Friday, May 7, 2010

Fencing Flying Chickens: Netting

This netting works for all but a few of my chickens.  A couple will fly over it even after clipping one wing (better try clipping both).  Also, when a tear happens, patch it up quick with bailing twine or other string because the chickens will find the hole and remember where it is.  If you can not figure out how they are getting out it's probably a hole that's hard to see.

This bird/deer netting has continued to work out great except for raccoons climbing up trees to get over the fence.  Currently the netting is straight up at its full 7' height. Long cut saplings serve as corner supports and bailing twine is woven through the netting both at the top and bottom to keep the netting tight. Local vines and flowers have interwoven at the bottom and keeps the netting securely on the ground even when my chickens are pacing ferociously to get out. By far this was the cheapest solution and can be easily moved if needed.

My chickens are completely free range except for spring when flora is trying to start. Otherwise when starting plants later such as my oats I cut the 7' in half and fence with the fiberglass posts.  If I fence areas in before the chickens know there is something tasty, they give up trying to get through quicker than if they knew about the delicious snacks that i so carefully placed for them.  With such open area, rarely do they fly over the 3.5' to get in but will push ALL along the bottom, so it is important that it remains tight and secure.


Chickens on the loose can cause disaster. Whether it's your prized lilies or variegated hostas the chickens will not hesitate digging a six inch hole right into the roots to find every morsel of tasty goodness!

So, it was time to enclose my witty little Rhode Island sexlinks.  I searched for ideas on how to create a chicken run and found that netting is the most common. Lowe’s offers two types of netting: deer netting and wildlife netting, both in 7’ x 100’ rolls. At about $13 each I couldn’t go wrong. I bought two deer netting rolls and stood it up with fiberglass posts and surrounding trees.  Some smooth saplings would have worked just as well but I already had the fiberglass. 

I chose an area with about 1/3 grass and 2/3 woodlot.  I didn’t even unfold the 7’ which is folded in thirds. This way the fence only stands about 3’ tall and below the bottom fold the netting lays on the ground.  Little did I know this would work so well!  Because the chickens have to step on the bottom foot of the netting to touch the fence, they can’t get under it. My girls don’t even bother to try and fly over it but push there comb along the bottom of the fence looking for a way to get under!

I recommend this fence.  From just a few feet away you can barely see it because the netting is so fine.  It is tuff enough that it does not fray or stick to their combs and feet, (not to the point of tangling anyway and not if it's tight). So it’s cheap and looks great.

No comments: