Poultry Netting 101

By Chicken Pets on
Poultry Netting 101

Are you new to raising backyard chickens and want to keep your flock safe and happy? In this blog post, we will explore the ins and outs of poultry netting, and share practical advice on choosing and installing the right type for your flock.

Poultry Netting 101

Poultry netting is a type of fencing designed to protect and contain backyard chickens. It comes in various materials and sizes, serving different purposes such as keeping your flock safe from predators, preventing escape, and maintaining their overall well-being.

Understanding Types of Poultry Netting

There are several types of poultry netting available on the market, made from different materials, each with its unique purpose. Here, we’ll look into common types of netting materials and their advantages.

Chicken Wire

Chicken wire is the most common type of poultry netting. It consists of hexagon-shaped openings in a flexible, lightweight mesh. Made from galvanized steel, it is cost-effective and relatively easy to install. Chicken wire works well in protecting chickens from smaller predators and preventing them from escaping their enclosure.

Hardware Cloth

Hardware cloth is a stronger and more durable option compared to chicken wire. It’s made from woven or welded steel with small, square openings. Hardware cloth is ideal for keeping your flock safe from larger animals like raccoons or foxes, but it tends to be more expensive than chicken wire.

Plastic Poultry Netting

Plastic poultry netting is a lightweight alternative to metal netting. It is easy to handle, install, and has better weather resistance than chicken wire or hardware cloth. While plastic netting provides a secure barrier for chicken enclosures, it may not be as effective against determined predators.

Electric Poultry Netting

Electric poultry netting is designed to provide a harmless shock to predators or chickens that touch it, preventing them from passing through the fence. This type of netting is more expensive but provides a higher level of protection for your flock. It is most suitable for free-range chickens and can be easily moved or adjusted as needed.

Selecting the Right Poultry Netting for Your Needs

To choose the appropriate poultry netting for your backyard flock, consider the factors listed below:

  • Predator Protection: Determine the types of predators common in your area, and choose netting that provides the right level of protection against them.
  • Size of Flock: The number of chickens you have and the space they require will influence the kind of netting you need.
  • Enclosure Size: Consider the dimensions of your chicken enclosure when selecting netting, as some types are better suited for larger or smaller spaces.
  • Budget: Be mindful of your budget and opt for a netting that offers an optimal balance between cost and durability.
  • Durability: Select a durable poultry netting that can withstand weather conditions and the wear and tear from your chickens.

Proper Installation of Poultry Netting

For an effective and secure chicken enclosure, follow these steps to properly install poultry netting:

Step 1: Plan Your Enclosure

Begin by planning the size and layout of your chicken enclosure. It’s crucial to provide enough space for your chickens to roam and access their food, water, and nesting boxes. Also, ensure that your design accounts for the type of netting you have selected.

Step 2: Set Up Posts

Install sturdy posts around the perimeter of your chicken enclosure. These posts will serve as the primary support for your poultry netting. For best results, use pressure-treated wood or metal T-posts, placed at regular intervals of 6-8 feet. Make sure that your posts are level, and sink them deep enough into the ground to provide stability.

Step 3: Attach Netting

Begin attaching your selected poultry netting to the posts. Start at a corner post, and unroll the netting while keeping it taut. For metal netting, use wire clips or heavy-duty staples to secure the netting to the posts. For plastic netting, plastic zip ties or fencing nails are suitable. Be sure to overlap the netting at each post to maintain its integrity.

Step 4: Bury Netting Base

To deter predators from digging under your netting, bury the base of the netting. Dig a trench along the perimeter of your enclosure, about 12 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Place the bottom of your netting into the trench, and fill it back in with soil. This will significantly reduce the chances of predators gaining access to your chickens.

Step 5: Install a Gate or Door

Create an entry point for easy access to your chicken enclosure. Install a gate or door that securely closes and locks. Make sure the door or gate is made from the same material as your poultry netting to maintain a consistent level of protection.

Maintaining Your Poultry Netting

Regular maintenance is essential for extending the life of your netting and keeping your flock safe. Here’s what you can do to keep your poultry netting in top shape:

  • Inspect Regularly: Check for damage, gaps, or signs of wear in your netting. Promptly repair or replace any damaged areas.
  • Clean If Needed: Remove debris, such as leaves or twigs that may weigh down the netting or become entangled. For plastic netting, periodically clean with a mild soap and a soft brush.
  • Monitor for Rust: If you are using metal netting, rust can be a major issue. Treat early signs of rust with a rust-inhibitory spray or replace the affected sections.
  • Check Tension: Ensure your netting remains taut to prevent sagging or escape holes. If needed, tighten the netting or adjust the tension by moving or adding posts.

Additional Tips for a Safe and Happy Flock

While poultry netting plays a valuable role in keeping your backyard flock healthy and secure, it’s not the only thing to consider. Here are additional tips for raising a happy and safe flock:

  • Provide Shelter: Create a comfortable and secure chicken coop, complete with nesting boxes, ventilation, and protection from extreme weather.
  • Ensure Good Nutrition: Offer a well-balanced diet by providing access to quality chicken feed and fresh water. Supplement their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, and occasional treats like mealworms or other approved chicken snacks.
  • Pest Control: Use safe and natural methods to control pests and prevent the spread of parasites or diseases among your flock.
  • Keep Things Clean: Regularly clean your chicken coop, nesting boxes, and enclosure to keep your chickens healthy and happy.

Armed with knowledge and the right resources, you’ll be well-equipped to protect your backyard chickens using the most appropriate poultry netting. With a safe and secure environment, your flock will thrive, providing you with fresh eggs, companionship, and hours of enjoyment.

Alternatives to Poultry Netting

In addition to traditional poultry netting options, there are alternative methods to keep your backyard flock safe and contained. It’s essential to explore these alternatives depending on your specific needs and local regulations.

Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fencing might be more expensive than poultry netting, but it provides a more secure and durable enclosure for your chickens. With chain link fences, you’ll have an excellent barrier against larger predators and minimal risk of rust or degradation.

Wooden Fencing

Wooden fencing can be a visually appealing choice that complements the design of your yard or garden. Wood provides privacy and a natural backdrop, but it may require more maintenance to ensure it remains protected from weather, pests, and rot.

Living Plant Fence

A living fence consists of thickly planted bushes or trees that create a barrier around your chicken enclosure. This eco-friendly option supports local wildlife and helps maintain the natural aesthetic of your property. However, it might not be as effective in stopping predators and may require more work to maintain and establish the fence.

Supplementing Poultry Netting with Other Security Measures

Combining poultry netting with additional security measures will further ensure the safety of your backyard flock. Here are some methods to enhance security:

Install Motion-Activated Lights

Motion-activated lights can deter nocturnal predators, such as raccoons and foxes, by flooding the area with light at the slightest movement. This can help keep your chickens safe and unharmed.

Add a Rooster to Your Flock

Roosters are known for their protective nature and can help alert your hens to potential danger. A rooster might not be able to fight off a determined predator but may provide some benefits when combined with sturdy poultry netting.

Plant Repellents

Some plants, such as lavender, rosemary, and lemongrass, can act as natural pest repellents. Plant these species around the perimeter of your chicken enclosure to deter rodents, insects, and even some predators.

Use Predator Deterrent Scents

Applying predator deterrents, such as those that imitate the scent of a larger predator (like a wolf or coyote), will help to deter smaller predators from attempting to enter your chicken enclosure. Remember to refresh the scent periodically to keep its effectiveness.

As you can see, there are many facets to creating a secure and enjoyable environment for your backyard chickens. With the right combination of poultry netting, alternative fencing, and additional security measures, you’re well on your way to creating a happy and healthy home for your feathered friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions with answers to provide further insight into various aspects of poultry netting and backyard chicken security. This section should help clarify any lingering concerns or uncertainties you may have about keeping your flock safe and happy.

1. Can I use deer fencing for my chicken enclosure?

Deer fencing may work as a temporary solution, but it’s not specifically designed for chickens and may not protect your flock from predators as effectively as poultry netting. Opt for netting intended for poultry whenever possible.

2. How tall should my poultry netting be?

In general, a height of 4 to 6 feet is suitable for most backyard chicken enclosures. However, some breeds may be more prone to flying, in which case a taller fence or netting may be necessary to prevent escape.

3. Can I use recycled or repurposed materials for my poultry netting?

Yes, you can use recycled or repurposed materials for your poultry netting, as long as they’re strong, durable, and offer adequate protection against predators. Be sure to inspect the materials for any weaknesses or signs of wear before using them.

4. How do I know if my poultry netting is too loose or too tight?

Your netting should be taut but not overly tight, as this could lead to sagging or unnecessary strain on the enclosure’s support structure. Regularly inspect your netting and make adjustments as needed to maintain proper tension.

5. Can I install poultry netting myself, or should I hire a professional?

With a basic understanding of tools and construction, most people can install poultry netting themselves. However, if you lack the necessary skills or are unsure about your abilities, consider hiring a professional to ensure the installation is done correctly and securely.

6. How often should I replace my poultry netting?

There is no set timeframe for replacement, as the durability of your netting depends on the material and the specific conditions it’s exposed to. Regularly inspect your netting for wear or damage and replace it when needed.

7. Will my chickens be able to chew through plastic netting?

While chickens do sometimes peck at netting, they are unlikely to chew through plastic netting unless it’s already compromised. To avoid potential issues, it’s essential to monitor your chickens’ behavior and regularly inspect the netting for damage.

8. Can I use poultry netting as a roof for my chicken enclosure?

Yes, you can use poultry netting as a roof for your enclosure, especially if you want to prevent climbing predators from gaining access or stop your chickens from flying out. Just ensure the netting is appropriately secured and strong enough to support any snow or debris that may accumulate on top.

9. What should I do if large predators like coyotes or bears are present in my area?

If large predators are present in your area, electric netting or a combination of electric and regular netting is highly recommended. Also, consider additional security measures, such as motion-activated lights, a secure lock on your coop, and keeping your flock in a fully enclosed area during the night.

10. Is it possible to create a portable chicken enclosure with poultry netting?

Yes, a portable chicken enclosure with poultry netting is possible, often referred to as a “chicken tractor.” These enclosures can be moved around your yard, providing fresh grazing areas for your chickens while keeping them safe from predators. Electric poultry netting is especially suitable for portable enclosures due to its flexibility and ease of movement.

11. How can I make sure my flock gets enough ventilation with poultry netting?

To ensure your flock gets sufficient ventilation, choose a netting with adequate openings and consider the placement of your coop within the enclosure. Ensure that the coop has proper ventilation openings, and don’t overcrowd the enclosure with too many chickens or other structures.

12. How can I keep rats and mice from getting through my poultry netting?

To prevent rodents from entering your enclosure, opt for smaller mesh sizes, such as hardware cloth. Additionally, examine the perimeter of your coop, and fill any gaps or holes that rodents may use as entry points.

13. Can I use poultry netting for other animals besides chickens?

Poultry netting can also be used for other small animals like ducks, guinea fowl, and rabbits. However, ensure that you select the appropriate netting size and material suitable for the specific animal you plan to keep.

Like what you see? Share with a friend.


Popular posts from the hen house.

Egg-cellent job on making it to the footer, welcome to the egg-clusive chicken club! At Chickenpets.com, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs. This means that, at no cost to you, we may earn commissions by linking to products on Amazon.com and other sites. We appreciate your support, as it helps us to continue providing valuable content and resources to our readers.