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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reader Question-Fencing

We are having a problem keeping the chickens in the fence and racoons out. What is the best type of fencing, and how high should it be?? I also read we should bury the fence a foot or two. Is that true? Thanks. 

I found this article really helpful. It goes over a couple different fencing options and also suggests burring your fencing at least a foot. 

Readers, please leave a comment if you have any other advice!


Terry Golson said...

I've experienced the horror of a raccoon attack on my chickens. First of all, no matter how good your fencing, always close your chickens up at night - with a latch that a raccoon's clever hands can't open. Raccoons usually attack at night, so this is your best bet. The best fencing is dug 6 to 8 inches down to deter digging predators, but raccoons climb, and it doesn't matter how high your fence is they will scale it (as will fisher cats - and even worse predator.) I have hawk netting above my run, and had a raccoon rip it off. My dog does a good job of keeping predators at bay. You can see my fencing on my webcam. www.hencam.com

David said...

Terry is right raccons are the mischevious devils of night world. If you can keep them out then probably nothing else will be able to get in. However, the rascals can dig, climb, and chew their way into almost anything. I would say that 6 or 8 inches under the ground would be deep enough unless you have burrowing critter trouble then probably a little deeper. Good luck with your endevours to keep the wild critters away from their buffet.

Have a great garden fence day.

Michelle said...

Raccoons attack at night so you want to keep your chickens in an enclosed area overnight. I volunteer at a raptor center where new cages were recently built for the hawks, owls, etc. To keep raccoons (and all predators) out, they used 2 layers of fencing. The inside layer is a heavy guage hardware cloth and the outside layer is sturdy wire fencing that is spaced about 2 inches out from the inside layer. Both layers are buried under the ground and curves out from the enclosure so that it's impossible for an animal to dig under. Hope this helps!

Quinn said...

Where there's a will, there's a way. And they're bold too- we've had them go in when we're out and about the yard at dusk.

I know it's not the p.c. thing to say or do these days, but coons are varmints and it's perfectly fine to take them out. For us, raising hens is more than a hobby with perks- I have a big family to feed and we have no qualms about baiting them with a sack of trash and shooting them. We took out 8 or 9 three years ago, a couple the next, and only one last year. If we hadn't done that, can you imagine the problem we'd have with the offspring of those 8 or 9??!! It would be a losing battle.

It's the least expensive & most effective means of control.

As to keeping the hens IN, you'll have to get a breed that isn't flighty. Or clip their flight feathers. We have delawares & wyandottes that make it all the way up into the barn rafters & lay eggs in the loft.

Dale Johnson said...

We have alot of varmint problems, particularly coons and possums. But when our eletric poultry netting is placed well, with a good charge on it, we don't have any problems at all. This is the solution for Spring, Summer, and Fall. It is also easy to move for intensive grazing. We always mow very closely where we put the fence but with a good charge, it won't short out, even in rain. However, with winter snow the fencing shorts out.

We keep the layers in by clipping the trailing feathers on one wing, the left wing if you are a Republican and the right wing if you are a Democrat.

Two good companies to get electric poultry netting and chargers from are Premier and Kencove:



I agree with others that it is always best to close them up at night.

Shaunika said...

Dale.....HAHAHA about clipping which wing! :)

Dale Johnson said...


I am an indepentdent so I clip half left and half right.