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Hi,

I'm going to add a flight pen to my coop. What is the most popular size welded fence that the members use?

I can get a good deal on 2 x 4 mesh. I usually use 2 x 2, but the 2 x 4 deal is going to be hard to pass up.

Do you think the 2 x 4 openings are too large, or not a problem?

Regards,

Rudy
 

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Do you want to save money, or keep your birds safe? Anything can reach in or get into holes that large. Will you close them up in the loft at night, or is it open to the aviary?
 

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Actually should be heavy gauge hardware cloth with 1/2 inch holes. Some see the fencing as just a way to keep the birds in. But they should be thinking more about how to keeps other things out.
Some can have an unsafe setup and never have a problem, but some have lost their whole flock because of not thinking about keeping the predators out.
So many things out there, wanting to get at our birds. We may not see them or know they are around, but believe me they are. Just doesn't make sense to take the chance. You put time and money into your birds. Why skimp on their safety and well being? I understand wanting to save, but if something happened then it would be on you, and you would have wished that you had taken their safety into consideration.

Will you at least close the loft up at night, when more predators are around?

I would thing that even a small hawk or something could squeeze through that during the day.
 

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And THAT'S why it looks like such a deal. Knowledgeable people don't want it. So the owner is stuck with it. Don't be tempted. Pass on it.
 

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I have an attached flight cage to my coop that's 8 x 12 x 8 feet high (not big enough, but better than nothing until I can get a bigger aviary up) and ended up double wiring the whole thing to keep raccoons out. The first layer of wire is 2 x 3 yard and garden wire--holes are big, but it's strong enough that the raccoons, even the big ones the size of cocker spaniels, have a tough time pulling it apart. Over that I used 1 x 1 cage wire--I find it lasts much, much longer than 1" hex mesh wire and is easier for me to pull tight and staple to the supports.

No, it's not a cheap system (building to keep raccoons out never is) but it's still far, far less than I would have to pay to replace my birds.

BTW, in my experience, the weakest points on runs and aviaries are the doors--make sure they're solidly built, fit tightly to the frame, and latch securely. Raccoons will push and pull at the base and if there's any play in the door they will get in sooner or later.

Catherine
 

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Do you really get raccoons that big?
That sounds strong, but are the holes large enough for rats to get in? They will kill birds also. Sounds like a good size. Do you have a picture to show?
 

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Yes, they're pretty big here in Ohio--the last one we trapped and killed was a sow that almost filled the live trap. She took out several of my expensive show Langshan chickens before we caught her.

Rats can get through the holes, but don't seem to be the constant issue here that raccoons are. I did have rats under the chicken coop (tunneling under the earthen floor) one summer, but putting poison bait in their tunnels worked to solve the problem. Unfortunately I can't put bait out for the raccoons as the domestic animals (aka dogs and cats) would likely get into it....

I'm only half joking when I say I build Fort Knox for my birds. I work on the assumption that whatever is out there will try to climb over, dig under, or tear through anything I put up. I'd rather overbuild and do it right the first time than lose birds and have to redo it after the fact....

Sorry I don't have pictures!

Catherine
 

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Size of Fencing/Mesh

I'm building an Aviary/Exercise. I bought 1" X 1" square fencing. Will this work, just want to keep birds in. My only problem is cats, and at night my birds sleep in the coop. I like the idea of adding wire, but does anyone feel that it will be okay just to keep birds in? Thank you ahead for your thought.
 

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If they will not be in the aviary at night, that helps, but if any perches are close to the wire, cats and even hawks have grabbed them through large holes like that. I know people do do this, but I personally would not. I have heard the stories of birds being pulled through, and that is enough for me. I would rather learn by someone elses experience.
 

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I use 1 x 1 cage wire to cover window openings on my poultry coops--but only high up on vertical walls and with perches well away from the wire.

Raccoons can and will reach through the 1 x 1 openings and kill birds--they length they can reach through the wire is about 6".

I do have some portable arks set up for bantam chickens that have a layer of 1 x 1 cage wire covered with a layer of 1" hex mesh and they have proven raccoon proof for the past two years.

I know it seems like a lot of money to double wire a flight pen or poultry run, but it's cheap in the long run compared to the loss of birds if something gets at them.

Catherine
 

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1/2 inch hardware cloth works. Rats can get through larger holes, and can chew through hex mesh (chicken wire).
 

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I've been fortunate regarding rats, and the one infestation I did have was easily solved with poison bait in their tunnels. Checking the base of the buildings for any suspicious tunneling is always on my fall "to-do" list.

I agree that hex mesh is flimsy at best. I've had raccoons pull it apart, too....Cage wire seems to not only be stronger, but holds up longer without rusting. I've noticed that house sparrows can squeeze through the hex mesh but can't seem to figure out how to fit through the square openings on cage wire.

I may end up using hardware cloth over the window openings in my buildings moving forward since the raccoon pressure doesn't seem to be letting up.

Catherine
 

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I don't really have a problem with raccoons often, although did have one coming around for a while last year. Rats can be a problem, coming up from the river that isn't too far away. Hate to poison them and have them die under the loft though. Depends on where the tunnels are. Also we have chipmunks that we don't want to hurt.
 

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I have a creek and am surrounded by woods, so have pretty much everything show up around here. Multiple raccoons (they never seem to stop coming), mink (and they can get through a 1" hole), foxes, possums and skunks (usually not a problem for the birds), rats and mice, chipmunks and squirrels, hawks of all sorts (cooper's, sharp shinned, red shouldered, and redtailed) and owls (barred, screech, and great horned).

The guys at the lumber yard think I'm nuts when I build pens and runs with concrete bases, double wiring, oversized hinges, and so on.....But you do what you have to do to keep your birds safe....

Catherine
 

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Good Lord! Where do you live?
I mean of course we get chipmunks and squirrels, skunks and possums, coopers and redtailed hawks. An occasional raccoon, and a few fisher cats, but mink? It's got to be closed up like Fort Knox! LOL. Better safe than sorry.
 

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Wow you guys are so lucky with all the wildlife you get, all I get is mice, voles, rats and foxes although there are badgers over the field where I walk the dogs but they scarper as soon as they see you. Chipmunks? Goodness I love chipmunks. I know some of these creatures are probably a pest for pigeon keepers but from what I've seen of raccoons on Facebook they're very smart and bold too. I suppose they are a pest really with those little hands but they're also adorable in some ways. Lucky ladies.

You can keep the Hawks though, lol.
 

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Oh yeh, I forgot the woodchucks that take up residence. LOL.
Lucky? Well lots of them see out birds as dinner, so some of them we could do without. The chipmunks though, we love. Makes it hard to take care of the rats, as you don't want to hurt the chipmunks. Most of them are starting their nap now for the cold winter. They don't hibernate really, just take long naps off and on. If they have enough food stored up, they won't come out much till it warms up, so we feed them all summer and fall to help out. So cute watching them scamper back and forth with their horde. Have seen only 1 or 2 lately, as it has gotten pretty cold here just lately. Once they are all tucked in for the winter, I will deal with the rats. We do get voles and moles.
Freda, you get foxes? I think that's neat. We wouldn't get any in the yard as it is fenced in, but I know that they are out in the woods, and very rarely see one while driving at night. We have lots of deer around, but of course we don't get them either. But we can hear the coyotes at night. I've never seen a badger, except in pictures.
 
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