Keeping chickens in and keeping predators out are two challenges backyard chicken farmers are familiar with. Although we want to give our birds the freedom to roam to their hearts’ content, sometimes this isn’t in their best interest.
Roaming too far can take your chickens far from the safety and comfort of your home. It might also mean chickens ending up inside your thriving vegetable garden.
When you can’t keep chickens where you need them to be or keep predators out, rearing poultry can be quite frustrating.
Thankfully, with the right chicken fence idea, neither of these challenges will be too much to handle. There are simple ideas to keep chickens in and more refined ideas to deter the most determined predators.
We’ve compiled a list of 18 such ideas below and one or more are likely to pique your interest.
1. Easy T-Posts and Chicken Wire Fence
This fence consists of a length of chicken wire that is supported by t-posts or steel fence posts. This fence is not the most robust but is easy to install and effective at keeping chickens out of small gardens.
To put up this fence, all you need to do is to install the t-posts around the area that you want to enclose before wrapping the chicken wire around them. There are tabs on the t-posts that the chicken wire can be easily fastened to without the need for additional fasteners.
One end of the chicken wire is left free, and this is wrapped around a garden stake to form the fence. No hinges are required since the chicken wire is flexible enough.
2. Plastic Deer Netting Fence
Deer netting isn’t just great for keeping the large herbivores out. They can also be very useful in keeping chickens in.
This type of fencing can make use of t-posts or whatever else is robust enough to serve as a fence post. You can always vary the height depending on how high you need your fence to go.
Just as with the chicken wire, the posts are first put in the ground before the deer netting is attached to it. The netting should be taught to keep it from sagging too much and can be further secured using zip ties.
The advantage of this fencing is that it is light and easy to install and can be used to quickly fence large areas.
The downside is that some types of plastic deer netting will not be able to keep out large predators or even some small ones.
3. Wire-Reinforced Chicken Wire Fence
The wire-reinforced chicken wire fence still makes use of chicken wire. However, this fencing is more robust, looks neater, and will also stand up better to predators.
Wood fence posts are installed before an electric fence wire is strung across the length of the fence at the very top. A second wire is strung across the length of the fence 12 inches below the first and this pattern is repeated to the bottom.
Finally, chicken wire is added to the fence and secured to the wires using zip ties. Staples are further used to secure the chicken wire to the wood posts.
The advantages of this fence are that the result is aesthetically pleasing, and the fence is stronger compared to when only chicken wire is used.
The disadvantages of this fence are that it is more time-consuming to put up and requires precise measuring to obtain the best results.
4. Basic Welded Wire Fence
You will need three things to put up a basic welded wire fence:
- Roll of welded wire
- T-post fence clips
The welded wire fence is an upgrade on the chicken wire in terms of strength because they are made from much thicker wires that are welded together to form a mesh.
Just as with the chicken wire, the t-posts are erected at convenient distances depending on how robust you want the fencing. The welded wire is then unrolled and installed on the t-posts with the aid of fence clips.
Welded wire is a much stiffer material and is unlikely to sag once installed. This also means more determined predators can’t penetrate it.
The downside of welded wire is that because it is heavier and stiffer, it can be harder to work with during installation. Additionally, both smaller chickens and predators can squeeze through the large gaps in the welded wire.
5. DIY Pallet Fence
Pallets can be had for free or cheap and they can also be easily turned into fencing. The number of pallets you’ll need will be determined by how much space you need to be fenced.
All you need to do is stand the pallets upright one against the other and fasten them. You can use nails for a more robust fit.
The space between the boards is large enough for chickens to squeeze through. To prevent this, you can add a chicken wire fence to the inside of the pallets as shown in the video or you can simply nail the wire onto the pallets.
The main advantage of this idea is that you can get a stronger fence than plain chicken wire using a material you can get for free. The installation should also be quick since you don’t have to take the pallets apart.
The disadvantages are you may not have access to free pallets and the aesthetics may not be to your taste.
Also Read: DIY Pallet Chicken Coop Ideas
6. Wood Post Welded Wire Fence
Instead of using t-posts, you can build a fence using the welded wire supported by wooden posts. The treated beams used in the video are one option but some other lumbar will also do the same job.
Unlike the t-posts which can be hammered in, you’ll need to dig holes to install the wood posts. The posts can be held in place by backfilling the soil or you can use concrete instead for better results.
Once the posts are up, you can add the welded wire and fasten it using staples or U-nails. The pros of this kind of fencing are that:
- Depending on where you get your wood posts, they can be much cheaper than t-posts, especially for tall fencing.
- The results are aesthetically pleasing.
- This fencing can be quite strong, especially if the poles are held using concrete.
The main drawback is that putting up this fence will be labor-intensive since it requires digging, measuring, cutting, and nailing.
7. Wood Frame Welded Wire Fence
This may be the most aesthetically pleasing of the welded wire fences because the wire is attached to two wooden posts on either end with a crossbeam separating them at the top.
You’ll start by digging the holes for the posts. For lasting results, concrete should be used to hold the posts in place.
The crossbeam at the top is added and bolted in place and the process is repeated until the support for the fence is complete. Finally, the welded wire can be attached using U-nails.
This fence has the advantage of looking great and being robust enough to resist many larger predators.
Flighty chickens may see the crossbeam at the top as an invitation to perch there. It’s also quite time-consuming and expensive to put up a fence of this quality.
8. Improved Pallet Fence
An easy way to make a better pallet fence than the one above is attaching the pallets to something that’s anchored to the ground. That is one of the things this improved pallet fence does.
For this fence, every two pallets are between two posts that are anchored in concrete. Smaller pieces of lumbar are also added in between the two pallets so no two pallets are in contact with each other.
Only one layer of pallets is used but at the top of the pallets, the extra height of the posts and lumbar allows the addition of a secondary barrier. Therefore, you end up with pallets at the bottom of the fence and chicken wire or netting at the top.
You can reduce the space between pallet boards by adding extra boards from other pallets. The idea of this chicken fence is simple, but the execution will require some work.
This pallet fence will certainly be more robust than the first.
9. Snow Fence
Wooden snow fences can also work for certain breeds of chicken. These fences are not very high, and they have relatively wide spaces between slats which can allow smaller chickens or chicks to slip through.
Plastic snow fencing can also be used to contain chicken as shown in the video. These are not the strongest fences and can sag from time to time.
Snow fencing can be a good temporary solution because installing it is a no-brainer. All you need is something to support the fencing and you can attach the fencing to this.
Unfortunately, snow fencing doesn’t look great and may not do a good job of keeping predators out or keeping smaller chickens in.
10. Pro-Level Chicken Wire Fence with Metal Posts
This next-level fence employs the same old chicken wire that you know but attains a professional result. This also means that you’ll need some pro-level skills and equipment.
The technique used is the same as the wire-reinforced chicken wire fence where several lengths of wire are run at several heights between the posts and secured using post clips. The chicken wire is then attached to these wires.
The difference is that strong metal posts are used with the corner posts being especially robust. Metal pickets are used for the other posts, and all these are driven into the ground using machines.
Although this fence uses chicken wire, the result is a fence that is robust enough to withstand more pressure. If you have a commercial operation where you must securely fence a larger piece of land, this may be the solution you need.
11. Chain Link Fence
Chain link fencing can work quite well for chicken and the result is strong and aesthetically pleasing.
Chain link fencing is usually installed using metal posts, but wooden poles can work too. For the metal posts you can dig holes for them or pound them using post drivers.
When done by a professional, special items such as loop caps, tension wires and tension bands are used for the best results.
A chain link fence is quite strong and will deter a lot of predators. It will also prevent large chickens from leaving.
The obvious drawback of the chain link fence is that it is expensive to buy and install compared to many other options. The holes on the chain link are also large enough for smaller chickens to squeeze through.
12. Hardware Cloth Reinforced Fence
As strong as chain link fencing is, some predators may still be able to find a way through. This next fence addresses this using hardware cloth.
The first step is to have a chain link fence up as explained above. The second step is adding hardware cloth all around the base of the fence, ensuring one part is buried to further deter burrowing predators.
The hardware cloth covers the first few feet of the fence that are close to the ground where predators or small chickens are more likely to try and find a way through.
The advantage of this fence is that it pretty much makes the chicken inaccessible to most predators. The drawbacks are the added costs and the amount of work required to install the chain link fence and the hardware cloth on top.
13. Corrugated roofing Fence
Corrugated roofing can also make a surprisingly good fence. One advantage of this fencing is that it also creates a visual barrier that makes it harder for curious chickens to see if there’s anything of interest on the other side.
For the best results, you should use a wooden frame complete with top and bottom sections that the corrugated metal sheets can be nailed to. You’ll also need to add lumbar reinforcements at specific points to further secure the metal sheets.
One challenge with this type of fencing is securing the bottom edge. This can leave space for burrowing animals to dig underneath the fence.
14. Electric Poultry Netting
Electric poultry netting uses tiny electric shocks to keep both chickens and predators away from the fence. With the modern netting, you don’t even need a professional to do the installation.
Electric poultry netting is bought as a kit that is solar-powered. You’ll also need to buy the supports for the netting.
These kits are designed for easy installation. Once you attach the supports to the netting and lay it out along the area you want fenced, you can simply go around and use the spikes on the supports to force them into the ground.
This solar-charged system will have low running costs, but these systems will set you back a few hundred dollars at the start.
15. Movable Chicken Fence
A movable or mobile chicken fence is an excellent idea because many farmers don’t want their chickens in the space spot all the time. By moving the fence from one spot to the next, you can change where your chickens forage, allowing grass to regrow.
There are different ways of achieving a movable chicken fence. Even the electric poultry netting above is designed to be movable.
You can also create a DIY movable chicken fence using a plastic mesh and lightweight poles. Lightweight poles are harder to force into the ground without the risk of breakage, so you’ll need some way of making the holes.
Plastic mesh, as shown in the video is a good choice due to the lower risk of tangling when it’s being moved. The trade-off for portability is that these fences are far from heavy duty and are better for keeping chickens in rather than keeping predators out.
16. Shade Cloth Fencing
If you have some extra shade cloth lying around, this can also work as a temporary fencing material. A key advantage of shade cloth is that it reduces what the chicken can see on the other side, giving them less reason to try and jump the fence.
You can quickly put up a shade cloth fence using some garden stakes as supports. Aesthetically, this is not the most beautiful fence, but it can still do the job of keeping your chickens away from your garden.
17. DIY Tall Fence
Every now and then you may find yourself wishing you had a taller fence. Putting in a taller fence can be a challenge but there is one creative way of extending the one you already have.
This approach works if you have significantly taller corner posts.
The trick is to string a wire between the taller corner posts, supporting it here and there with sticks attached to a few of the shorter posts.
Once the wire is up and well-supported, you can add the chicken wire, using smaller bits of wire or whatever else works to attach the two.
18. Low Fence with Cover
You can use garden stakes and bird netting to create a simple low fence with a cover. This is a good option when you have smaller chickens that are more likely to fly.
This fence is far from robust and may not have great aesthetic appeal but it’s good enough to keep your young birds from flying about and limits aerial predation.
Something for Every Backyard and Every Budget
The good thing about chicken fence ideas is that there is something for every kind of space and every kind of budget.
There are chicken coop fence ideas here that may cost hundreds of dollars and there are those you can put up for next to nothing. There are ideas that work best with wide open spaces and those you can use when your yard space is tight.
Even with cheapest chicken run fence ideas, you can get a much better result when you put in a bit more thought and time into the process. What’s better is that many of the ideas here can be modified depending on your needs and what’s available to you.