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Fence to Keep Out Critters

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:57 am
by Photon Guy
If you live in an area where there's rattlesnakes, bears, and other such dangerous wild animals would a fence around the yard be adequate to keep them out?

Re: Fence to Keep Out Critters

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:42 am
by Fullmoon
Depends on what kind of fence you build. I have a 6' high "no climb" wire fence around my garden and orchard that keeps the deer and elk out but a rattle snake can slither right through it. I have plenty of snakes and lizards in that garden but no rattler's so far. Witnessed a half grown skunk wiggle his way through the wires but skunks don't eat fruit or veggies, they dig up grubs and yellow jacket nests, so this is beneficial. Have seen coyote and fox run around the outside of the fence, then leave. Raccoon's will dig under or climb over any fence. If a bear wants in no fence will stop him, they just tear it down or climb over it. Without a fence the critters will eat everything I grow.

Re: Fence to Keep Out Critters

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:23 pm
by oldasrocks
No fence is going to keep out Squirrels, birds, mice, rats or snakes or moles and chipmunks which dig under. Much less Asian beetles which do more damage than animals.
I'm studying the cost of a hoop house covered with 1/8" holed hail screen to keep out the beetles. The ate everything this year.

Re: Fence to Keep Out Critters

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:52 pm
by arkieready
Short answer: no

Re: Fence to Keep Out Critters

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:41 am
by Photon Guy
I see. Well IceFire talked about carrying a handgun when out in the yard for use against dangerous critters and that does make sense. I was just wondering the effectiveness of a fence and if there is any sort of fence that is good at keeping all dangerous animals out.

Re: Fence to Keep Out Critters

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:45 pm
by jimLE
i'm thinking that the proper fence "might " work.but yet,even then.only up to a certain point..in which your on your own after that..i carry a 9 round 22 revolver when at home.it's great for what wild life that i deal with here..we don't have big cats,like cougars panthers or whatever here.nor do we have bears..we do have a long tail cat of some kind here.i believe it's half the size or smaller than a cougar.the rest of the 4 legged animals are raccoon opossum,armadillo and coyote..

Re: Fence to Keep Out Critters

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:23 pm
by Cast Iron
A few strands of electric fencing with a 1J energizer will do for most animals.
For the smaller coons and what not, just a few more stands at the lower levels.
Not sure about snakes.

The two black bears I have ran into on my property, they were more afraid of me than I of them.
Then again, us humans are somewhat odorous. I would run too.

Re: Fence to Keep Out Critters

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:02 pm
by oldasrocks
The most dangerous animal will just find the gate and walk through it.

Re: Fence to Keep Out Critters

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:15 pm
by IceFire
Photon Guy wrote:I see. Well IceFire talked about carrying a handgun when out in the yard for use against dangerous critters and that does make sense. I was just wondering the effectiveness of a fence and if there is any sort of fence that is good at keeping all dangerous animals out.


Fences are better for keeping domestic animals Iin(with limited effectiveness, depending on the animal) than for keeping dangerous critters out. Most of the dangerous ones will fid a way over, under, or through a fence given proper motivation. Snakes can (and DO) tunnel, so they'll go under, or if the fence is not solid, they'll go through the gaps in the fence. Large cats (mountain lions, jaguars--we DO have them in some areas of the country, lynx, bobcats, etc.) will jump OVER the fence. Depending on fence height, coyotes will go over or under. Bears will just smash THROUGH a fence. Still, while it won't STOP them if they are determined, it probably WILL slow them down, at least a little, and is better than no fence at all.

Re: Fence to Keep Out Critters

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:16 pm
by SF Trooper
Lots of great comments to this thread! A homestead without fences is a meal to be had for everything that walks, crawls, or slithers.

My own view is that fences have two purposes: keeping livestock in, and keeping predators/critters out. Consequently, there is no one single fence type for all scenarios. For example, because rabbits love my strawberries, I have a chicken-wire addition to the bottom of the field wire fence enclosure. Field wire (also called "hog wire") is also fine for most livestock, such as hogs or cattle. Just top it with a strand of barbed wire to keep them from leaning over it. If you want to keep goats, they occasionally get their heads stuck in it, so you'd probably want to go with fence with a tighter weave, such as horse wire.

My chickens forage in an orchard surrounded by a 5' horse wire fence. The weave is 2"x4" - too small for them to get through, and keeps out all predators except raccoons and opposum. At night, they are in a completely enclosed (and 4" off the ground) coop located inside a 6' chicken wire run. The wire on the coop roost is hardware cloth - too small for mice to squeeze through. I have auto door openers on both the coop and run, time-staggered to keep them in the run with the chicken feed for a few hours (for the protein and calcium) each morning before they start ridding the orchard of insects. Coyotes used to come around the outer fence to get to the chickens and ducks, but if you are aggressive about going out at night to chase them away, they eventually stop coming.

If you live where the soil is rocky, a stone fence around your yard is not only a great use for what you till up, but looks terrific as well. We're talking tons of back-breaking labor - pardon the pun! Still, it deters many small critters and snakes (they walk/slither around it), and it adds a modicum of security. Can't drive through it, right? A bottom layer of stone topped with treated lumber makes an even higher privacy fence that blocks views, and greatly extends the life of the wood.

I've often read that chickens, ducks, and geese will deal with snakes. However, I've only experienced any success with geese. Geese are also great guard animals. Their honking will alert you of any intruders - two legged or four - and will happily peck at both until you arrive.

Regarding smaller pests... insects. You'd have to have an entirely screened-in garden or greenhouse to keep them out. For the rest of us, I've had some pretty amazing success with diatomaceous earth and a duster. It's completely safe to use. Heck, and adult can eat a tablespoon of it (food grade version) to kill intestinal parasites. So, feel free to dust your berries and veggies to keep the Japanese Beetles under control. Just remember to mask or wear glasses and a scarf as you would with any dust. It keeps it out of your eyes, mouth and nose. The downside: it must be reapplied after every rain and even periodically once it eventually blows away.

SF Trooper

Re: Fence to Keep Out Critters

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:10 pm
by John Galt 1
A hardwire fence with electric wire on top and in the middle (outside) will keep most animals out. My mother got tired of the bears coming through so she put up a tripple strand of electric wire forcing the bears to pass through her neighbors property which worked well until...the neighbors started putting up electric fences of their own so the bears just pushed back through her electric fence.

In my case the deer easily jump over the 4 1/2' electric fence I have for the horses and donkeys. The fawns just jump between the fence wires.
Many animals will instead dig under a fence so you need to pit wire fencing at least 10" under the ground to keep rabbits out.