Whether you are just learning how to take care of chickens or you are a seasoned pro, any gardener understands the importance of keeping chickens out of the garden, which is what this DIY wire cage for a chicken-proof garden is designed to do.
Do you take pride in having a beautiful garden, but struggle with keeping your pets or your chickens from wreaking havoc on your prized plants? As much as we love our feathered friends, they can be quite destructive to gardens.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this problem: building a chicken proof garden with a DIY wire cage.
In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of constructing a wire cage to protect your backyard garden from free-range chickens. We’ll also provide you with detailed plans, so you can visualize the end result and feel confident in executing this project.
Say goodbye to chicken-induced garden woes and hello to a thriving, protected garden.
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How To Get A Chicken Proof Garden
If you’re an avid gardener who keeps chickens, you know how challenging it can be to keep them from digging up and eating your prized plants. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to “chicken-proof” your garden and protect your crops from destruction.
One effective solution is to build a garden cage, which encloses the entire plot of ground and prevents chicken access. We have outlined some plans for building your own DIY garden cage in this article below.
Alternatively, you can focus on creating designated areas for your chickens to roam and forage, away from your garden, which can reduce their desire to venture into and eat your vegetable patch. However, if your chickens are as flighty, stubborn, and curious as mine are, you know there is very little hope to this method.
Additionally, adding physical barriers like fencing or chicken wire around individual beds or plants can help stop curious chickens from pecking away at your hard work.
The good news is, with some planning and a bit of effort, it’s possible to have a thriving garden and happy chickens, without one interfering with the other.
What Is A Garden Cage?
A garden cage is an essential structure for any gardener who owns animals such as chickens or other critters. It is a wire enclosure that can be placed around garden beds to keep out animals and prevent them from damaging sensitive crops.
A garden cage serves as a protective barrier, keeping out not only chickens but also rabbits, squirrels, dogs, cats, and other pesky creatures, depending on the material you end up using.
The wire used for garden cages is a sturdy material that can be configured to any shape or size, making it an excellent solution for gardens of any size or shape. When your cage has been constructed, you can even line it with something small like hardware cloth to keep rodents out!
With a garden cage in place, you can be sure that your vegetables are safe from harm, leaving you with bountiful food harvests all season long.
Why Do You Need A Garden Bed Cover For Your Raised Bed (Or Traditional Garden Space)?
A garden bed cover serves as a shield for your raised bed or traditional garden space, providing protection from the harsh elements of nature and curious creatures.
One of the biggest benefits of having a garden bed cover is the safeguard it provides against chickens.
While chickens are delightful creatures that add value to any homestead, their love for scratching can wreak havoc on your precious plants. By keeping them away from your garden bed, you can ensure that each plant gets the best chance of growth without being pecked or scratched at.
Not only does a garden bed cover protect your plants, but it also helps keep your chickens safe by preventing them from ingesting any harmful chemicals or substances that may be present in your garden.
With a garden bed cover, you can have the best of both worlds– a thriving vegetable garden, and healthy chickens.
How To Make A DIY Wire Cage For A Chicken Proof Garden
Use this DIY wire cage to chicken proof your garden, flower bed, or any other plant-filled oasis!
- Hey, Dr. Taylor Goodwin here of Inner Vector Naturopaths. Today i am walking you through how to build a DIY wire cage for a chicken proof garden (such as my medicinal herb garden).
This is a fast, easy, and moveable chicken-proof garden cage.
I went for 4' by 2' enclosures with a height of 1', using fairly nice to handle 2" by 4" rectangular gridded wire fencing. It looks much nicer than chicken wire mesh fence and holds up well for easy reuse.
The edges you join with this method won't ever come apart either and require nothing but cutting the wire in the right place.
Let's get started.
- Wire fencing (length and thickness varies according to personal needs - see notes section for more details)
- Wire Cutters
- SIZING YOUR CONTAINER - Simply get a sheet of wire that is as long and wide as your desired container, with twice your desired height added to both the width and the length.
For my 4' long by 2' wide container to be 1' high, I needed:
4 feet long + 1 foot high + 1 foot high = 6 feet long worth of wire
2 feet wide + 1 foot high + 1 foot high = 4 feet wide worth of wire
For more details on how to come up with your wire measurements, see the notes section below.
- TYPE OF MATERIAL - I used 2" by 4" rectangular wire fencing. The gauge (thickness) of the wire can vary.
See more on that below, but the 14-20 gauge is good as a catch all for beds that will be unlikely to meet foes more menacing than dogs.
Cows are another matter altogether! Fierce creatures.
So with your choice of gauge, get 4' by 6' of wire set up.
- CUTTING OUT THE CORNERS/FORMING THE OUTLINE - We want to remove excess wire from the corner area to form our boxes.
How much depends on how high you decided to go. Measure out a square with sides as long as your desired height.
Height of 1: 1 foot by 1 foot (1 square foot) will be removed from each corner.
Height of 2: 2 foot by 2 foot (2 square feet) will be removed from each corner.
And so on.
I went with 1 square foot in my boxes. With your wire grid square, measure 1 foot (or youyr containers' desired ending height) in from each corner along any edge.
We want to cut at this point, for 1 foot inwards, making a square. When removing the square foot of wire, you will have the option t cut anywhere along the 2 (or 4) inches of connecting wire.
If you cut the wire towards the side of the corner, then you are leaving lengths of wire ("tails") connected to the cage. That's what we want. The wire tails left on the cage will be used later to secure the cage's shape.
Repeat this on all four corners.
- SHAPING THE BOX - Bend the wire into a cage shape by folding all the flaps in at a 90 degree angle then take the wire length "tails" from earlier and twist them around the joined edges of both flaps.
Once or twice around is enough. Then angle the rest of the wire tail down or clip it off with wire cutters.
- HIGH FIVE AND ICE CREAM - you have successfully created your chicken-free garden cages!
Place them over your seedlings and plants and let your garden grow!
What Are Gauges?
Is the gauge term confusing you? You are not alone, my friend!
A rundown on gauges - In technical terms, gauge measures how many times a wire was pulled through a 'die" and stretched. More times stretched means a thinner wire. Which means 30 gauge wire is thinner than 5 gauge. A smaller gauge means thicker wire.
For wire fencing, I like to use 20 gauge and lower as 20 is about the threshold for a fairly reliable fence that will withstand most dogs.
What Size Wire Do I Need?
You will want to get enough wire to cover all four sides plus the top of your wire cage.
To get this number, take your desired measurements and add them up to find the perimeter. Then for good measure, add twice your desired height to both the width and the length.
For a cage that is 4 feet long by 2 feet wide and 1 foot high, you will need:
(4 feet plus 1 foot plus 1 foot) = 6 feet wide worth of wire
(2 feet plus 1 foot plus 1 foot) = 4 feet long worth of wire
So you will need a sheet of wire that is either 4 feet or 6 feet wide and then a length that is divisible by the (4 or 6) multiplied by the number of boxes you want to build.
Alternatively, find a sheet of wire and subtract the dimensions out to get a cage size that fits perfectly - no piece-mealing required! just remember to include that extra amount for the width and the length (double each measurement)
(Have a length of wire that is 6 feet wide by 24 feet in length? Take your width (6 feet) minus an acceptable width for your boxes (4 feet) and then take what's left (2 feet) and divide it by 2 (for a 1 foot high cage).
Then take your wire length (24 feet) and divide it by a number that should be easy to work with (4 or 6 for a 2 feet or 4 feet long cage, leaving the last 2 feet for the 1 foot height of your cage plus the extra for cutting and assembling) and see how many cages you can build!
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More Gardening And Chicken Keeping Resources
Still looking for more resources to help with gardening and chicken keeping? Check out these great ideas!
- What Ingredients Are In Chicken Food?
- Companion Planting Cheat Sheets
- What Vegetables Grow Well In Containers?
Charlene has been dabbling in and learning about the homesteading lifestyle for almost 20 years. She recently started a real-world homestead with her extended family and is excited to share 20+ years of knowledge and experience with the world!
While she certainly doesn't know everything about homesteading and is learning more every day, she is excited to learn and grow along with YOU!
Charlene blogs about about homesteading at https://secretlifeofhomesteaders.com/.