Securing your birds from predators is a very important point, especially if you are new to raising chickens,or when building or buying a new chicken coop, a mobile chicken coop, or a paddock. In addition, constantly have to protect vegetables in the garden from rabbits, deer and wild birds. There are many types of fencing, and often the wrong choice can lead to sad consequences.
Fine-mesh wire mesh
My grandmother, who had kept chickens all her life, told me that a fine-mesh mesh is an unreliable protection for them. And she was right. A dog, a fox or a raccoon can break such a grid pretty quickly and break through the fence. Another danger is that chicks squeeze through holes.
The fine-mesh mesh is made of galvanized wire and, as a rule, comes with holes in the form of a hexagon measuring 1-2 inches( 2.5–5.0 cm).
Small mesh mesh should never be used on vents or vents, in openings or on windows. In addition, it is not suitable for pens, if you leave chickens there for the whole day when there is no one at home.
The only thing for which the fine-meshed grid is suitable is to cover the walking area in order to protect the chickens from flying predators during the day. She will not stop the raccoon or affection, which can climb the grid or penetrate inside, breaking the wire( at least they will need some time).So, if you are at home during the day and a pen is visible from there, such an obstacle can be used to protect chickens, but only during daylight hours, and birds should be locked up in a chicken coop for the night. And if the hawks are bothering you, a grid with small cells is an affordable material that can cover the pen.
A fine-meshed net is also well suited for dividing the pen into zones( if you are launching new birds into a flock, for example), or for separating the hen and its chickens from the total flock in the hen house.
Grid with small cells - suitable for protecting the garden, vegetable garden from rabbits, deer, cats and chickens. Although chickens can easily overcome obstacles 1.2–1.5 m high, grid instability often keeps them from overcoming obstacles, since birds do not have a stable support at the top from which they can jump down.
Fine-mesh net is perfect for protecting young plants until they get stronger. Meshed “cells” can be quickly and easily installed around them to protect plants from chickens, deer or rabbits.
Pros: is a relatively inexpensive material that is easy to use, easy to cut, flexible, and great for garden fencing.
Cons: is unsuitable for protection against predators, quickly rusting.
Where it is better to use: to shelter young plants, as a fence in the garden, in the garden, to cover the corral from above during the daytime.
Plastic fine-meshed mesh
This material is similar to the previous mesh with small cells, but it is only made of plastic. Cell sizes may vary. Such an inexpensive net can also be used only as a fence around a hen house to protect birds, or around a garden, or a vegetable garden, to protect the crop from wild birds, chickens, rabbits and deer. Being plastic, it is even less suitable for protection against predators than metal fine-meshed mesh. But at the same time, it is lightweight and affordable material that can cover your pen for a day.
Pros: material is relatively inexpensive, easy to cut, easy to use, lightweight, flexible, quite durable.
Cons: is not suitable for protection against predators.
Where it is better to use: as a fence in the garden;for protection of bushes, for shelter of the shelter.
Welded wire mesh with ½ inch( 1.27 cm) mesh size
Welded( or reinforcing) mesh is the most reliable option for protecting your chicken coop and paddock. It will protect chickens from attack not only of such large predators as dogs, coyotes and foxes, but also of smaller dangerous animals, including ferrets, snakes and mice. This mesh is perfect for windows and vents in the hen house. If you want to provide even more reliable security for your chickens, you can use a grid with a cell size of inch( 0.6 cm), but note that it will take a very long time to cut it.
I use a ½-inch mesh on all openings in the chicken coop — windows, windows, aisles, and special fly screens have been installed on the windows of my chicken coop.
I also use such a grid along the bottom of the pen in the form of a 90 cm high fence, which is firmly embedded in the ground. The presence of smaller holes at the bottom of the pen is a good additional protection, since most of the predators try to penetrate the chicken coop in its lower part or dig a passage under the fence. This net will save your chickens and ducks from raccoon attacks, snake infiltration and field mice.
Pros: protects against all predators.
- material is quite expensive;
- takes a long time to cut;
- hard, so it is difficult to bend.
Where it is better to use: windows, air vents, windows;bottom of the pen;to protect the pen from predators at night.
1 inch( 2.54 cm) welded wire mesh with mesh size
I also use a mesh with the same mesh size for an additional security fence along the bottom of the pen - it will not allow predators like raccoon or marten to climb walls. In addition, this material is more affordable and easier to cut than a ½ inch( 1.27 cm) mesh.
Pros: protects against all, even the smallest predators;easier to cut than a ½ inch mesh.
- material is quite expensive;
- has to spend a lot of time cutting;
- is pretty tough, so it bends poorly.
Where better to use: to protect the day pen.
Welded wire mesh with 1/2 x 1 inch( 1.27 x 2.54 cm) mesh size
Another type of welded( reinforcing) mesh. If you manage to find such a material, it will be an excellent choice - it combines the high protective properties of the mesh with ½ inch cells and the ease of cutting the mesh with 1 inch cells.
Pros: reliably protects from predators, it is easier to cut, keeps its shape well.
- material is quite expensive;
- rarely available;
- takes time to cut;
- hard to bend.
Where it is better to use: to protect the pen during the day or night.
Another suitable material for your chicken coop. If you have a corral from a former dog or some kind of fencing from the netting of a chain-link, consider whether it is possible to remake them for a chicken coop. You can provide a more reliable protection against the attacks of predators at a time when you are not at home. To do this, fence should be fenced with a smaller cell size to a height of 60-90 cm. This will save your birds from snakes, mice, ermines and raccoons. The robust netting chain-link is especially suitable for protecting the pen from larger and stronger predators such as coyotes, lynxes, cougars and bears.
Pros: provides protection from the largest predators.
- does not hold small predators;
- hard to reuse or resize.
Where it is better to use: to protect the pen from large predators during the day.
If you are often bothered by large predators, such as bears, cougars or lynxes, you should get an electric fence. An electrified fence is installed around the enclosure fence - this double protection works reliably and provides even more security for your chickens. Electric fencing can be effectively used when free-range chickens during the day or when changing places in which they roam.
Although an electric fence will require significant financial investments and constant health checks, it can provide a relatively large area for safe walking of your chickens.
Pros: reliably protects against large predators and provides a higher level of security.
- expensive equipment;
- repair costs;
- need settings;
- does not protect against feathered predators.
Where it is better to use: on spacious vacant areas;for security around the paddock during the daytime.
Other methods of protection
As an additional protection for your chicken coop, garden or vegetable garden at night, you can use the Nite Guard Solar Predator Lights device. It automatically turns on in the dark and flashes before dawn, which greatly increases the safety level of your chicken coop and territory of walking, including protection from deer and raccoons, which at night can get out of the thickets of corn. In addition to additional measures of protection, a necessary condition is the presence of suitable barriers and constipations at night.
Whatever type of fence you choose, you definitely need to dig it into the ground by at least 20 cm. In addition, it should be installed with a slight slope outwards or in the shape of a letter J. All this is necessary to prevent undermining that predators make. It is also a good idea to add stones, broken glass or ceramics, solid construction debris to ditches when digging in fences.
Fencing is not something to save on, because it is about the safety of your chickens. Choosing quality materials, you can avoid many problems and losses in the future.