Timothy Markus wrote:Not sure how the electric would work, but the fencing should be fine if you don't have predator pressure during the day. I've got 5' horse fence that I like because I can run netting or line on top to deter eagles but I'd also like to rotate my birds, so I've got to sort that out too. I do plan on an electric fence perimeter so I'm more worried about airborn attacks. Eagles will happily take a chicken a day.
William Bronson wrote:I use 4' snow fencing for part of my chicken enclosure, it works great.
Since you are planing on moving them around, you don't have ground predator presure and there are only six of them, I would suggest a simple chicken tractor.
If you build it of pipe or conduit with rough dimensions of 2' H x 4' W x 10' L , you can be very efficient in your use of materials.
Cover the top with snow fencing and close one end in with tarp on the tops and sides.
Put your nesting box, food and water at the other end.
You get protection from winged predators and shade plus it's much easier to move than a set of fencing and a separate coop.
Come winter time, layer crappy blankets and tarps over the coop end of the tractor for insulation.
Lorinne Anderson wrote:"Build it and they will come"... as in add poultry or livestock and the predators WILL find you...
Lorinne Anderson wrote:"Build it and they will come"... as in add poultry or livestock and the predators WILL find you, and avail themselves of your buffet. Unless you take pre-emptive measures to make the meal not worth the effort.
Although there may not currently be high predator pressure, I highly recommend always building for all known predators in your geographical area. Mink, otter, weasel; raccoon, dog, wolf, coyote; bobcat, lynx, cougar, bear; eagle falcon, owl, hawk... I would recommend you assume some or all of these will view your poultry as a meal - better to design for the future rather than redesign AFTER predation.
Metal fencing can be electrified; an existing fence charger can significantly reduce the cost of purchasing electrified poultry mesh. Plastic is ugly, and will not keep out any ground predator - they will climb over tape woven through, but can be used to prevent overhead predation. Old windows, plexiglass, metal roofing are all potentially (depending on installation) climb proof if electrification is not an option. Remember though, electricity only works on foot pads and noses.
Yes, it will cost more initially, to "do it right", but the time, money and heartache saved later on, makes it more than worthwhile. Otherwise all you are doing is containing the poultry, and not safeguarding it from predation.
Caveat: I only hear from folks when predation has already taken place...perhaps most of the time other methods work, but the distress felt by the folks who call is palpable; often referencing the predator as a "murderer", and the desire to "punish" the predator is first and foremost.
I feel it is OUR responsibility to safeguard our poultry and livestock by eliminating predator access, as much as possible. Use of proper fencing (electric or no climb), guardian animals (dogs, geese, guinea's) etc., should be the norm, in my opinion, rather than view predators as "invaders" or "murderers" when they take advantage of unsecured poultry and/or livestock.