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Keeping chickens safe

I have a chicken run with an extension which I have covered for now with 1cm square nylon netting. It keeps them in well enough. The run is inside a 50m electric fenced enclosure in a small orchard.

Currently I close the door to the chicken run at night but not the door to their house inside it, as they come out at first light and there's food and water in the run.

Is this safe?

If the electric fence battery died how likely is it that a fox would go through the nylon netting? Would anything else? (pine marten?)

Should I be shutting the henhouse door every night, either for safety or, later, to keep them a bit warmer (in winter)?

As it happens I accidentally left the fence off yesterday and then found all of the chickens outside it today. I had no idea how this happened at first, but during the day, after I'd shut them in they staged a "Chicken Run" style jail break while I was watching. They flew over it, one after another, so being on or off wasn't relevant.

It's only 80cm high -- I just happened to have it and decided to give it a go. I have now ordered a new fence 1.2m high. I noticed that 1.1m was also an option but opted for the higher one. I read 4ft (1.2m) should be ok. Does that mean 1.1m is really for turkeys? Of course, I am more concerned about their getting back in if they got out when I'm away for any length of time, but if they can't out that won't arise.

(I know I could clip their wings but don't want to mess with them if I could avoid it).

ballygannon
Thursday, September 14th, 2017


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