So in Paul's raising chickens 2.0 at the very end he makes a note about burying fence isn't a smart idea. Two reason why I could see is that it is a lot of work and they could always dig deeper. I am a bit unique (maybe) because I run a community garden and I am not there, in fact, I stop by every 2-3 days. So security is really important because I am not present.
I was wondering why he and other thought this?
To mitigate the two issues I pointed out I thought of using welded wire, laying it flat on the ground flush up against the fence and attaching it with wire every few feet. Then top with dirt, the grass will grow through, holding it in place and you won't see it. This means the an animal would have to figure out to back off 3 feet and then dig, which is a long way. For the vertical fence you can use the welded wire that is finer mesh at the bottom to keep out weasels etc. I think adding Paul's suggestion of an electric fence is a good one to prevent climbing (anyone recommend a solar powered one with a punch?). Shrubs and trees to ward off hawks.
Rust! It will rust. Or rot. Do not depend on it. It builds a false sense of security. And the place it rusts the fastest is right at the soil line - then the predator just pushes on it and walks in - no problem.
If a person wanted something like this, a better approach would be to build the fence so that it just touches the ground and then pile rocks next to it. It still sucks, but it sucks less.
Raccoons can tear through regular chicken wire. However that PVC coated chicken wire might work in the ground according to your original idea.
We have used the trick of a single hot electric wire in front of a metal fence. I believe it works well, especially if animals investigate with their nose. We used apple scent and bottle caps to make the electric wire alluring.
The Premier site has helpful guidelines of how much output energy is appropriate for how much fence. Output energy is measured in Joules. This is the most important number in judging the punch of a solar electric fence.
We were having an unmanageable predator problem with our chickens until we did a buried fence. Yes, it rusts, so that didn't work. Then we did a small trench about two inches wide and filled it with concrete, 18 inches deep all the way around the fence. The pick worked well and was just the right width. That worked, but it was horribly expensive. We have three small paddocks made that way and rotate the chickens in them, and plant the ones they aren't in seasonally with things like corn that the raccoons normally clean out if we don't protect it. Also the crows were eating it. Could not grow corn until we did the covered chicken paddocks, so it gets double duty. That, and the fact it will probably last longer than we will is some consolation as to the expense of building it. We usually don't keep more than a dozen hens, so don't need a lot of space for them, and sometimes they run outside during the day also.
Every day they get the weeds I weed out from the garden, which is more than they can eat, but they turn it into nice compost. I throw in large bags of leaves too, which they also shred for me and turn into compost. I'm trying to find ways to let the animals do the work instead of doing all the work myself.
We were still having a problem with snakes getting in and eating eggs or sometimes chicks just as they were hatching. Saw an article somewhere, perhaps Mother Earth, about using a cut off 3 or 5 gallon bucket and screwing it from the bottom against a post up off the ground, just high enough a snake can't wrap around it, but low enough the chickens can fly up to it. We did ours about two feet off the ground, and put a cut down piece of wood just inside the opening to prevent the hay (and eggs) from falling out. It was rounded on the bottom edges to fit just inside the opening and screwed in to attach it. The bucket actually lies on its side with the bottom snug up against the fence post with two screws to secure it. Works great but we had to drill a couple of holes in the sides for rain water to get out when it blows in.
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ive had very little problem with snakes when ever ive had cats. no cats....i have a few snakes.
i agree burying wire isnt a good idea. wire is very expensive now adays. and putting it into the ground is a death sentence to wire. not to mention the hard manuel labor thats involved in burying wire.
biggest problem with buried wire is if you ever have to pull up the rusty mess. breaks, loaded in bacteria ready to infiltrate the body when you or someone else is cut from it. I have found several buried rusty fence on my property. Forgotten, fallen, purposefully placed, it is a camouflaged hazard in multiple ways.
instead of pouring concrete etc might be to bury pipe. You can use it to store water in while serving the same purpose. If I did the math right, 2" x 18" = 1.875 gallons per foot. 18" x 18"= 16.875 gallons per foot. 3" inner diameter pipe = 0.367 gallons per foot. 6" inner diameter pipe = 1.469 gallons per foot.
You might be able to solve a couple problems at the same time.
Wonder if that bone sauce on logs would stop them.