Whoa .... stop panicking folks.
Yesterdays post was all about how we are improving Chicken World and never have I been so inundated with emails telling me my fence is not high enough or people panicking that I am not protecting my chickens enough.
We are improving Chicken World using our experience over the last six years. We have had chickens taken by foxes and know that whatever we do will quite possibly not be enough but we are doing what we can, and things ARE NOT finished yet!
We are disregarding the local talk that would lead any newcomer to believe that 'foxes are not a problem here'. Well perhaps not in the past but until now there have been no chickens on this particular part of the hillside. Once the word gets round in 'Foxville' there very well might be a few chancers and all we can do is make their 'supermarket shopping trip' as unpleasant and as difficult as possible.
From the comments yesterday 'Surely a fox can jump over those fences? They jump over 6ft fences into our garden! Hope your chooks will be safe.'
Yes a fox could jump over this fence as it is at the moment very easily but it's not finished!!
Next to be put into position after the wire, the stock fencing and the chicken wire skirt are the electric tapes. Two lengths of electric tape will be positioned around the perimeter of the 1.2 metre fence, one on the top of the fence which will make it taller and the other on the outside edge sticking a few inches out from the edge of the wood which will make it wider. This will mean that there is a double chance of an electric shock for any predator checking the height of the fence before leaping over.
Also from yesterday's comments -
'extremely interested in your fences. could you tell me what the fencing code is and what made you choose that type... Also about the positioning of your chicken house. was it a design choice that it is on a slope, drainage, run off... etc. If you could do a post on how you have decided where everything is to go,
I am currently on a small holding course and finding it all a little scary. as I am very aware of the high standards of care needed for all animals.
We have used full fence posts at the corners and where the gate will be and half posts in between to make things easier and cheaper. There are two strands of heavy duty wire to strengthen and tension these and then a roll of bog standard stock fencing. Ours is green as it is coated to weatherproof it a bit more but in the past we have just used the galvanised stuff, sorry I have no idea what 'the fencing code' is. We chose that type because it is what we and most farmers use and as we will have lots over it will be used to fence the pig areas in the future.
We positioned the henhouse where we did because that was where we wanted it.
We live on a hill so everything goes down to the road and looks as though it is sloping, and as seen from this photo anything we want to sit on the horizontal has to have a bit of earth dug out so it can sit straight. The henhouse is also sat on the flat after we dug out the ground so it could be, nothing slopes inside it. There should be no 'run off' from a henhouse.
If you are on a course take on board what is said, learn the basics and apply it how you can to where you live, and to what you want to do there. Do not be scared, you will make mistakes, you will learn lots over time and you will not realise until you look back after a few years just how much you have learnt. Before starting out with chickens we did two courses, one aimed at back garden chicken keepers and one with a more medical slant. They were both useful but not essential.
What we know now we had no idea of just six short years ago. It is all a learning curve and all you can do is to do your best. Animals in your care do need high standards of care but if you treat them all as what they are living, breathing members of your farm family you will do great. If you have any specific questions raised by your course that you are unsure of please feel free to email me privately and I will see if I can help.
Today we are still working on Chicken World and the girls are still roaming free and enjoying every moment of their freedom. We have seen no foxes since we moved here, not even dead ones by the side of the road, but we are doing everything we possibly can to protect our girls from any predator that might appear.
And we always have someone on the look out for danger :-)