Easy Dog Or Fox Proof Fencing (poor Man's Method)

General Information

Here is an alternate way to dog or fox proof a chicken pen without the need to use concrete or dig fencing underground.

The video explains the outline of why I decided to use this method over traditional ways and basically how I managed to do it and the materials used.

Happy to discuss this further (just go to the discussion) and also answer any questions people may have about this dog/fox proofing chicken pen project.

Specifications (if any)

I built my chicken pen into the surroundings to create a comfortable environment for the birds and also give the effect of the pen blending into the natural landscape.

However, as good as this turned out the glaring problem I was faced with was how do I keep dogs and foxes out of the pen when it is almost impossible to dig the fence under through all the huge tree roots? For a long time I simply pinned the fencing to the ground with stakes but after losing 6 chickens in one hit from a neighbours dog attack which got under the wire, I decided I needed to improve my pens security dramatically.

This is when I came up with the idea of placing a wire skirt around the pen (instead of digging in) and since I have implemented this plan my poultry have been safe and free from attack.

Essentially, the wire skirt prevents a dog or fox from getting into the pen due to several reasons:
  • since the mesh is raised up the sides of the chicken wire fence (at least a foot or two) it reinforces the existing wire making it chew through proof.
  • The skirt protrudes out from the bottom of the fence base about 500mm at least and is pinned to the ground by logs/debris and this deters any dog/fox from trying to dig its way under simply due to the distance.
  • Once the skirt has been in place for several months grass and vegetation grows through the wire and makes it difficult for a do or fox to determine where to start digging. If they try to dig under the fence instinctively where it meets the ground it hits wire and gives up.


Other points:
  • A good wire (heavy gauge and galvanised) needs to be used to prevent it from rusting through. Even so, it is expected the wire will eventually rust and need replacing but this should not be required for many years or possibly even a decade or more.
  • The dog proof fencing wire can be attached to the existing chicken wire by using plastic zip ties which are not only cheap but are very fast and easy to use. Ensure the zip ties are UV treated for outdoor use.
  • I acknowledge this isn't the neatest looking way to dog proof a chicken pen and if I had a symmetrical pen with hardly any trees in easy to dig soil my preferred method would be more conventional ie digging in the wire under the ground.
To talk more about this go to the "discussion tab" and ask questions or discuss this further. :)

Latest reviews

Pros: Easy to install and effective compared to some other methods.
Cons: As my chook pen is situated in a sheltered corner of my backyard, I therefore would not have access to the exterior of my chook pen boundary on two sides as that would encroach on my neighbours yards!
As I was re-using garden rocks/edging and my chook pen was about 6m x 3m squared, I chose to concrete in my rocks under my colourbond fenceline which was the boundary on two sides of my chook pen. I wanted to be sure that no dog would be able to dig beneath this fence to reach my 3 girls. BUT, if I had a chook pen with wire all around, this dog/fox proof fencing to prevent entry via digging is perfect. And perfectly easy to construct :)
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I used a similar method and clipped the wire together using cheap fence c clips. Works great. I have seen a fox climb 6 ft of chicken wire once only. But he was getting out of my old goose yard after going in an open gate. ( I was letting them range and not watching very well) I closed the gate and was intent on bloody murder of the critter as it had killed 2 beautiful geese. It must have read my mind as it went up and over in a flash. Having said that I have not yet lost a chook when the wire was hire and laid on the ground around.

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