Fences for chickens

Chicken pasture fenceHow much fence does it take
to keep chickens in?  If you don’t have a problem with predators
and do give your chickens a large, healthy pasture, the answer is —
not much.

Every time we build a
new pasture for our flock, the fence gets simpler and simpler because
our birds aren’t all that interested in breaking free.  Our most
recent fence consists of four foot tall metal fenceposts driven in the
ground about fifteen feet apart with five foot tall chicken wire run
between them.  The extra foot of chicken wire is bent over to lie
along the ground on the inside of the pasture and Mark screws an old
rotten board or log to the chicken wire at intervals along the bottom
to tack it down.

Our chickens could
easily get out if they wanted too.  They could tunnel under the
parts of the fence that aren’t tacked down or fly over the relatively
low top of the fence.  They could even hop straight out the holes
I never got around to patching up on the forest side of the pasture
(oops.)  Despite all of these opportunities, the only time we’ve
seen a fencebreak is when we first introduced our youngest Golden Comet
to the flock and she was being bullied and
Tack down fenceflew over the fence to
escape.  Once
our rooster
stepped in and promoted harmony in the flock
, our birds decided their
pastures were home and not prison.

I should mention that
many chicken keepers swear by electrified poultry netting for its easy
of construction and ability to hold in the flock.  Our permanent
pastures are on uneven, weedy ground where we’d have to put in a lot of
time mowing the edges and moving brush to keep electric fence from
grounding itself, but if you’re rotating chickens through a mowed,
relatively even pasture, poultry netting might be the way to go. 
Another option is to clip your chickens’ wing feathers to keep them
from flying over the fence, but I think that if your chickens are
trying to escape, you should probably figure out why.

Our chicken waterer is a perfect fit for
pastures.  Make a bucket waterer and you can fill it and forget it
for weeks.

Latest Comments

  1. http://lovesgoodfood.com/jason/ April 10, 2011
  2. anna April 10, 2011

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