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#1 of 15 Old 02-17-2011, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Say you move to a house that has no fencing?  What types of containment are there?  I envision something like movable fencing (I think I've heard of it; doubt I'd make that up but I never know lol!) where the, e.g., goats can graze/forage in a certain area for a couple days then I move them to a new area?  Or do you fence in as much as you can and the animals forage all over the whole area?  Sorry if this is a dumb question!  I've seen big farms (big to me is 30 acres) where there are a number of pastures fenced off.  And I think animals stay in those areas.  But what if I have only 3-5 acres?  Do I just make it one big area?  I think our egg lady lets the hens run all over her property and they somehow come back to roost, I guess?

 

Would love any and all fencing/animal containment thoughts :)  hope this isn't too broad, also.  I'm just dreaming of moving to a place and having animals, and many places have no fencing, or it seems mostly decorative, and wondered, "wait, I don't think the goats would just hang around our house or a barn, lol!!!"


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#2 of 15 Old 02-18-2011, 08:36 AM
 
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You definitely need fencing for goats. The type depends on the personality of your goats. Mine stay put with 4 foot wire fence with a strand of electric a foot from the top. The snow is 3 feet up the fence and they still have not jumped it.

Wire and posts is the permanent solution. Electric and t-posts (I think that's what they're called) are the temp solution. You just move the posts around.

We only have four acres but we've been fencing off smaller paddocks. It's better for the ground to rotate the animals. But if you only plan to have a few animals for personal use then you can get away with just doing one big section.

Goats need a fence because they can be destructive and curious. Chickens need one to keep predators from killing them all.
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#3 of 15 Old 02-20-2011, 05:54 AM
 
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I think fencing off a few spots is good.We just have an acre that is fenced,and then I fenced off an area for my chickens.When I want to I let them out to roam the yard. I am fencing off an area for my dogs too,because they poop everywhere.Again,will let them roam when I want too.

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#4 of 15 Old 02-20-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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Our goats used to get out of the fence and they will destroy fruit trees etc.. We also have a 4 foot page wire fence with a strand of electric up top. This works well. They are in one fenced area off their barn but we are looking at moving them. Our corner posts are wood and the others are metal t posts so can be moved. It is a fair amount of work to move a big fence.. Our chickens have a fenced area but spend lots of time free ranging..


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#5 of 15 Old 02-20-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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Both of my near neighbors with chickens don't have any fences for their chickens/turkeys/ducks and they all stay in their yards. They do have a coop area they CAN confine them to, but during the day they both let them out over their 2.5/5 acre properties to forage and they come back at night. Neither has lost any and both also live right on the road! 25 mph dirt road, but fairly busy.


Goats, definitely fence! They are too curious and social to be left unfenced. They will wander off in search of something new and entertaining (and tasty!).

 

We created an area for our chickens in just an afternoon with chicken wire fencing and the 'T' posts with a post pounder (lots of arm/chest work! Have helpers!!).  Then I have another 1.5 acres in a 6-8 ft deer fence as we have a huge deer population here, so it's more to keep them OUT of my stuff than keep things in at this poing. But we plan on getting pigs this summer, so we'll have to put in another pen area for them as well.  Our back/side pasture of 4 acres is the ribbon/post electric fencing for a horse that can be moved as needed.


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#6 of 15 Old 02-20-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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Just a note on chicken wire, it'll keep your chickens in but it won't keep predators out. Some places have no problems with predators other can't get a break from them. Here we've see skunks, coyotes, foxes and had a fisher kill our cat. Unleashed dogs are a bad one for chickens as well.
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#7 of 15 Old 02-21-2011, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, all - SO appreciate your ideas and experience.  I'd never heard of "T" posts - just looked at some youtube vids to get a better idea.  I now semi-understand the posts (and how it'd still be hard to move them; don't know why I envisioned it being easy to move a fence, lol!)

 

And for fence posts, it looks like post hole digging or post pounding are the two options, right?

 

kimmom, thanks for saying it's not easy to move a big fence.   I googled page wire fence and didn't get a cohesive idea what that entails, except it uses wire - maybe sections of wire?

 

crunchclark, interesting about your neighbors not fencing their chickens during the day; that's what I see w/ our egg lady.  There's a coop for them at night, though.  I know she's lost some to hawks but a fence wouldn't stop that, obviously.  Strong arms?  Gotta work on that lol!  I saw a "wambam" post pounder on youtube; did you use that?  something like it?

 

OK - chicken wire only keeps chickens IN, not predators OUT.  Good to know.  Is it just not very strong?  My only experience w/ it has been paper mache lol!

 

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 Wire and posts is the permanent solution. Electric and t-posts (I think that's what they're called) are the temp solution. You just move the posts around.

limette - you also use regular (non electric) w/ T posts, right?  As a temp solution, do you mean T posts and e-wire only, or e-wire in addition to other wire?

 

so thankful for your input.  Exciting to brainstorm.  We're still quite a ways from a practical application of this info but I really like learning and think it will help me feel better when/if we have a chance!!!


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#8 of 15 Old 02-21-2011, 09:35 PM
 
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Limette, what do use then?  I suppose there is hardware cloth? The chicken wire I have is small like 1" holes so I can't imagine anything getting in through that!  Myself and my neighbors haven't had any trouble w/ predators (daytime) and there are tons around here--I've seen coyotes (more a problem for cats here than anything!), bobcats, raccoons, skunks, dogs, hawks, golden eagles, etc. We even have bald eagles that nest at the back our property on the rims as we're across from a river. We all let ours free range or run and then close up in a secure coop at night and then let them out again in the am. Mine are great about racing back in when they see anything flying above them....even a robin LOL  I'm sure we'll eventually lose some to hawks/eagles though. The one neighbor further from us who lost her chickens was due to a raccoon getting in at night to the coop through a broken panel.

 

And actually you can make a coop with a 'top' on it if you have problems with hawks/eagles. And also if you make it very secure, you can leave your coop open and let them into the runs and not have to close them up. This is great if you want to be gone overnight and not have someone coming over to close them in. Lots of neighbors w/ chickens, so we all just take turns if someone is out of town--water/feed/open/close them up for each other.

 

And yup....pretty much like the wambam. Mine was made by some old farmer at some time in the past welded from drillstem and other assorted parts, but same idea! Kids (14 and 11) helped and we can get them done, but man it's tiring! Especially the tall 8' poles for the 6' fencing!

 

We have some 'moveable' stuff here. It's sort of relative. We have the posts in and then we can move the wire to different configurations to move things around, but the posts stay put and we use some our permanent fencing and/or buildings to tie into to use less wire. Same thing I use around my garden to keep things out. The posts are up, but I don't put the wire around until after my plants start coming up otherwise I have to mess around with it whenever I want to go into the garden.


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#9 of 15 Old 02-22-2011, 06:41 AM
 
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We use the wire fence with wood posts. I'm not sure what the wire is called, it's either welded or woven. Basically farm fence that we buy from the feed store. Comes in 330 ft rolls ( you can get smaller rolls from Home Depot). As we put more paddocks in I'm going to put a line of electric around the entire perimeter. You can use hardware cloth but it's not cheap and it's would be better used for a run. If you want moveable electric then you would use t-posts.

Chicken wire is very fragile. My rabbits can chew through it easily as can any predator.

Personally I wouldn't risk my chickens even if there has been no predator problems in the past. Where I am, traditionally everyone free ranges their chickens but this year a lot of flocks were lost to coyotes. You just never know.
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#10 of 15 Old 02-23-2011, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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limette - or anyone - what's a paddock vs. a run?

 

thanks for the info, too :)  I'm learning a lot!


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#11 of 15 Old 02-23-2011, 09:38 PM
 
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Hmm, well that must be what I'm using then. This isn't fragile, and we purchased it from Home Depot in a huge roll. It's got little 1"ish squares. I always just thought it was called chicken wire!

 

Well, to me, a run is usually an enclosed area attached to the chicken coop that is entirely secure. Where a paddock is fenced area. Many times there are multiple 'paddocks' in a row that you could change the size/shape of them based on your needs. But....since I had a different defintion of chicken wire, someone else might want to answer too LOL


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#12 of 15 Old 02-24-2011, 04:03 AM
 
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Chicken wire;

500

Welded wire, farm fence;

500

Hardware cloth;

500

Like mentioned, a run is a fully enclosed area, usually small. A paddock is a larger fenced in area, no fenced ceiling. You would have more than one paddock and rotate your animals through them periodically as the grass gets munched down.
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#13 of 15 Old 02-24-2011, 08:57 AM
 
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Our chickens free range, and return to the coop at night.  The issue with chicken wire, here, is predators that dig under it.  You have to bury the wire fencing.  Our coop has buried wire so predators can't dig up into the coop.  They do try, though.

 

I would advise a lot of research into fencing.  It's a huge issue with animals-not only keeping them in, but keeping others out.  I think you may have been referring to rotational grazing in your OP, which is what we have practiced, and tends to woke well with small acreages.  You'll  need to know your soil as well.  I highly advise the Storey's guides to animal care.  They are very comprehensive, and interesting reads.

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#14 of 15 Old 02-25-2011, 11:23 AM
 
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our chickens get out of the pasture fence and dance around the yard.. it's just regular fence wire (page wire some people call it i think) but it keeps the goats and cows contained.  we had to actually use chicken wire not to fence chickens in, but to fence our garden off from their evil deeds. 

it does depend on the size of your pasture.  you see people cross fence because it allows the grass to grow.  you only want what your grass can support and supplement with hay in the winter if you need to.  with cross fencing, you put the animals in one area to let the other parts rest and then let them onto the new growth and repeat. 

for our chickens, they have a safe coop to get into at night, we close them in, and use those blinking nightguard lights.  we also have pseudo protective (ie barky) dogs.  i agree with pp's about chicken wire not protecting your flock.  the hardware cloth is what most people use to fence the chicks (we don't) but if you let them be pastured (which makes the eggs a billion times better and more nutritious imo) you can still have a run with a coop inside to shut them up inside. 

most how-to books (we like the storey's guides) will tell you explicitly about fencing requirements for each type of animal.  like other folks said, goats are supposed to be pretty awful re: containment.  ours haven't been a problem thus far b/c we have only what the pasture can support and there's lots for them to browse and we give them hay till the grass is nice.


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#15 of 15 Old 03-05-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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Well.... our chickens are totally free-range.  There are no fences keeping them in.  They go wherever they want, and that is almost always right around the coop. 

 

When we got our goats, the fence around our goat yard wasn't finished yet.  For the whole summer, the goats were tethered - they had a 12-foot rope attached to a collar, and we moved them about the property as they ate down the grass and weeds.  They were perfectly content with the setup and actually cleared lots of the space we wanted for gardening!  We're really lax about containing animals around here, as I like to give as much freedom as possible and believe that the animals who live here deserve freedom of movement just as much as I do.


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