Backyard chickens spark controversy around the U.S. On the plus side if they’re your own chickens you know exactly what they’re eating and how they’re treated. On the minus side, neighbors might freak out about disease and hygiene. And heaven forbid you accidentally get a rooster instead of a hen and he wakes up the whole neighborhood.
Here in our great state of Texas, since passing in 2017 Senate Bill 1620 has allowed all Texans to keep up to six hens. Individual municipalities can dictate further restrictions, such as prohibitions on breeding, keeping roosters, and the minimum distance between a chicken coop and any other structure.
So, if you fall into the pro-chicken camp, you’ll need to know how to best house your feathered, egg-laying friends. Let’s look at a few materials for coop building.
Chicken Wire is not the best material
It’s called chicken wire, so we can assume this is the best material, right? Well, no. This galvanized wire generally comes in 1” or 2” hexagonal holes. Chicken wire keeps chickens in, but it’s not as good at keeping predators out. Dogs, foxes, and especially raccoons have been known to chew their way through — and eat the inhabitants. Baby chicks are also in danger of squeezing through the wire and getting lost or eaten in the wide outside world.
Also known as hardware cloth, welded wire is much tougher than chicken wire. It’s also more expensive. But your feathered babies will be much safer. Welded wire comes in ½ inch, 1” or ½ by 1” openings. It’s stiff and hard to cut but does the job.
Are you really serious about chicken safety? Do you worry about chicken nappers or alien invasions of the coop? Consider constructing a double coop, with welded wire on the inside, then an extra perimeter of the electric fence a foot or so outside. Enough charge will shoot marauding aliens straight back to outer space where they belong.
Chain link is not the prettiest material, but it’s especially effective if you live in mountain lion country. Small gauge wire will also keep your chickens safe from wee predators, such as weasels, mice, and snakes.
Research your local laws
Before you spend a lot of time, money and energy on your chicken project, double check your local law. Especially if an HOA governs your property—they usually have more laws than the state. And maybe the universe.
Buzz can help
As a pro-chicken company, we’re happy to help design and build your dream coop. Give us a call and we’ll answer all your chicken fencing questions.