Coyotes. Dogs. Bobcats. Skunks. Opossums. Raccoons. Weasels. Snakes. With all the predators trying to get at chickens and eggs, it’s a wonder we ever get to eat an omelet. And if these critters are after your backyard chickens, you’re probably getting pretty mad.
Fortunately, the right fencing can keep your flock safe.
Chicken Wire is Overrated
You might be reading this and thinking well, duh, chicken wire is the obvious solution. After all, it’s called chicken wire. This galvanized wire generally comes with 1” or 2” hexagonal holes. While chicken wire is good at keeping chickens in, it’s not so useful for keeping predators out. If you’re protecting an azalea bush from Amelia Egghart, great. But foxes, dogs, and raccoons can easily breach your chicken wire fortress. Baby chicks may also squeeze out of the enclosure and never return. The plastic material called poultry netting is even flimsier than chicken wire.
Welded wire is a better choice
Welded wire, also called hardware cloth, is much tougher than chicken wire. It’s also more expensive. But you love your chickens, right? Or at least the eggs they produce. You can get welded wire with ½ inch, 1” or ½ by 1” openings. It’s hard to cut and doesn’t bend easily but will keep everything, from a coyote to a snake, out of your coop.
Chain link is inexpensive and effective for chicken runs. Add smaller gauge wire to the bottom three feet of the chain link, and you’ll ban little predators, such as mice, weasels, and snakes. If you live in mountain lion territory, chain link will keep Princess Lay-a safe.
What, you have bears in your yard?! You can construct a double coop, with welded wire on the inside, then an electric fence a foot or so outside. Bear, beware.
Chicken law 101
Before you invest your time, energy, and money into constructing the perfect coop or run, check your local laws. As backyard chickens have become more popular, more municipalities allow them. However, not all do, and even chicken-embracing communities have restrictions. Recently, Texas Senate Bill 1620 (still undecided) proposed to prohibit cities from banning backyard chickens, allowing people to keep up to six – but no roosters. The bill also stipulated that cities could require chicken coops to be a certain minimum distance from a residential structure. This is another important point to research before building.
Buzz is pro-chicken
As a pro-chicken company, we’re happy to help customers with all their fence-building needs. If you have questions about fencing your flock, give us a call.