How to Keep Chickens and Predators Out of Your Fencing

How to Keep Chickens and Predators Out of Your Fencing

Predators are skilled at finding ways into chicken coops so you should be careful about how you fence your chickens. Proper Chicken Fence is the best way to protect your chickens and anything from them. The type and arrangement of your birds’ homes and the coop you use will determine what type of fencing you need. Other factors such as your geographical location and any predators that may be present in your area will also affect what kind of fencing you choose.

Let’s take a look at fencing from both ends – pardon the pun.

Predators out

It doesn’t need to be stunning if you are buying fencing for predator protection. It must be solid and properly installed. This usually means that you will have to spend some time and do some work, or hire someone. Prices for fences vary a lot. You can get an idea of how much it costs by looking at “Estimated Prices for Livestock Fencing” from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. We’ll be using generalities to discuss costs, such as cheap and expensive, but we will focus on the durability and effectiveness for different fencing types.

Hardware Cloth

Hardware cloth is without a doubt the Lamborghini in poultry fencing. Its price tag proves it. Hardware cloth can be used in and around the chicken coop. Any coop windows should have a 1/2-inch layer of hardware cloth mesh lining them. To secure any gaps larger than 1 inch around the coop, use a hardware cloth. Your chickens should be able to sleep in hardware cloth at night no matter how far they move during the day. Hardware cloth is not fencing. Hardware cloth is not a fencing material. Some chicken keepers, including mine, prefer to use it as an outdoor run mesh. This creates a predator-proof space. The whole run can be locked up every night, so the chickens aren’t required to leave. However, if the birds are allowed to roam outside the run, one or more of these forms of fencing may be recommended.

Electric Net Fencing

Electric fencing is available in many sizes and budgets. This is the best type of fencing for poultry. It’s a portable, electrifiable, prefabricated electric fence. It is very affordable and simple to set up, move, and store. This fencing can be used to deter predators such as coyotes and foxes. However, it won’t stop diurnal weasels (aka weasels) from entering the fence gaps. There are some drawbacks to electric net fencing. It is important to maintain the fence’s perimeter on both sides to prevent the electricity from going out. To prevent predators from jumping over the fence, it must be secured properly. This fence is great for urban farmers and homesteaders who want to create new gardens or rotate areas that are free from predators. Electric fencing is dependent on electricity so power outages can occur. To keep your electric bill down and to have reliable power, it’s a good idea to look into solar-powered fencing options. Although electric fencing is not as attractive as other options, it is very effective.

Chain-Link Fencing

A properly constructed chain-link fence is a good choice for your chicken flock. A chain-link fence can be a great way to protect your birds and keep them safe in close quarters or neighborhoods. Chain-link can be expensive so it should be used as a double-purpose fence, protecting your yard and your chickens.


Wood fencing is an excellent natural option and can look great in a garden. The type of wood fencing that you choose will affect its effectiveness. If there are no gaps between the boards or holes large sufficient to allow predators through, tall privacy fencing can protect dogs, raccoons, and other predators. Wood fencing can be expensive because it requires professional installation. Wood fencing is at least partially decorative and requires regular maintenance. Picket fences and lower wood fencing may not be low enough to keep chickens in check. Wood fences with flat tops encourage birds to climb up and gain access to the side. A variety of wood fencing can be used to keep predators and chickens out of your yard, but it’s best to put it to good use if you already have it.

How to Keep Chickens in the House

It is much easier to keep chickens in a corral than to keep them away from predators. If your birds have a coop that is secure and locked each night, you can likely buy and install fencing in this category. This section will show you that fencing is often fragile and can become brittle, weaken, or rot with time. Most of these options are fairly affordable due to their durability. These materials can also be very low in cost and provide a small barrier between chickens outside and inside. Most chickens are tolerant of any kind of fence, including chicken wire, cheap garden fencing, or hog fencing.

Chicken Wire

Even though the wire mesh is not thick enough to protect against predators, chicken-wire fencing can be used as a way to keep your chickens safe from unwanted areas. It is inexpensive, easy to find, and simple to install. It can also be used to make hoops on garden beds to repel critters and to create a barrier between brooders stuffed with chicks. Farm-supply shops that sell chicken wire will also carry metal posts for bracing. These don’t need hardware or tools. You just hang the mesh onto the small metal hooks and then hammer it into the soil using a rubber mallet. There are many lengths and widths of chicken wire, but I recommend at least 4 feet housing your chickens. The metal post system makes it easy to move and can look rustic in a garden or yard.

Hog Fencing

Hog fencing is another attractive and affordable fencing option. It has large square openings measuring approximately 4 inches in diameter. Small predators such as rats, snakes, mice, and mice, as well as very young birds and chicks, may be able to walk through the fencing. However, it is suitable for keeping adult chickens contained during the day when they are pasturing. Although hog-fencing panels can be more costly than chicken wire or plastic, they are also less easy to move once they have been installed. However, they are great for garden fencing and semi permanent areas. You can use the metal posts to secure hog fencing. However, natural wood posts look great.

Garden Fencing

You can find decorative landscape fencing at your local garden store or home. It comes in many styles, colors, and heights. It is often made of new or recycled plastic, metal, and sometimes plywood, or composite.

Although decorative garden fencing can be very attractive and inexpensive–that is what it was made for!–it is often ineffective. Many styles are too low and chickens will jump over them. Some are taller but offer wide openings that chickens can squeeze through. While decorative fencing might temporarily deter chickens, they will eventually be curious and want to explore what is on the other side.

It is best to use decorative fencing in combination with other types of fencing. The form is more important than function when it comes to chicken safety. Decorated fencing can be a nice addition to an urban or suburban chicken coop. This is why it is important for people who keep chickens in cities.