I love to let my birds roam the property but there are times when they need to be contained. This might be because we are introducing some new birds to the flock, I’m trying to keep them out of a certain area (like my garden), or because a few of them have been misbehaving. If you read our last homesteading update you might have seen that our ducks have been being a little bratty. They have started to explore a bit closer to the road than I like and no matter how many times I herd them back they keep trying. Enter portable poultry fencing, an easy and convenient solution.
Exploring Portable Poultry Fencing With Omlet!
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Why Did You Choose Portable Fencing? Why Not Just Build An Enclosure?
Building a permanent pen for the ducks might seem like the best options for keeping them contained and in some cases, this might be true. However, we chose to use portable fencing because our homestead is still in a state of flux! We are changing our minds about locations, set-ups, and land management all the time. We’ve only been here for about 6 months and we are learning a lot about our land as the seasons change. Portable fencing means that we can move things around to better locations if we need to!
It’s also a bit more cost-effective at the moment. The current prices of wire fencing and lumber is a bit on the pricy side and investing in a long term structure that we might not even like in a few months doesn’t seem financially wise. Especially for our ducks.
The ducks don’t challenge the fences the way the goats do and are overall very easy to contain (this may not be the case for those of you with flying breeds). They are also fairly hard on the landscape, their wide flat feet tend to squash grass and their foraging methods mean they like to drill a million little holes in the ground. This might be beneficial if I want to use them to help clear gardening spots in the future but it also means I will probably want to rotate them to new locations now and then!
For all of these reasons, portable fencing seemed like the best solution for our current situation.
What Are The Benefits of Portable Fencing?
Portable fencing has quite a few benefits when it comes to containing poultry, these include but are certainly not limited to the following:
- Cost – Portable fencing is far cheaper than a more permanent fence! This might mean that you can get your fencing and solve containment issues faster than you could if you had to save for a more costly fence.
- Mobility – As I said above, we change our mind a lot when it comes to our homestead’s eventual layout and it’s nice to be able to rotate foraging areas to keep one spot from becoming a mud pit. Being able to move the fencing around was a big bonus for us.
- Storage Ability – If I need to take the fence down for any reason, either because we want to do some work in the pasture or I no longer need it for a season it’s very simple to roll up and store for future use. It packs up into a pretty compact bundle too which makes storage a breeze!
- Ability to Customize – Our homestead is pretty hilly and there are some oddly shaped spots around the yard. The portable fencing is very versatile however and can be laid out in almost any shape you can imagine. While dog kennels and other large enclosures tend to be a set shape I can use my portable fencing and build a pen that excludes trees or shrubs I don’t want them messing with or block off troublesome areas.
What Are the Con’s of Portable Fencing?
For what we needed this fencing for there is not a lot of cons when it comes to portable fencing, however, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding if this type of fencing will work for you – and Omlet has some pretty great options for that too. None of these really affected me as my ducks are safely locked up at night and they aren’t very strong.
- Predators – Portable fencing is meant to be lightweight and easy to move, this generally means that it is not created to keep predators out. If you are looking for a fence that can keep stray dogs away or foes out of your coop at night you should look for a stronger option.
- Strength – This portable fencing is perfect for our poultry (which is what it’s made for) but it probably wouldn’t work for our goats. Fencing for larger livestock will have to be stronger.
Why Did You Choose the Omlet Portable Fencing?
There are quite a few companies that offer portable fencing. However, Omlet was the only one I could find that had a gate built into the fence design and that was my personal, deciding factor. I needed a gate and I didn’t really want to mess around with trying to build one or taking down a section of the fence at every feeding.
I especially love the gate feature due to how customizable it is, you can build the gate into any part of the pen you wish and even make it as narrow or as wide as you personally need.
I also loved that they had multiple size options! While I picked the largest option for my ducks I am already eyeballing some of the smaller options for the future. I can see how a smaller pen would be useful as a duckling or young chick playpen when introducing them to life outside of the brooder and even future breeding pens if I want to separate specific poultry pairs.
The sizing options for the Omlet fencing are as follows:
- 39ft long which makes a 12m square enclosure
- 69ft long which makes a 21m square enclosure
- 105ft long which makes a 32m square enclosure
- 138ft long which makes a 42m square enclosure
Was The Portable Fencing Difficult To Set Up?
I would not say the fencing was difficult to set up! The instructions sent with the kit are very easy to follow and the only tool required is a screwdriver (which you only have to use once).
The unrolled fence can be a bit unwieldy but that’s to be expected with anything as long as the fencing I ordered but it doesn’t tangle and as long as you make sure you don’t twist it when installing the individual poles you’ll be fine. I would say that it took me about 3 hours from unpacking the box to fully set-up and that includes quite a few distractions from our resident peanut gallery the nosy Guineas.
All of the fencing poles, caps, and gate parts simply snap together using a push pin system which also allows you to adjust the height. The individual poles are simply weaved into the fencing itself before being pushed into the ground with your foot. Stabilizing ropes and ground pins allow you to pull your fencing tight and stake it to the ground so your poultry can’t escape by squeezing underneath. This is especially helpful in uneven terrain. I also love that the stabilizing ropes are brightly colored and easy to see, even at night. If you’ve ever tripped over a tent rope while camping you’ll also appreciate this feature along with the reflective Omlet label you can place on your gate!
How Has It Worked So Far?
We have had the fencing up for about a week now and not only has it kept the ducks in but it’s also kept the chickens and guineas out! This means that the ducks have been able to eat in peace without me guarding them (the chickens liked to steal the duck food) and it gives me great hope fr future uses of the fencing.
Unlike our pasture fence which has a wooden top beam, the chickens and guineas are not inclined to jump onto the portable fencing and since they like to jump up, perch, and then fly to the ground rather than simply fly over fences it’s been very successful in keeping everyone where they are supposed to be!
While I don’t think it would keep stray dogs out of the area it has kept our dogs – who are not prone to challenging fences, out of the area as well. I’m not sure why but the chickens, the dogs, and the goats all love the duck food so it’s great to feed the ducks and not have to chase everyone else out!
Overall I’ve been very happy with this fencing, the gate is easy to use even when balancing an armful of feed, I can leave the ducks out all day without worrying over them wandering to the road and so far the fence has held up very well, there are no sagging or weak points that I can find. Since it is made with some pretty heavy-duty plastic and a wider strand than the mesh fencing I have seen in other portable fencing I’m pretty sure it’s going to survive the weather and animals for quite a while. I will definitely be buying more of this fencing in the future for creating breeding pens for the various poultry!