:01:02 pm
Do foxes 'normally' come and try to feast in the daytime?

I see alot of farms locally where their hens just roam around the yard.

I might consider making them a 'run' but when we are about on the yard in the day - just let them roam around.

Ta

Baz
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: jameslindsay on March 06, 2010, 02:02:59 pm
Foxes are hungry 24/7 so yes they do feast during daylight.
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: bazzais on March 06, 2010, 02:34:10 pm
Thanks.

It is looking like I may have to not give them 75 square meters to roam in as fencing that is a little expensive. 

I have ordered 250 meters of 2" high netting and thats cost a bit.

Would a fox fit through stock fencing?  Would they get through that green netting you can get?

Ta

Baz
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: shetlandpaul on March 06, 2010, 03:32:26 pm
we can get 3ft high rabbit net 50m at about 50 quid. but thats not realy high enough. were very lucky no foxes. but maybe a staged security system a very secure small run. a medium sized secure run and then a low security large run. if the chucks are close to a house with human and dog activity then they should be reasonably safe apart for early mornings and evenings.
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: Wizard on March 06, 2010, 07:13:58 pm
I don't think they particularly bother with  one They get in with the hens and kill them for fun I don't think to many would mind one but they don't stop at one
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: doganjo on March 06, 2010, 07:53:57 pm
A fox will more or less go where he wants provided he can get an easy and quick way back out.  A low fence won't stop him.  I am lucky so far, haven't seen any foxes, but perhaps the dogs put them off, I don't know.  I only have 4ft and some of the chooks jump that so they wouldn't be safe if there were foxes here.  I let them out in the front half acre for a few hours a day.  They are inside from dusk as are the ducks, and also if I am to be away for the day.
I would think about a small secure area with a high fence, and a bigger area round it that they can be in when you are around.  The electric fence might deter a fox, unless it is low enough to be jumped over..
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: Fergie on March 06, 2010, 08:02:07 pm
Thanks.

Would a fox fit through stock fencing?  Would they get through that green netting you can get?

Ta

Baz

A fox will certainly squeeze through stock netting, and in fact will drag a chicken through as well - I know from experience ........

John
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: harry on March 06, 2010, 09:29:41 pm
electric fence with 3 additional trip wires, THERE IS NO OTHER WAY for free range
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: Anke on March 06, 2010, 09:38:15 pm
Electric poultry netting, comes in 50 or 100 m lengths and you can move paddocks around. if you already have energiser for ponies tape than cost is not much higher than ordinary fence?

Ours have been in that way and no fox in over 3 years. But they do check it works regularly - after all the snow we have had we could follow their tracks all across the fields - through the sheep netting as well. Oh and badger checks it out too....
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: joyofchicks on March 09, 2010, 11:35:01 am
Beware the dog (in my case) and not the fox. 

I've had a small backyard flock for 8 years with the only losses due to 'natural' causes... until this past year when I have lost 2 hens to neighbours' dogs (different dog each time).  I live rurally so my neighbours are hundreds of yards away and not next door as such.  First was young husky which shredded brown laying girl in front of my kids as we all frantically tried to catch it.  Lately young black lab (and gun dog in training) caught other brown laying girl (and rehabilitated 'organic' hen) and squeezed her to death.  Dog owners (one a policewoman) sorry but am now having to make garden look like Fort Knox in wire and wood.

Sorry this doesn't help you Bazzais but please beware that there are hazards to hens other than foxes (and some have waggy tails and jaggy teeth.) 

Will stop rant now.  >:(

Lorna
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: doganjo on March 09, 2010, 01:09:27 pm
Quote
Lately young black lab (and gun dog in training) caught other brown laying girl (and rehabilitated 'organic' hen) and squeezed her to death.
Not much good as a gundog then is it? ;D ;D ;D ;D  My oldest dog - Hester, my German Wirehaired Plonker, is hardmouthed and has killed some of my hens, the other four - all Brittanys, including my 4 month pup, are all softmouthed and have retrieved numerous ducks and chickens alive and to hand.
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: sagehen on March 09, 2010, 01:54:23 pm
  My oldest dog - Hester, my German Wirehaired Plonker,




Never heard of that dog breed before  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: doganjo on March 09, 2010, 03:05:04 pm
AKA carpet dog because of her wiry coat. Mind you more like a carpet for her own kennel than my lounge! ::)  Been a very much loved plonker all her 13 years  ;D- goodness knows how many chickens, pheasants, ducks have succumbed to her very large jaws.  If she wasn't bomb proof with the kids she'd have gone long ago - we all adore her!
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: harry on March 09, 2010, 04:52:23 pm
If a dog came on my land and killed any of my birds i would treat it as a fox and blow its brains out.
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: doganjo on March 09, 2010, 05:17:18 pm
If a dog came on my land and killed any of my birds i would treat it as a fox and blow its brains out.
perhaps so, but Hester is not allowed to roam on anyone else's property.
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: harry on March 09, 2010, 06:06:19 pm
he would have to roam a dam long way if he did, that policewomans needs a wake up call, she would get it if she lived next door to me. ive got a neighbours cockeral in my place the last 2 days, he wont stop as its like a harum to him with food,so he may have to go, unfortunatly.
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: Wizard on March 09, 2010, 06:14:35 pm
Boilt or fricasseed harry
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: harry on March 09, 2010, 07:21:47 pm
its a bantam so not enough for a chicken roll.. if ime feeling kind i will catch him and hes off to the chicken rounabout, were lucky round here all our unwanted cockerals go there.
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: bazzais on March 09, 2010, 08:10:16 pm
I ended up buying a chicken run from harrodhorticultural.com :)

A 6m x 10.5 was 500 with VAT odd with the discount code I had posted to me (I also run http://www.discount-voucher.co.uk  lol)

Its going to take a while to see any payback - but its not just about the money for the time being, its about having a nice safe place for the chickens. 

We have the coast path walk going through our garden so dogs are an issue sometimes - even though we have signs up some people seem to think its everybody elses dog we are talking about.

I have yet to see what my dog thinks of them - he is a mini dachshund (that gets bullied by the sheep) - I am sure he will have a few tellings off as he is a little rascal that loves chasing everything.

I think total free range is a little dangerous for chickens, I am sure they will have enough space in the pen I have bought though.

Ta

Baz
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: doganjo on March 09, 2010, 08:31:13 pm
My chickens have developed attitude! ;D ;D ;D  My 4 month old pup decide to have a run at some of the ex batts that had wandered close to the house, next thing I knew Jamie my LS cockerel was tearing down from the top of the garden and lunged at Bobby - just as I called him to me,  so the talons and beak missed him by a mile, but the three ex batts he was after saw there were reinforcements and turned and came after the poor wee soul ::) ::).  I recalled him back to the front door in time to save him, naturally ;) ;D  However, it was enough to make Bobby aware that chickens are not to be messed with, so next time out he was steering well clear of them.   

My 9 year old girl is on bed rest with a cruciate injury at the moment and just after Bobby's incident I took her out on the flexi to do what she needed to do.  There she was all innocent sniffing around ready to pee when a couple of ex batts came up behind her and gave her two huge pecks on her BTM.  I'm sorry but I was just about peeing myself laughing.  ;) Next time I took her out she wouldn't go anywhere near the chickens. kept turning away from them.  And this was previously the ringleader of any chicken retrieving games!  Hopefully I now have two non chicken chasers! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
And incidentally, Harry - Hester is a girls name!  I told her you didn't think she'd get near yoyu and she said - "where does he live - I'm a plonker, I have the best nose in the business, I'll find him" ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Advice needed on fencing
Post by: bazzais on March 09, 2010, 09:03:03 pm
My little Oliver (the dog) used to chase the sheep too until they decided to turn on him after lambing.  He went straight onto his back into submissive mode when first attacked - but the ewes dont know about that gesture and just butted him into the floor.  He soon came running and hid under the quad.  Poor little dab, bet he gets attacked by the chickens too when they get here :)

Cant help but laugh either - he thinks he is 8 foot tall, I dont think he is aware of his minute size.

Baz