Friday, June 1

Portable Chicken Fencing

The ladies are loving their new enclosed area - a portable extension to their normal fenced in outdoor area. Fresh grass, bugs and new places to scratch and dig are the main attractions for them. I like it because it is easy to move and I can rotate it frequently to prevent devastation of a certain grassy area.

I call it a win-win. I went without covering this new area and so far none of the ladies have flown the coop for greener pastures. I don't even think they realize there is no netting on the top - they are too busy pecking the ground.

 I attached the pen to the permanent outdoor run by cutting a chicken-sized door in the run, leaving the flap so it can be closed when I want to move the fencing. But it is otherwise open so they have access to their food, water, nest boxes and predator protection.


Since they have been enjoying the fence area so much I purchased a second roll of the fencing - Green Vinyl Welded Wire, 48 in. x 50 ft. - from our local Tractor Supply and doubled the size of their 'free range' area.

The 4 ft. stakes that I use to anchor the fencing are easy to remove and hammer back in a different location. It takes me about 15 minutes to move the entire fenced area to a new section of grass, and the extended length allows for more possibilities as far as locations. I just always have to leave enough to reach back to the little door.

I think this will be very beneficial for the ladies - I am already seeing a slight increase in the number of eggs I am getting per day. And instances of pecking at each other and the eggs in the nest boxes is down significantly. And when I introduce the new girls to the flock, once they get big enough, there will be more room for ranging.



9 comments:

  1. That's a great fence! Ranging is great for chickens. Will you be moving the pasture every so often?

    Congrats on a great solution!

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    1. Yes, I try to move the fence to a different patch of grass once a week. It is a large area so the ladies don't over-graze it in the course of a week, and the lawn gets fertilizer.

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  2. I'm trying to convince my husband we need to do this for our flock. Between trying to keep them out of the garden, out of the mulch, out of the neighbor's mulch, it's a pain. I feel like I'm constantly poking my head out the door to make they aren't tearing something up they shouldn't. Was the fence very pricey? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Carrie,
      This fence works great for keeping them out of where you don't want them. Just a note though - my ladies don't seem to have any interest in flying out of the pen, which is 4' high. If your ladies like to fly, then you may need a smaller pen with some sort of top.
      I spent about $80 on the fencing and $10 on the wooden stakes.

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  3. Are there any particular kinds of chickens that don't like to fly much? I want to do free-range chickens, and this very affordable and easy-to-move fencing idea appears perfect for my needs except for the flying issue.

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  4. The fencing is working out great and I hope it works for you as well. My chickens are generally non-flyers. They may jump around a bit and 'fly' for a few feet when they are worked up about something but I generally do not have any trouble with them escaping.
    I have a mix of Golden Comets, Rhode Island Reds, and Leghorn mix.
    The best birds to consider when looking for a non-flighty bird are brahmas and jersey giants. The general rule of thumb is the heavier the bird as an adult, the less likely they will be flying and jumping around.

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  5. It's easy to keep your birds from flying by trimming the flight feathers on one of their wings. It is painless for the bird (like a haircut) and the feathers will grow back, so you need to re-trim as needed every now and then. Here is a useful diagram: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-clip-trim-the-wings-of-your-chicken-to-prevent-flight
    I'm sure there are tutorials on youtube as well.

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  6. I love this idea. However, in my area, I would have concern about predators - such as hawks swooping in and grabbing a hen. Any suggestions regarding this or would this not be a concern?

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  7. This system works great as far as giving them a lot of roaming space and ease of moving to new locations. I am sorry to say that I have, after using the system, had a few hawk problems. And, I have a few new hens who like to hop the fence.
    I have still been using the system, but I purchased some inexpensive, light-weight poultry netting in the longest width I could find (about 5 feet). I unroll enough to cover one section of the system, trim it off, secure it to the top of the fencing with clothes pins, and then make another cover and do the same. I end up with the area covered, it is light-weight, and I can easily remove it and reinstall it when I move the fencing. It is a little extra work but I think it is worth it to give the hens fresh grass and bugs.
    Thanks for reading!

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