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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 8:18 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 6:14 pm
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Hi.

Before I go on, let me reassure you that I do lock up my chooks at night to protect them from foxes!

However, during the day they're allowed to forage in my little orchard. The fence there is only 3 ft (90cm) high, and the Barnevelders and Rhode Islands get over it easily, even though I've clipped both wings to within an inch of their life! They create havoc in my gardens! The Faverolles don't even try to get out, and I wish I had more of these lovely, gentle chickens!

I want to add tie higher stakes to my existing stakes, and run some more wire around the top. I'm guessing this is the easiest and cheapest way, although someone may have a better idea?

I just want to know how high I need to go? I can buy 30cm mesh in rolls, which would bring it up to 1200. Or should I add another 90cm which is more expensive in poles and mesh?

Warm regards to all chook lovers,
Ona


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 8:37 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: lakes entrance, vic
hey comfrey, 6ft should keep 'em out. what i did with mine was drive 4 ft star pickets in about 500 mm, and slid 50mm pvc pipe over them in 6ft lengths, then with button head screws, screwed the mesh on to the pvc. that works well, but depends on your budget. 50mm pvc is about 18 bucks for a 6m length.


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 8:42 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:28 pm
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Location: Nillumbik council (semi-rural outskirts of Melbourne)
if a wing clipped chicken can get over the fence you can bet your bottom dollar that a fox can.

And I can tell you unequivocately that a fox foiled by a fox proof night house will make the effort to come by during the day.

On thursday a fox took all three of my girls from a 4 foot enclosure somewhere between 9am to 11am. I got back at 11 and the fox returned to retrieve one body and when I shouted it off and reclaimed that chicken's torso it returned at least 2 other times to try to find that chicken's body even when I had yelled and ran after it, thrown small logs and stones at it.

We are personally going with pool level fencing.

Cheap may be easy, but believe me it is near impossible to pick up all the feathers that are left blowing in the wind after a fox attack... and you won't just lose one girl... I'll never go easy again. Please learn from my experience.

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Did you say you clipped both wings. You only clip one wing, that unbalances the bird and when it tries to fly will end up doing a funny circle thingy and crash land. Don't clip both wings or it will be able to go straight and balance to jump over the fence. A three foot fence is a bit low. Some loose wire, cheap 2" netting perhaps that the chooks can't actually get a grip on might help. At the end of the day how good our fences are is all about money worst luck.

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:33 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:19 am
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Location: Middleton, SA
I've got 6 foot fences in my enclosure and i lock them up at night in a fox proof house.
Reading Darker's post has me worried as there are weak spots at ground level where a fox could easily dig under the fence. I have top and bottom rails but my girls have dug little dust bathes close to the boundary leaving craters.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:10 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Nillumbik council (semi-rural outskirts of Melbourne)
weegart wrote:
I've got 6 foot fences in my enclosure and i lock them up at night in a fox proof house.
Reading Darker's post has me worried as there are weak spots at ground level where a fox could easily dig under the fence. I have top and bottom rails but my girls have dug little dust bathes close to the boundary leaving craters.




we're also putting in a skirting of aviary wire about 10 cm deep reinforced with rapid set.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:55 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Location: Auckland, NZ
If it's just about keeping the chooks in, the cheapest way is bamboo poles or star pickets, with nylon bird netting. Also light weight and easy to move around.

If it's about keeping predators out - well that's up to you, your budget and what risks you're prepared to take.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:42 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 6:14 pm
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Wow thanks for all the good information. I've never had a fox attack in the years I've been here. I have a German Shepherd who roams the chook's orchard at night - maybe her scent scares them off by day.

I just don't have the funds to fence the whole orchard, which is the chooks day-time foraging, against foxes. It's about 50m x 25m. My night-time hen house is very secure, I think.

The information about the 1 wing is really helpful - silly me! By the sound of it loose floppy fencing at the top is an advantage. Does that also help with foxes?? For floppy fences, I think the idea of the downpipes over the starpickets would work very well!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Golden Brush Turkey
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Location: toodyay, WA
the floppy over the top of the fences makes it very difficult for the foxes to climb over the fence, if not impossible. it does help, but is not guaranteed.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:29 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:00 pm
Posts: 653
Location: NSW
stuffthejoneses wrote:
hey comfrey, 6ft should keep 'em out.
Foxes have been known to take birds over fences that high. A 6' fence will keep the birds in though.

Comfrey, keep an eye out for 2nd hand fencing materials, eg. on ebay.

Yes, your dog probably is helping to keep the foxes away, so keep the dog, or get a Maremma instead.

Tip: after you have the fences improved, let the birds grow all of their wing feathers to full length because it helps them escape predators.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:46 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:31 pm
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We have a girl here that can easily scale a 6ft fence, she flies half way up then uses her legs to climb while flapping at the same time, no garden is safe from her.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:03 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Location: Auckland, NZ
One of my Barred Rock pullets likes to sit high up on things to survey her kingdom. I've seen her sitting on a 6-ft high fence where there was nothing else she could have jumped on first. She must have just flapped her way up there. But so far she has never left the back yard.

So being capable of getting to the top of the fence, and actually going over the fence, seem to be two different things in her little chickeny mind. Maybe one day she will go over the fence. That will be the day she gets a wing clipped!

P.S. None of the other five pullets, including another Barred Rock, have ever been seen on top of the fence.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:46 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
Golden Phoenix

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:39 am
Posts: 10117
Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
My chooks will go extraordinarily high - but they need to see where they're going. A floppy-top 2m chickenwire fence doesn't have an obvious top so they don't try to get to it. Heck, a 1.2m fence can actually keep them contained, as long as they're not startled.

The 2m high dog-pen fencing I use for breeding/quarantine pens, however, has obvious metal piping on the top. At least 12 chooks currently sleep on it at night (outside in sub-zero frost. They're all MAD). They could easily slip over the fence from there but don't. Luckily.


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