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How To Build A Secure Garden-Perimeter Chicken Run Fence

by Erik Evans

Did you know your backyard chickens can help control the bugs and insects in your garden? A chicken run fence built around the perimeter of your vegetable garden can let your hens be a natural garden pest control without them eating your vegetables. Your chicken run fence should be made from the right materials to make it escape-proof and to keep your garden safe from vegetable-eating hens. Here are some tips to help you build a garden perimeter chicken run fence.

Plan the Fence Layout 

A two-foot wide chicken run around your garden's perimeter will give your chickens access to many of the bugs that eat your garden plants. First, determine how far around your garden you want to build your chicken run fence. You can extend the run around part of, or the full perimeter of your garden, leaving an access gate for you to enter and exit. Because this type of perimeter chicken run only needs to be two feet wide, it won't take up much space around your garden. 

For the inside fence line post holes, measure and mark with stakes along the ground every five feet. Make sure to also place a fence post at each corner around your garden. Then, measure out two feet from the inside fence line and mark with stakes where you will place the outside fence line. 

Install the Fence Posts

The best type of fence posts for this project are eight-feet long four by four wooden posts to give your fence a sturdy structure. Because the chicken run is not going to be a tall structure, cut a standard eight-foot long post in half to make two four-foot long posts for this project. 

It is recommended the depth of the hole should be 1/3-1/2 the post height above ground. For a four foot post, you will only need to bury one foot of the post, which leaves three feet (1/3) of the post's length above ground.  So, each post hole will only need to be dug at a depth of one foot. It is also recommended to dig the hole three times the width of the post. So, for a four-inch post, you should dig a 12x12-inch hole.

You can use a shovel, a manual post hole digger, or a gas-powered post hole digger rented from an equipment rental business to dig the post holes. Your physical strength and the number of post holes you need to dig will help you decide how to dig the post holes. 

Set each fence post into a post hole and fill the hole around the post with bagged concrete mix. Then, turn your garden hose on and let it slowly saturate the concrete mix in each hole. As you add water to the concrete in each post hole, use a level to align each post vertically in the concrete mix. Let the concrete set and cure according to the concrete's instructions.

Hang and Secure the Chicken Wire

Chicken wire fencing comes in rolls of different heights. For this chicken run project you will need chicken wire that is at least four feet tall. This will allow coverage for your three-foot tall fence posts, plus the extra length to create a ceiling on your chicken run. Without a ceiling, your chickens can jump over the fence and get into your garden, feasting on your vegetables. 

Using a staple gun, attach the chicken wire along the line of inside and outside fence posts from your coop's entryway. Make sure the bottom of the chicken wire reaches to the ground, and the extra chicken wire length extends above the top of the fence posts. 

After attaching the chicken wire fencing, fold both sides of excess chicken wire over the top of the chicken run and connect them together with wire twists to make a roof for the run. Space the twists every two to three feet to help keep your chickens in their run. 

To prevent your chickens from slipping under any loose sections of chicken wire, pound tent stakes into the ground to secure the bottom chicken wire in place. Space these stakes every three to four feet or as they are needed.

Now you can let your chickens loose in their garden perimeter run to catch and eat bugs.

If you need help with this project or more information about the supplies you'll need, you may want to contact a fencing company like Maximum Fence