The Importance of a Sturdy Chicken Run Fence
The decision to raise your own flock of chickens is exciting. You will have some fun, friendly animals to nurture and observe, while also having a supply of fresh eggs to sell, share or add to your favourite recipes. However, chickens can be a lot of work and are also quite vulnerable. Once you commit to keeping chickens, you owe them a secure, healthy home where they can flourish. Therefore, you need to provide a sturdy chicken run fence to keep your feathered friends safe and happy. Here are a few reasons chicken run fences are so important.
What is a Chicken Run?
A chicken run provides a safe, enclosed outdoor space for your flock to roam about and fulfill their natural instinct to peck and bathe. They love to get some sun, forage, scratch about in the dirt and even take dirt baths to keep themselves healthy and clean. While it might seem the coop is a comfortable enough area, this space is meant for sleep and a nesting place to lay eggs. The more chickens you have, the larger the run should be. As well, the more predators in your area, the sturdier the fence needs to be.
Chickens Take Flight
Chickens aren’t soaring birds, but they do have wings and can take flight. While they won’t fly long distances, they can fly up to about 4 feet and then some depending on the breed. Your chicken run fence provides that extra height of protection to keep your chickens safe within their own enclosure should they choose to get airborne.
This is the most important reason you need a sturdy chicken run fence. Although the coop itself offers protection when you enclose the coop in a secure poultry run it adds an additional level of security. Chicken runs are an excellent deterrent for animals of all sizes including coyotes and bobcats that will be attracted to the smells and activity of your flock. A lot of predators are agile and constructive and when hungry will dig, poke, chew, tug, and whatever it takes to get to your chickens. Your sturdy chicken run and fence are usually enough to discourage them or tire them out enough that they will leave.
Attack from Above
In some areas, owls might present a threat from above. Although they are night hunters, they have been known to head out at dusk before your chickens hit the roost. As a result, your chickens are at risk of attack just before they head in for bed. Other birds like hawks can pose a threat during the day. Your chicken run fence provides support for a crisscross of wires running over the outdoor area to help ward off flying predators. And it’s not just birds. Other predators can be a lot craftier than you think. Bobcats, coyotes and raccoons will also be tempted to vault your fence. A sturdy chicken run fence in hand with a welded wire mesh roof provides protection from critters intent on coming up and over the fence.
A lot of critters have small “hands” that can reach in and grab smaller chickens and chicks out in the yard. Raccoons are especially capable of reaching through larger meshed fencing to try to grab at chickens. Although the mesh might be too small to allow a raccoon to successfully pull the chicken from the enclosure, they can do enough damage to kill the chicken just by trying. A chicken run fence therefore should consist of about 1-by-2-inch or smaller welded wire mesh to be safe.
Chickens are very nervous by nature and little things can increase their stress level. When you provide them a comfortable space to roam free, they will feel happier in their surroundings. A chicken run fence allows you to increase their safe area, so they don’t feel confined or crowded by their fellow chickens. Flocks love to spread out, so by providing a sturdy chicken run fence that helps define their space while also keeping them safe to enjoy their own spot of turf helps keep them content.
Protection from Diggers
Creating an apron with your chicken run fence is the final defence against hungry predators. You can either bury your chicken run fence a foot below ground, or bend it outwards to the exterior side of the fence. This makes it difficult for critters to dig.
Your chicken run fence ensures all your bases are covered so your chickens are happy and safe.