How High Should a Chicken Fence Be?

Chicken kept in in the high fencing to prevent predator attacks.

Fencing your chicken farm is the best solution to keep your fowl safe. Fencing comes in many styles, forms, and sizes, but have you ever thought about the standard height that your poultry fence needs? The type of fence depends on which part of the world you live in and what potential predators lurk in the area.  

What Types of Predators in Your Area?

Before installing a chicken fence, you must assess the potential predators hiding near your farm. Some predators visit your yard occasionally, while others pay their seasonal visit. 

Foxes are the number one predator on chicken farms in the United Kingdom. You must have a list of predators to decide the height of your fence. It could be costly to uninstall the fence once you realize it cannot protect your birds. 

Dogs and raccoons are the number one problem on chicken farms in the United States. The height of your fence should be out of reach of predators to secure your chickens.  

What is the Ideal Fence Height for Chickens?

Experts recommend a six-foot tall fence to secure your flock. If you think this height is too high, there are other heights you can choose. 

2 to 4 Foot Tall Chicken Fence

This height can protect your chickens moderately from predators and discourage them from exiting your yard. However, this height does not give ample protection because your docile or lethargic chickens may find a way to fly over the fence. 

The fence height is unsuitable if critters hide around the chicken house. But, if you are on a tight budget, you can still have this height than nothing. 

4 to 6 Foot Tall Chicken Fence 

A 4 to 6-foot tall chicken fence offers slight protection to your active, energetic chickens that fly over the wall. This height range provides a barrier to thwart predators from attacking the birds. But, this fence height does not guarantee total protection and security. Wild cats and raccoons can still gain entry and hurt your fowl.

6 Foot Plus Tall Plus Chicken Fencing

If you want ample protection for your chicken, this height is the ideal fencing height. It deters predators from devouring the eggs and meat of your fowl. It is a perfect fence height, especially if your chickens love to fly to your neighbor’s yard. 

Factors that Determine the Height of Chicken Fences You Should Build

After listing down the potential predators in your chicken farm, the next step is to evaluate the fence design to keep these predators out of your yard. Your main goal is to bar the entry of predators and not just to keep the fowl in. 

It requires low fencing to separate the geese, ducks, or chickens. You want to keep the chickens in the yard and not fly over your neighbor’s garden, but small predators may infringe under the fence. It could mean a different thing if you intend to keep the fowl inside. 

Flighty chickens like Leghorns and Mediterranean breeds can fly over the fence. An average hen can stay in your complex with a waist-high fence.

When designing the poultry fence, you have to consider the abilities of each predator, such as:

  • Capable of digging underneath the fence
  • Predators that can penetrate through a large mesh wire
  • Predators that can jump or climb the fence
  • Capable of breaking the wall due to their weight

Predators possess unique abilities and similarities with other animals. For example, foxes may have physical similarities with dogs, but they jump and climb like cats. 

How Tall Can a Chicken Fly?

Although chickens are birds, they are considered flightless or cannot fly. They use their wings to fly over the fence for a short distance. This is why some chicken farmers trim the wings of their fowl to discourage them from escaping from their coop. 

A five feet tall fence is not enough to secure the chickens or deter the cats from getting inside the enclosure. Roosters are smart enough to fly from the ground toward the post and jump over to the garden. 

Pullets and young chickens flap their wings towards the roof of their coop, use it as a jump-off point towards the fence poles, and then disappear from view. The best way to avoid this scenario is to have a taller fence to stop the fowl from traveling to the next yard.   

Experts recommend using electric poultry netting to secure the poultry run. You can move it around to have ample space for grazing. If you opt for a low secure fence, you can add an electric wire at the bottom to discourage digging predators and the middle and top of the fence to deter foxes, cats, and dogs from climbing. 

The rule of thumb is the fence should have eight-foot tall posts with two feet buried in the ground.

Aside from the type of predators that lurk on your farm, the size and breed of chicken, location, human height, and heavy traffic significantly have an influence when considering the fence height. Let’s look at how they influence fence height. 

Chicken Breed

Some chickens can fly; some may not or take a Cornish cross. Active birds are known as the best flyers. These types of chickens have their Mediterranean origins. They have slimmer bodies that are light to carry when they flap their wings. Some of these chicken breeds that have decent flights include:

  • Ancona
  • Andalusian
  • Campine
  • Catalan
  • Leghorn
  • Sicilian buttercups
  • White-faced Black Spanish 

Some chicken breeds with moderate flights:

  • Fayoumi
  • Jaerhon
  • Lakenvelder
  • Ameraucana
  • La Fleche
  • Old English Game
  • Appenzeller Spitzhauben
  • Red Stars 

Keeping these types of chicken breeds on your farm means you have to install a tall fence higher than an average chicken breed can fly over. Ask yourself how long you will keep the chicken in your yard to determine if you want a taller fence. Do you have plans to have mixed chicken breeds in the future? 

If so, it can also affect choosing the height of your fence. Some of these breeds can fly as high as four or five feet. Some can fly as high as six feet or more. The American Game Birds can fly as high as seven feet tall. 

Characteristics of Chickens

Chickens behave differently from others. Some are active, and some love to stay indoors. If your chickens love to forage your neighbor’s garden from the coop’s roof, it is time to have a tall fence. A six-foot tall fence is enough to cordon off your flock.  

Chicken Run Size

High fencing is ideal for keeping smaller chicken runs as the fowl have a limited area to forage. They want to explore outside of your poultry to find food. 

A large free-range site provides enough space for the chickens to roam around. They are satisfied with the greens, water sources, and pasture on your farm, so they are unmindful of the other side of the fence. 

It will cost hundreds of dollars if you surround the entire area of your large farm. If you want to secure your fowl, you can go for a shorter fence with electrified wire on top if desired.

Higher than Your Height

The ideal height for a poultry fence is higher than your height. A six-foot fence provides more comfortable movement than a four or five-foot tall fence. You will find it easy to collect the eggs and clean the manure daily instead of stooping down. 

My Final Thoughts

A standard fence height should be around 6 feet. This height is enough to stop your fowl from dropping by the other side of the fence. The choice of fencing height also depends on the traffic in the neighborhood. A fast-moving vehicle might run over your chickens if the farm is near the road. Getting into trouble with neighbors because of your feathered pets can be avoided if you have high poultry fencing. 

Leave a Comment