I had an existing 48' by 24' run with 4 fruittrees with my 10 hens, I bought some more chicks and intend to build a portable setting to let them have more access to green grass.
I intend to build 4 5' by 10' PVC panel with poultry netting, and move the fence maybe twice a week. Does anyone with exeprience of PVC frame portable fence? My main concern is to keep the chicken in, I have not experienced any predator problem since I started chicken 1 year ago.
everything I ever made of pvc has now been replaced by metal or wood, and I've dried to make everything with pvc. pvc is my #1 garden steak/garden bedrebar, but other than for stabbing into the ground everything I've made has gone brittle and smashed over time. I'm not knocking them as fence panels but I don't think I understand how they become panels. I have portable fencing but it's the construction site metal fence panels, pvc steak's longer than 18 inches tend to curve and then freeze curved if your weaving them through regular fence. I much preferred using my old electric fence steaks with netting to make a fence because the net can come off the interval hooks on the steak if things get narly. Ultimately Im not understanding why you wouldn't go electronet if your only worry is keeping chickens in. It's the same net and steaks I use but electrified and built not to tangle. I have the net fencing bridging area's that are too sloped for panels, 150 feet for 150 bux ain't bad and you can make up new paddocks as fast as you can walk. I don't need anymore perimeter electric some fake electronet makes for great movable fencing without the standard fence pain.
The only way I've found pvc to be reliable is to fill it with sand, and that's a massive pain and makes the poles heavy but no stronger.
Use metal electrical conduit instead. It lasts much longer. Just make sure it can't hold water if you have freezing conditions.
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Aren't electric poultry fences used primarily to kept predators away from the chickens, and secondarily to kept the chickens themselves in? My biggest concern is to control my chicken's movements throughout the pasture. I need a fencing that can be easily moved, and is flexible around various bushes and trees that are in my pasture. I have 25 chickens and will build a movable coop that will be inside the netting.
If you have no predator concerns and just want to contain the chickens, why not buy some plastic deer fence, cut it down to size, staple it to some wood stakes and use that?
The breed of chickens you choose makes a big difference. Some are much more likely to escape than others. We always had good luck with the heavy breeds like welsummers, orpingtons, and cochins. They were good forages but tended to be lazy about expanding their territory. Rhode Island Reds were the worst at escaping and bothering the neighbors, and small light birds like bantams or some of the egg layers will fly almost as readily as a native bird.
One thing you DO NOT want is a solid rail at the top because if they can make it up to that they'll quickly get out. I used a 3' high chicken wire fence around my garden and it kept the chickens out until I built a gate. Then they would hop to the top of the gate then down into the garden to dig up whatever they didn't want to eat.
Our birds were as likely to push under a gap in the fence as to try to go over it. Many times we clipped the wings of an escaping bird only to find it still escaping - it was going under.
The step-in posts they use for electric netting are cheap and really easy to put in and remove. Even if you aren't going to use electric netting they are the next best thing to cutting your own (free) stakes from nearby trees.
Thanks everybody for your kind suggestion, I will try to use 1/2" metal conduit to make four panels each 5' by 10' to give a try. I also considered electrical fence from premier 1, but it seems to cost $350 for the system.
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