The two main concerns of a new poultry keeper are how to keep their poultry safe from predators and also how to keep their plants and vegetable garden safe from their new poultry!
When it come to building a run for the new birds the first thing to consider is whether or not you want to keep the poultry in or the predators out as this will affect how you build the run and what type of mesh you use.
What Type of Weldmesh to Buy
When buying mesh you need to look the gauge of the mesh you are buying. The lower the gauge the stronger the mesh with 16 gauge or higher not being strong enough to prevent a fox or other predator biting through the mesh. For absolute security, use 12 gauge 2.5mm diameter mesh.
Height of Poultry Run
If creating a run just to keep your birds in you can use mesh of 19 gauge or chicken wire. For un-wing clipped chickens and flight birds you will need the mesh to be of a height of at least 5 feet (1.5M) or for land birds such a large breed of duck, 3 feet (0.9M) will be sufficient to contain them to an area.
Protecting Against Foxes, Mink & Other Vermin
When creating a run to keep predators out a stronger gauge is required. It is considered that 16 gauge is fox proof, although ideally 14 or 12 gauge should be used as a fox will not be able to chew through this and the thickness of the mesh will give the run extra structural support.
It is advisable to cover the top of the run with mesh as well. This is to keep predators out as foxes, mink and other predators can easily climb and get into an uncovered run. With large perimeter fences where protecting the roof is not practical, consider placing an outward facing overhang at 45°.
To prevent burrowing under and make sure it is fully predator proof, lay a strip about 2 feet (60cm) wide on or just under the surface of the soil outside the run.
Sizes of Weldmesh, Holes and Rolls
Mesh comes in various lengths of roll and hole size. If you want to keep vermin out of the run you will need 1inch square or smaller holes. If vermin is not a concern you could use up to 2 inch square hole size – greater than 2.5 inch square and a predator may be able to gain access to the run.
Roll lengths vary, although most rolls are either 25m or 30m long. Check the length of the roll when buying.
When buying mesh it is always advisable to choose a supplier that can assist you with your enquiries and who can advise as to which mesh will be best suited to the job.
Having recently erected a large run we can highly recommend using Meshstock.co.uk who have a wide range of mesh at competitive prices and staff with the knowledge and experience to help guide you as to which mesh to choose for your run. They are located in Telford but deliver nationwide.
Mesh Stock Ltd
Haybrook Industrial Estate,
Tele : 01952 588844
Fax : 01952 586669