When choosing a material for your poultry fence, there are several factors to consider. What kind of predators are in your area? What is the intended use of the fence? Depending on these factors and more, some fencing materials will be better suited than others. Here are the most common poultry fence materials, and their best applications.
Chicken wire is typically made of galvanized wire with 1" or 2" hexagonal holes. While this is a cost-effective solution, there are some drawbacks. Chicken wire is not an effective means of keeping predators out. As a flexible material, animals like foxes, raccoons and even cats can rip through chicken wire quite easily. It’s also not ideal for fences that will be housing chickens day and night. Chicken wire is best suited for aerial protection against birds, separating the run if there is conflict, or when introducing new members to the flock.
Although similar to chicken wire, poultry netting’s primary difference is that it’s made of plastic. It is also less protective than chicken wire, thus it would certainly not be able to keep out predators. Poultry netting is inexpensive and easy to work with, but its best use in poultry fencing is as an aerial covering. Poultry netting is more often used in gardens to protect plants and help maintain the shape of new growth.
Welded wire comes in a variety of sizes, but ½” and 1” are the most common sizes for poultry fencing. This is a safe option for the chickens as it will keep out small to medium sized predators. Its downfall is tedious installation. It can be time consuming to cut the wire, especially ½” and ¼” varieties. Welded wire is rather rigid, so it holds its shape well. It can be used for coop vents as well as lower and upper parts of the run.
This material can be re-purposed for poultry fencing, as some may have it lying around from previous fencing projects. Chain link is a particularly effective option for those who have large predators such as coyotes or bob cats in their area. The bottom portion of chain link fences can also be wrapped with small gauge wire to keep out smaller predators like snakes and weasels. It is rather difficult to adjust the size of chain link fencing, so they are best used for daytime runs only.
There are ways to enhance the protection of poultry fencing, especially for runs that are used at night. Solar predator lights can be helpful around the run and in gardens because they come on at dusk and blink until dawn. This will deter predators from coming near the fence overnight. Regardless of the chosen fencing material, poultry fences should be installed with at least 8 inches resting beneath the surface, and angled outwards to prevent digging predators from making their way inside.
There are many materials to choose from when building a poultry fence, so consider how the fence will be used and environmental factors in your area before making a decision. Once the material has been selected, the next step is installing the fence. Gas fence staplers are often used because they are efficient and provide a superior holding power when compared to manual installation. They are also quite versatile as they can be used to secure poultry fencing and mesh barriers as well as larger fences such as cattle and hog fencing. FASCO America® offers the F70G Fencing Stapler, for example. The F70G is a gas-powered, cordless stapler designed to countersink 45mm staples into pressure treated lumber, ideal for wire fence installation out on the farm. Download the brochure below.