Fencing is important. We need it to serve so many functions. Here is where I will outline the best fencing for various purposes.
The Best Fencing To Protect Against Small Predators
The best fencing to keep out most predators is hardware cloth. Hardware cloth is strong enough to keep animals from ripping through the fencing or crawling through. It provides protection from foxes, porcupines, minks, possums, fishers, raccoons, groundhogs, rabbits, weasels, and other animals. Hardware cloth is available in 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch mesh. I recommend the 1/4 in for pretty much everything. That way if you purchase it and want to use it for more than one purpose, it will still work.
Hardware cloth is also useful to put around garden plants to protect them from rabbits, mice, and voles. The 1/4 inch cloth is small enough to keep small rodents from getting through to much your plants!
Protect your yard from snakes by adding hardware cloth to your fencing. The 1/4 inch mesh is small enough to keep baby rattlesnakes out of your yard, but the 1/2 inch mesh will only keep adult snakes out.
You can purchase hardware cloth at Amazon. Here it is in various lengths.
The Best Fencing To Keep Neighborhood Cats In Or Out
The very best fencing to keep cats in your backyard or out of your yard is Oscillo fencing. The roll at the top of the fence keeps cats from jumping over the fence. I wish that I had known about this fencing when I lived in “the city.” We had a crazy cat lady in the neighborhood and had constant problems with cats in our backyard. We found a dead cat nearly every spring in our backyard. (Sad!)
The great thing about Oscillo fencing is that you don’t have to replace your entire fence. It has DYI rollers that can be installed at the top of your fencing. I could have installed one roll across the East side of my yard and likely kept all the cats out because they always came from one side of my yard. The reason the fencing works is because a cat’s jump through grabbing and jumping. The roller at the top of the fence keeps the cats from getting a hold of the top of the fence.
I haven’t used this fence to fend off other larger predators such as bobcats, foxes, cougars, or coyotes, but I do wonder if it will work well. This fence seems like it would work well for predators. If you try it- let me know. I’d love to hear.
Best Bird Of Prey Fencing
What’s the best fencing to protect chickens against hawks, owls, or falcons? The best overhead fencing is orange plastic fencing. This fencing is visible for birds of prey. It isn’t made for the sides and so its not strong enough for battle against coyotes or other animals, but if you cover your chicken run with it, you will keep your chicks from hawk attacks.
What fencing not to buy: I’m going to go against popular opinion and say it here; “Don’t buy a vinyl fence!” I’m sorry, I know I just offended a lot of people. Vinyl is all the craze these days. I have a vinyl fence around my house (It was here when I bought the house). Here’s why I don’t like vinyl- they break. A LOT. The wind blows more than usual and the next day, I have broken boards. Too much snow? Broken boards. Don’t even get me started if you have kids. Now that I have a vinyl fence, I have noticed that nearly everywhere I see a vinyl fence, I see broken planks. Plus, it rarely, if ever, keeps animals in or out.
Best All-Around Fencing
The best fencing for all-around use is not actual fencing. It’s rebar mesh. I use it for everything. I make tomato cages out of it. I use it to fence the outside of my property and grow my grapes vines up it. I use it for a base fencing and when needed I add the other types of fencing such as the orange mesh or the hardware cloth around it.
Be warned, that it will rust. That doesn’t bother me because I care more about strength than an unrusty fence. The fencing is strong enough that the welded parts don’t come apart. I have used other actual “fencing” and the welds come apart. That adds so much more work to replace it. Another thing I like about this fencing is that usually in the summertime, I can buy 3 rolls for the price of 2 rolls so it really beats out another fencing in prices. Stronger, cheaper, a total win-win. (I did try one year to spray paint the fencing to prevent rust. It didn’t work. The paint came off within a year).
Best Deer & Bird Netting
Bird netting is also referred to as deer netting. It is used to keep birds from roosting in specific areas. It keeps both deer and birds from munching on your produce. I have also seen it used in chicken coops as a means to catch snakes trying to get it. It will kill the snakes because they get caught in it and can’t get out. (I’m not sure that you want to try and get an angry snake out of deer netting).
This is the best one I’ve found.
Electric Fences: Best All-Around Fencing
Electric fence is very popular because of its effectiveness and relatively low cost. Fencing, in general, tends to be more expensive, but an electric fence can be set up simply by running wire and connecting it to a controller. Electric fences are used to keep pests out and animals, such as cows, in.
Everything you need to set up an electric fence can probably be found locally. However, I have found that most of the supplies are identical but cost less on Amazon. Since I live 30 minutes from town, it’s also more convenient to order it to my house.
Here are my recommended Electrical Fencing Supplies
Zareba 25 mile AC Controller, Low Impedance: Used when you have access to electricity. This one from Amazon covers 25 miles of fencing. (or 5 strands of 5 miles). Low impedance means that it doesn’t short out as easily from weeds on the fence.
Zareba 25 mile DC Battery Controller: This is used for fences that don’t have access to electricity. You will need to have 2 batteries and a charger so you can maintain a charged battery on your fence and charge a battery at home to swap out.
Zareba 10 Mile Solar Fence Charger: This is an alternative to charging your fence batteries at home. If you live in an area with frequent bad weather, then you will want to have more solar chargers than recommended.
Electric Fence T-Post Insulators: These slide over the T-posts and hold the wire.