Animal Fencing - chain link is a good choice
If you're looking for animal fencing, you're probably looking for something that will keep your small animals inside, and keep hungry predators away from what might appear to them to be "free food."
There are all kinds of options available to choose from. We're all familiar with poultry netting, welded wire, horse fencing and electric fencing, but my favorite is chain link fencing. It's my favorite simply because it works so well at keeping predators out.
If it keeps predators away, then I know it can keep my small animals contained as well.
I'm not big on chicken wire for my poultry. It keeps birds inside just fine, but dogs can chew right through it. The same holds true for welded wire. Horse fencing would be a fine barrier, but it's rather expensive and a bit difficult to work with.
Let me list the advantages and disadvantages of chain link fencing for your animals. I think you'll agree, that it's a fine material to use for so many reasons.
I like chain link as animal fencing because:
- It lasts a lifetime.
- The junk yard usually has it for cheap.
- Fencing companies have scrap rolls that are inexpensive.
- The strength of the material is a match for any predator.
- If you lay it on the ground, it makes a great barrier against burrowing predators.
- The design of the material allows you to weave two pieces together.
- It comes from 4 feet to 8 feet in height.
- Installation hardware is readily available at the home improvement store.
- Electric fencing can be installed on stand-offs to protect against climbing predators.
There are drawbacks to animal fencing made out of chain link fabric. Here are a few:
- The material is heavy, so it's not easy to work with. Plan on using two people.
- Cutting or bending the material takes strength and the right tools.
- The nature of the material can promote snags and tears in you and your clothes, so care in handling is advised.
- Stretching the fencing can be a challenge. Again, use two people and proper tools.
- If you're looking to stop ferrets and other small animals, you'll need to augment the fencing with additional/different material.
For my chickens, I use 6 foot fencing placed onto power poles laid across the ground. I use "T" posts driven into the tops of the poles as uprights between corner and mid-span posts made of power poles. This gives me a very strong foundation, and lots of strength in an end post to pull on.
I buy my animal fencing at the scrap yard as well as a local fencing outfit that sells reclaimed chain link fabric from jobs where they replaced the material. It costs very little for the fencing, and it works well to keep fox and coyotes away from my chickens.
Having an abundance of inexpensive materials allows me to build a rather large pen for the chickens (30 by 90), so they have lots of room to roam. I'll be expanding that pen to include an even larger area where the chickens can enjoy fresh vegetables grown outdoors, green manure used as a cover crop, and the shade of several Siberian Elm trees - all within the protected confines of animal fencing made from chain link fencing fabric.
Done with Animal Fencing, take me back to Small Animals