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How to Use Bird Netting for Chicken Run: A Complete Guide

Learning how to use bird netting for a chicken run can greatly help chicken lovers and farmers. Making a safe place for your chickens is vital for their health, happiness, and well-being.

A girl feeding a chicken using her hands with a  basket of eggs lying underground beside her.

 

Enter bird netting, the unsung hero of the chicken protection world. This versatile solution saves the day, shielding your chickens from predators and those pesky, uninvited avian visitors.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through the step-by-step process of setting up and securing bird netting, ensuring that your feathered friends can cluck, peck, and scratch in safety and harmony. So, let's spread our wings and dive into the world of bird netting for your chicken run!


Understanding the Need for Bird Netting in Chicken Runs

Protecting Chickens from Predators. Bird netting creates a barrier that keeps predators like hawks, foxes, raccoons, and neighborhood cats away, ensuring your chickens can roam freely without fear.

Preventing Birds from Entering the Run. Bird netting helps keep unwanted bird guests out of your chicken run, avoiding introducing diseases, parasites, and competition for food, thus maintaining a healthy and controlled environment for your chickens to thrive.

Types of Bird Netting

When choosing suitable bird netting for your chicken run, it's essential to think about the different kinds you can find. Each type has its benefits and works best for specific situations.

Here are three common bird netting types to help you decide:

  • Polyethylene Bird Netting. This type of netting is made from UV-resistant, high-density polyethylene material, making it durable and long-lasting. It is lightweight, easy to install, and withstand harsh weather conditions, making it a popular choice for many chicken keepers.
  • Polypropylene Bird Netting. This netting is another option that offers strength and durability. It is resistant to chemicals, moisture, and UV rays, ensuring it remains effective in protecting your chickens for an extended period. It is also lightweight and easy to handle, making installation a breeze.
  • Nylon Bird Netting. Nylon is known for its high tensile strength and resilience. It is a reliable option for keeping chickens safe from predators and unwanted birds. However, it may be slightly heavier and more challenging to install than polyethylene or polypropylene netting. Despite this, its durability and effectiveness make it a favorite among many poultry enthusiasts.
A nylon bird net
Image: Nylon bird net

Choosing the Right Bird Netting for Your Chicken Run

Size and Mesh Density 

Striking the right balance is the key! Smaller mesh sizes protect against smaller birds and predators, while larger mesh sizes are adept at deterring more prominent animals. To ensure optimal security, select a mesh size that is small enough to prevent the entry of unwanted birds and predators yet large enough to maintain proper ventilation and light penetration.


UV Protection and Durability

Due to UV radiation, bird netting exposed to sunlight can degrade over time. Opt for netting materials that offer UV resistance to ensure long-lasting protection, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, or nylon. These materials are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, providing a durable barrier for your chicken run.


Installation and Maintenance

Choosing easy bird netting to install and maintain can save you time and effort in the long run. Lightweight materials like polyethylene and polypropylene are easier to handle and install than heavier options like nylon.


How to Set Up Bird Netting for Your Chicken Run

Step 1: Measure and Assess the Chicken Run Area. Before purchasing your bird netting, it's essential to measure the dimensions of your chicken run, including the length, width, and height

This measurement will help you determine the amount of netting required and allow you to choose the appropriate mesh size based on the specific needs of your flock.


Step 2: Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials. Once you have your measurements, gather all the necessary tools and materials for the installation process. This includes the bird netting, support structures (such as poles or stakes), cable ties or clips, a ladder, scissors or a utility knife for cutting the net.


Step 3: Install Support Structures. To ensure your bird netting remains taut and secure, installing support structures around your chicken run's perimeter is crucial. These structures can be poles, stakes, or wooden or metal frames. 


Ensure the support structures are sturdy and adequately anchored to the ground to withstand the tension from the netting and any potential pressure from predators.


Step 4: Attach the Bird Netting. With your support structures, it's time to attach the bird netting. Starting at one corner of the chicken run, secure the mesh to the support structure using cable ties or clips, ensuring it is taut and wrinkle-free. 


Continue attaching the net along the perimeter and working around the chicken run. For the roof, drape the netting over the top, ensuring it covers the entire area and is secured to the support structures on all sides. Trim any excess mesh as needed.


How to Secure Bird Netting Effectively

  • Using Zip Ties or Twine. These materials are readily available and easy to work with, making them popular among chicken keepers. 
A plastic tie holding wire fencing together by tree
                                               Image:  A plastic tie holding wire fencing together by tree

To use zip ties or string, loop them around the netting and the support structure, pulling tightly to ensure a secure and taut connection. Be sure to evenly space the ties or twine along the perimeter to maintain consistent tension.


  • Utilizing Clips or Clamps. These accessories can provide a more robust and durable connection than zip ties or twine. 

To use clips or clamps, attach them to the netting and the support structure, ensuring a snug and secure fit. Space the clips or clamps evenly along the perimeter, like zip ties or twine, to maintain consistent tension.

 

  • Employing Tensioning Systems. These systems typically involve a combination of cables, turnbuckles, and anchors, allowing you to create a highly secure and taut netting structure. 

To employ a tensioning system, install the cables along the perimeter of your chicken run, attaching them to the support structures using turnbuckles and anchors. Once the lines are in place, attach the bird netting to the wires, ensuring even tension throughout.


Best Practices for Applying Bird Netting in Chicken Runs

Regular Inspections and Repairs.  Inspect your bird netting for signs of wear, damage, or sagging. Promptly repair or replace damaged sections to maintain the barrier's integrity and protection for your chickens from predators.


Maintaining Proper Tension. Ensure the netting remains taut and secure by regularly checking and adjusting the tension. Proper tension prevents sagging, which can compromise the effectiveness of the barrier and create opportunities for predators to breach the chicken run.


Protecting Against Sharp Edges:  Be mindful of sharp edges on support structures or surrounding objects that may come into contact with the netting. Sharp edges can cause damage to the net, reducing its effectiveness. Use padding or protective materials to cover sharp edges and prolong the lifespan of your bird netting.


Conclusion

We've explored the critical role of bird netting in protecting your chickens from predators and unwanted bird interactions. Using this article's information, you can actively work to keep your flock safe and healthy.

We encourage you to put these tips into practice for your chicken run. Your commitment to your chickens' safety and well-being will bring positive outcomes and help create a happy environment for your flock to thrive.

Lastly, remember that this guide is readily available as a valuable resource for future reference or assistance. You can ensure your cherished chickens' continued safety and well-being by staying informed and vigilant.


FAQs

Q1.  Can bird netting harm the chickens?

No, bird netting does not harm chickens when adequately installed and maintained. It serves as a protective barrier without causing injury or discomfort to the birds.

 

Q2. How long does bird netting last?

The lifespan of bird netting varies depending on the quality of the material and the environmental conditions. Generally, high-quality bird netting can last for several years with proper maintenance.


Q3. Can bird netting be reused?

Yes, bird netting can be reused if it remains in good condition. Before reusing, inspect the net for any damages and make necessary repairs or replacements as needed.


Q4. Should I install bird netting above or below the chicken run?

Installing bird netting above the chicken run is recommended to create an effective barrier against predators and other birds. This prevents them from entering the run from any direction.


Q5. Can I use bird netting for other purposes?

Yes, bird netting has various applications beyond chicken runs. It can protect gardens, ponds, and fruit trees from birds or even create temporary enclosures for other animals.



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