How to Build a Fence for Chickens: A Step-by-Step Guide

Chickens are popular backyard pets for their amusing antics, ability to provide fresh eggs, and natural talent for pest control. However, in order to keep these feathered friends safe and secure, it’s important to build a sturdy and reliable fence for them. A chicken run is an enclosed area where chickens can roam freely while remaining protected from predators such as foxes and raccoons. Following a step-by-step guide can help simplify the process and ensure that the fence is built with precision and durability. From digging post holes to adding a gate, each stage plays a crucial role in the overall functionality and effectiveness of the chicken fence. So, let's delve into the detailed steps of how to build a fence for chickens and create a secure and happy environment for our plucky companions.

Will Chickens Stay in My Yard Without Fence?

Will chickens stay in my yard without a fence? You cant rely on chickens to stay within invisible boundaries. Chickens have a natural instinct to forage for food and explore their surroundings, which means they’ll easily wander off if not contained. Whether you’ve a large coop or plan to let them roam around the yard, constructing a fence is crucial.

When building a fence for chickens, consider their ability to fly short distances. Chicken breeds vary in terms of their flight capabilities, but most chickens can fly up to a few feet high for short durations. Therefore, the fence should be at least 6 feet tall to prevent them from easily flying over it. A sturdy fence will also deter predators from easily gaining access to your flock.

To keep your chickens safe and contained, make sure that the fence is also buried at least 6 inches into the ground. This will prevent chickens from digging underneath or predators from tunneling and entering the enclosure. Choose fencing materials that are sturdy and can withstand the weather conditions in your area. Chicken wire or welded wire mesh are common choices, but make sure the gaps are small enough to prevent predators from reaching through.

How to Reinforce the Bottom of the Fence to Prevent Chickens From Squeezing Through or Predators From Digging Under

  • Install a hardware cloth or wire mesh at the bottom of the fence.
  • Bury the bottom of the fence at least 1 foot deep in the ground.
  • Use concrete footing or rocks to reinforce the buried portion of the fence.
  • Add a layer of gravel or bricks along the perimeter of the fence to deter predators from digging.
  • Regularly inspect and repair any holes or gaps in the fence.
  • Consider installing an electric wire at the bottom of the fence for added security.
  • Trim vegetation around the fence to eliminate hiding spots for predators.
  • Place deterrents like motion-activated lights or noise devices near the fence to discourage predators.

Hardware cloth, also known as wire mesh or welded wire, is a superior alternative to chicken wire when it comes to constructing chicken fences. This durable and sturdy fencing material is designed to withstand the elements and prevent predators from gaining access to your chickens. With it’s welded construction, hardware cloth offers enhanced strength and reliability compared to traditional chicken wire, making it the ideal choice for ensuring the security and safety of your feathered friends.

What Is a Better Option Than Chicken Wire?

When it comes to building a fence for your chickens, finding the right type of wire fencing is crucial for their safety and security. While chicken wire is a common option that many people opt for, there’s actually a better alternative available. Instead of chicken wire, using hardware cloth for your chicken fence is highly recommended.

Hardware cloth is a type of wire fencing that’s specifically designed to be strong and durable. The name “cloth” is quite misleading, as it’s actually a metal wire mesh that’s tightly woven together, creating a sturdy and reliable barrier.

One of the key benefits of using hardware cloth is it’s ability to keep predators out. It’s stronger construction makes it much harder for animals like raccoons, foxes, or coyotes to break through and harm your chickens. It also helps prevent smaller predators like rats or snakes from squeezing through the gaps.

Since it’s made from metal, it’s resistant to rust and corrosion, ensuring that your chicken fence will last for years. It’s durability also makes it a cost-effective option in the long run, as you won’t have to constantly replace or repair it.

This will prevent smaller predators from accessing your chickens and keep them safe. Additionally, make sure to secure the hardware cloth tightly to your fence posts or frame to prevent any gaps or loose ends where predators could potentially enter.

It’s strength, durability, and ability to repel predators make it the ideal choice for keeping your flock safe.

Installation Tips for Using Hardware Cloth for a Chicken Fence

When building a fence for chickens, using hardware cloth can be a practical and effective choice. Hardware cloth is a mesh-like material made from galvanized steel, which provides durability and protection against predators. Here are some installation tips to consider when using hardware cloth for a chicken fence:

  • Measure the area: Start by measuring the perimeter of the chicken coop or the desired area for the fence. This will help you determine the amount of hardware cloth you’ll need.
  • Choose the right height: Hardware cloth typically comes in various heights. Consider the size and breed of your chickens to select the appropriate height for the fence. A height of 4 to 6 feet is generally recommended.
  • Secure the bottom edge: To prevent predators from digging underneath the fence, bury the bottom edge of the hardware cloth at least 12 inches into the ground. Alternatively, you can extend the cloth horizontally along the ground and secure it with landscaping staples.
  • Secure the top edge: Ensure that the top edge of the hardware cloth is properly secured to prevent predators from climbing over the fence. You can attach it to wooden posts or use zip ties, fencing staples, or strong wire.
  • Overlap the sections: When installing multiple sections of hardware cloth, overlap them by at least a few inches. This will ensure there are no gaps that predators can exploit.
  • Regular maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain the hardware cloth fence. Check for any signs of damage, holes, or loose connections. Replace or repair any issues immediately to maintain the security and integrity of the fence.

Remember, building a fence for chickens is essential for their safety and protection. By following these installation tips using hardware cloth, you can create a secure and reliable enclosure for your feathered friends.


By starting with digging holes for the posts, moving on to creating a trench between the posts, and then attaching the galvanized fencing securely, the foundation of a chicken run is established. Adding a "skirt" at the bottom of the fencing and covering it with earth provides added protection against predators. Finally, incorporating a gate ensures easy access while maintaining the security of the chicken run.

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