Tips on Choosing and Erecting Poultry Fencing
You don’t need to raise chickens or ducks to find a use for poultry fencing. While it is a great option for these as well as other small creatures like rabbits and sheep, there are many other ways to use poultry fencing around the home.
Types of fencing
The purpose of fencing is to establish boundaries. Those lines may be simply to set out a flower bed, a yard or to restrict the movement of domestic and farm animals. A variety of fencing is available, designed to accommodate a number of different needs.
- Traditional “chicken wire” is made of flexible wire fashioned in a series of hexagon loops that can range in size between ½ inch gaps up to 2 inch gaps. The advantages of standard fencing are numerous; it is relatively inexpensive, multi functional and easy to erect and maintain. An alternative to the standard welded wire is galvanized fence, which provides a longer life and more strength. The drawback to standard chicken wire is in its unattractive appearance.
- Vinyl coated fencing is generally black or green in color; designed to more cohesively blend with natural surroundings. Those who wish a more attractive and less intrusive appearance to their fencing will find that this galvanized chicken wire that has been coated in PVC yields greater strength while retaining its flexibility of use. Vinyl coated fencing is used in the same applications as standard chicken wire.
- Plastic fencing, while not as effective at keeping unwanted threats out of the confined area, has great uses in other areas. It is especially effective when used as a snow fence along driveways or yard boundaries to keep snow from drifting. It is still a good choice as containment for small fowl such as chickens and ducks. Advantages are in its easy cutting and shaping as well as its non corrosive nature.
Electric fencing is also available in chicken wire styling. This choice is especially helpful when predators or pests are an issue; keeping out rodents, fox, raccoons, deer and other wildlife from attacking your livestock or garden areas. Added benefits of electric fencing is that it can be used as temporary containment; able to be moved around as grazing areas change and stored through winter months when not in use. Disadvantages lie in a higher cost.
Erecting poultry fencing
Once you have chosen the type of chicken wire that is best for a particular application, it is time to erect the fence. You will need to determine how much fencing will be needed to complete the project. Other tools needed to install standard chicken wire fencing are a measuring tape, fencing stakes, sledge and regular hammer and a straight slot screw driver. Measure out the diameter for placing the fencing stakes and mark each. Using the sledge hammer, drive the stakes into the ground at the marked areas. Open the metal tabs on the stakes with the screwdriver. Attach the end of the chicken wire to the stake hooks, positioning the fencing so that touches the ground. The bottom edge can also be partially buried, if desired. Close the tabs using the regular hammer. Continue to the next stake until the fencing is complete.
Electric fencing is a little more intricate to erect, as voltage must also be included. Be sure that you are well familiar with this process before beginning, or hire someone knowledgeable to erect. Plastic fencing is much easier to install, as simple wooden stakes or plastic stakes are used as stabilizers.
Poultry fencing can be a useful tool for any homestead, whether it is used for establishing property boundaries, confining small domestic or farm animals or to guard garden areas from wildlife.
Besides keeping your own animals safely in a confined area, an additional use for poultry fencing is to keep unwanted critters out of your yard.