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Hi all - how secure is stock fencing to keep chickens contained within a 2 acre paddock? Reason for asking is that I'm thinking of moving our girls out of our garden and into an area of our field, and wondered what the best method of containment would be, given that I'd like them to free range as much as possible. The top part of our field backs on to neighbours gardens, and the bottom to a lane, and I'd like to keep them out of both if I can!

 

At the moment the field boundary is set up to contain donkeys and goats, with a top strand of electric wire attached to stock fencing all around the perimeter. Our barn cats need to be able to exit and enter relatively easily, as they currently just pop through the larger holes of the stock fence about 1/3 of the way up. Am just waiting for a quote back from our fencing chap to look at a couple of options for us:

 

1. Popping a short chicken wire 'skirt' (say about 15cm) to the bottom of the stock fence, to keep the girls from going through at eye level but enabling the cats to still get in and out;

 

2. Putting another hot wire down at ground level to deter the hens from approaching the fencing, and still letting kitties etc etc. This would have the added benefit of keep the goats contained if we ever moved them to this bit of the field.

 

What do you think? And are there any other options we could consider? Thanks for your help! :D

 

P.S. Thought about a separate electric netting system to keep them in an area within the field, but a bit worried that the donks will interfere with it ... but that's another option, I guess?

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Chickens walk right through stock fencing as if it wasnt there I am afraid

 

I would go with the electric strand idea if you can, one at a low level and one a few inches above that but maintaining low electric fencing isnt without its problems as you will know

 

I like this stuff http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/221138537893?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&adtype=pla you can cut it in to strips with scissors and cable tie it to the fencing. If using something like this though there is always a risk with the donkeys catching their hooves though

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Standard stock fencing separates our garden from the field behind. Our hens have never ventured into the field, never attempted to leave the garden. In fact when I made a hen safe area in the field and actually put them in it they just huddled up to the fence waiting to be lifted into the garden. :?

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We also have stock fencing around our garden and the only chooks which have ever gone through it are the tiny poland bantams. None of the others have ever gone anywhere near it...but this could be because we now have a lot of hedging and long grass around a lot of the perimeter so its quite hard to see the fencing. I guess it partly depends on what chooks you have, my orps just wouldn't fit through the squares.

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Hmmm - that's interesting. I guess it depends on the type of bird then? I have 2 Cuckoo Marans who, quite frankly, can't be bothered to fit through anything, and just like generally dawdling around if they can actually be stirred to get out of bed. :D I have a separate flock of 6 hybrids comprising a Bluebelle, a Warren, a Light Sussex Hybrid, a Speckledy and 2 Columbines. All much livelier and pretty much into everything - the Warren shot through the large holes in the black Omlet netting at one point, but she was quite a bit smaller then. All the hybrids are quite big girls, but as a I say, into everything.

 

Sounds like the Marans would be the safer bet with the stock fencing, but it's actually the hybrids who could do with room to roam. Dilemma time ... :think:

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