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Chicken-Proof fence ~ Moveable...?

 
Jack Shawburn
Posts: 230
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Any one have a Chicken-Proof moveable fence?
Been thinking of this one for some time now.
This for pastured Chickens - moving them around without a Tractor (which I dont like.)
The video of the Pallet fence has got me thinking about this one again.
 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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I got this link I hope may help....

http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/soilmgmt/SusAg_PoultryCages.htm

The plans are on a link at the bottom of the page.
 
Jack Shawburn
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Amedean,
I have seen these, but like Saladin's Tractors more -
since they have roosts and are quite large.
Cleaning off the poop from his will be easier too.
In general I want to have free range chicks and move them around with the fence,
then herd/get them back to their "Palais de Poulet" at night.
Will need a docile breed for this. Silkies may be the pioneer for such an endeavor
 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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I'd recommend "freedom ranger" breed for free ranging.  They have strong scavenging instincts and great tasting meat, but I am not sure about being as docile as the Silkies. 

http://www.jmhatchery.com/hens/freedom-ranger-chicks/prod_5.html

Here is another link for chicken tractors that might inspire you.

http://www.eggcartn.com/

or here

http://www.backyardchickens.com/chicken-coop-tractor.html
 
Belizaire Meaux
Posts: 17
Location: Louisiana
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thanks for the topic...i had this same question. I live in a city area wiht a lot next door and a busy street to one side. It would be nice to let them clean out the weedy areas.
 
Jack Shawburn
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I want them Free-range.
A Tractor for shelter with an added moveable paddock seems taking shape right now.
So they have the tractor as shelter and the paddock to graze/scratch/feed in.
I want to plant trees and other plants spaced apart (mulberry, pigeonpea etc) so that they could utilise them as I move them.
I was thinking of at least 6 different areas. - so the could spend a week in eaxh area.
I could then herd them into the tractor and take them to their coop for the night. - not a perfect situation...
 
Belizaire Meaux
Posts: 17
Location: Louisiana
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go to the backyardchickens forum and there are hundreds of designs.

My brother built an a-frame one with chicken wire on the bottom and a door and a drawbridge type door on the roost that you can pull up from outside the coop.

On the top the side comes off and an egg door opens on one side.

I am wondering how to maybe put together some light metal fence poles, plastic or mesh fench and some hinges on the posts to form a bigger run area around it so they dont get out.
 
            
Posts: 177
Location: California
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They make portable 6' electric poly fences that meet your criteria. Will keep predators out too.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
Posts: 985
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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I was going to suggest the electric net fences, too -- you can get them with solar chargers, so they don't have to be connected to an electrical outlet (although the whole set-up costs a bit -- check out Premier Fencing supplies).  Chickens don't really herd very well, though.  If you want something easy to herd, I'd recommend ducks.  They also don't usually fly much and are easier to contain than chickens -- two or three foot fences work, as opposed to six feet for most chicken breeds.

Do you want to raise the chickens for meat, or for eggs?

Kathleen
 
Jack Shawburn
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Kathleen
I have been thinking about barrier net -its cheaper than Electric
and they make it in green too now - it has some uv resistance.
..like this http://www.boddingtons.us/acatalog/safety-fence-mesh.html
It has big-ish holes so chicks will get through..
the bottom 1ft  may need some added net with smaller holes.
Chicks will get back to the hen in most cases.

I really want to use the tractor for a shelter inside the moveable paddock.
Getting them to and from the paddocks needs some ingenuity though.

Leaving them in the tractor is not acceptable unless it is large enough.

I had a flighty , skittish, mongrel bantam once that refused to go back into the coop.
After removing it, the others calmed down and were more willing to go into their coop.
In summer I just left them to roost in the trees....
but these days they'll disappear one by one plus we need the eggs...
 
Kathleen Sanderson
Posts: 985
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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The only thing is, barrier net won't stop determined predators like raccoons (almost nothing will stop those little buggers); electric will.  As far as containing the poultry, the barrier net will work fine, and if you are sure you don't have serious predators around, go ahead and go with it.

Kathleen
 
Suzie Browning
Posts: 48
Location: Southwestern Ohio
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I am presently using snow fence with the wood slats and wiring it to T fence posts.  It's working pretty dang good for me so far.

It's easy for me to take down, roll up and I can roll it with a push of my foot where I want it (if it's fairly close).

They go back to their coop at night by themselves and I close the door before I go to bed. 

I do not have predator problems, other than the neighbors dogs, but I expect at some point, the coyotes might figure out they are here, it will be interesting to see if it will stop them.  I have had the chickens just a little bit over a year.




 
Jack Shawburn
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Suzie - What type of Chicks are they?
Its great to hear that some will go back by themself.
The lure of feed may help them go back into their coop.
I saw wood and plastic snow fence. Similar to the barrier net.
How do you "work" yours? Is it some distance to the coop?
How large an area do you make the paddock with the snow fence?
 
Suzie Browning
Posts: 48
Location: Southwestern Ohio
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I have Sex Links and Golden Comets (there's only 9 of them). 

My plans were pretty much what you are planning, moving them every week or so.  I placed the coop pretty much in the middle and figured out a gate system to easily switch their area just by opening a different gate, with them always having access to the coop.

Once I realized how much they liked hanging out under the trees, for protection and shade, I had to change my plans, (they had practically no cover at all).  I would have also had to mow those areas because they like shorter grass.  That's when I nixed the idea of electric poultry netting.

They have access to a full acre but I only mow about a quarter acre of it.  They don't go into the tall grassy weedy area and I kind of use it as a way to control where I want them to go. (This actually keeps the neighbors dogs out too.)

The snow fence came about because they were going through the field fence and I put it up simply because the slats were so close together.  I was thrilled it worked so well. 

My vegetable garden is in the middle of their area and is now surrounded by snow fence.  They have yet to fly over it even though I know they can fly that high.  They were flying up to the top of our gate (it's 4' and getting over because it was flat on the top.  I fixed that pretty quick!

I haven't had to move them so I'm not really doing a paddock type thing.  I will be adding 5 pullets in a couple of weeks and then 15 or 20 more in a couple of months.  Even adding this many more, I do not expect to see any issues with that many for the area I have for them presently.  If I do see some wear and tear, I have extra fence and posts ready to fence off different areas.

I think you will find you won't issues with them going home at night once they know where it is.  If there's a straggler, the rooster goes after her and b*tches at her all the way back.  I find that quite comical.

One thing you might want to keep in mind, if you are the one pounding the posts, our soil is soft right now and easy to put them in.  When things are warmer and drier this summer, it won't be so easy and I may have to resort to some "man muscle".  I have also found that it is best to put the posts no more than 5 feet apart as it will want to sag a bit, especially with strong winds.  I also do not pound them in as far as they are supposed to be simply because I want to be able to pull them out myself whenever I want to.

It's not permanent and not ideal for everyone, but it works very well for me right now.  We are talking about moving and I like the idea that I will be able to take it with me instead of spending a fortune on permanent fence that would have to stay here.

 
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