1. Julie

    I don’t have a chicken house or pen at present but have had in the past. I found the only way to keep foxes and rats out was to fully enclose the pen (including underneath all the way and over the top) with the smaller wire. I think it is called guinea pig wire. The chicken wire holes were still big enough for foxes. I lost many dear chicken friends to foxes and their food to rats in the suburbs of Melbourne. Julie

    • @Julie: I’m thinking that way too. We’ve lost a couple of chickens to curiosity, when they poked their heads through the chicken wire and had them bitten off by a fox. You need very strong wire (maybe even welded mesh) with small holes, at least around ground level (up to about 1.2m high). The upper parts of the perimeter can be chicken wire, and the roof can be something like bird net.

  2. Julie

    I learnt from a grizzly experience that the chook pen has to be fully enclosed (including the floor) with chook wire. I used a double layer in the end. I then let the grass grow through the chook wire on the bottom. Foxes can dig underneath to get it to a chook shed and they will for a bit of fun for them…! My girls were then happy and layed eggs. I borrowed my friends dog and it it did was scare the chooks and some of them stopped laying. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news but now my girls are happy, healthy and i can comfortably sleep at night!

  3. @Julie: I’d go for something stronger than chicken wire on the floor (our fox chewed straight through normal chicken wire!), and try to find something that won’t rust over time. Something like 3 or 4 mm galvanised welded mesh.

    I’ve buried solid sheets of ripple iron 1.5-2 feet deep all around the outside of the pen, though, so I don’t feel I need anything on the ground. At the gate, I’ve buried 2-foot-long pavers vertically. I don’t think a fox would be able to dig under that.

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