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The Fence Post

Battling Woodchucks

February 2, 2018 | by Joe Morrell


Woodchuck on lawn

Your Garden at Peril

Battling a burrowing woodchuck can be a relentless task. Here are some of our answers to warding off this muncher and destroyer of your prized plantings. 

Keeping a Woodchuck from Burrowing and Climbing

The clever woodchuck moves below ground as well as above.

  • A 6-foot fence is required as a minimum, with 5-foot posts
  • Chicken wire should be dug in 10 inches or more below ground level
  • Leave a foot of chicken wire unattached from the post at the top and bend it outwards; this prevents the woodchuck from getting a good grip for climbing over the fence

Another possibility is:

  • Place 3 feet of chicken wire flat on the ground around the perimeter of the garden
  • After which, secure a 4 to 6-foot fence vertically 6 inches in from the chicken wire edge which will leave 2½ feet of chicken wire on the outside on the ground
  • At the top, leave 12 inches of the chicken wire bent outwards away from the garden, unsecured
  • The woodchuck will not be able to dig under the vertical fence because of the 3 feet of chicken wire surrounding the garden

As the updated Old Farmer's Almanac advises: The best woodchuck deterrent is a fence.

woodchuck fencing drawing with instructions

Image from Mass Audubon Society.org 

A Very Broad Diet

A woodchuck is decidedly vegetarian, and your garden falls prey to them as they gorge during spring and summer-- fattening up for their long winter in the burrow. Vegetables are prized, as well as a vegetables' early tender shoots. Stems, roots, and bark are munched as well. Here is a fairly thorough list of a woodchuck's possible victims:  

While wild grasses are a mainstay, woodchucks eat a variety of vegetation and agricultural crops including peas, beans, lettuce, zucchini, squash, pumpkin vines, green beans, broccoli, soybeans, parsnip leaves, onion stems, cilantro, dill, parsley, sage, alfalfa, eggplant, as well as clover, tree bark, and insects. Flowers at threat can include phlox, salvias, lupines, hollyhocks, rudbeckia, echinacea, poppies, astilbe, sedum, hostas, columbine, and the young, soft shoots of roses and delphiniums (though they are poisonous). Also dahlias, petunias, daisies, asters, cosmos, marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, portulaca, tulips, sunflowers, and zinnias. Well, that does it for my garden!

Woodchuck Nation

Woodchucks are generously distributed in North America and Canada, extending to Alaska and in the south to Georgia. The clearing of forests has enabled the woodchuck to thrive. In open land and often near woods, a woodchuck's burrow is a small maze built of necessity. Entrances lead to tunnels which lead to chambers that are used for sleeping, rearing young, and even a separate chamber for burying waste. A variety of entrances provide hasty retreats when predators such as dogs and foxes appear and some holes may only be two feet deep for taking cover at such times. Burrow openings measure 8 to 12 inches, with additional holes at least 10 feet away. Not only do they eat crops, but trample them as well. Their holes can damage livestock. It is essential that we employ an appropriate arsenal to give these damaging rodents the heave-ho.

One man's battle, his fascination, and final answer--


Punxsutawney Phil

And finally, the celebration each February--the questionable observance of Groundhog Day--the honoring of one of our most destructive critters--the beloved Punxsutawney Phil who reigns as the predictor of the length of winter. Despite this fame, gardeners cast a wary eye to mounds and holes as this ravenous marauder tunnels, then nibbles and chomps through labored-over crops. Yes, it could be the single bite out of that prized tomato or the tragic beheading of a carrot that swiftly moves one to take up arms. Before we become violent, let's use some of the above-mentioned preventative measures. Ideally, a fence should be in place before a woodchuck is able to enter and start sampling produce.

At Louis Page, we are committed to providing you with the information and products that can protect your property and alleviate some of your stress. If you have questions, please get in touch, call us at (866) 328-5018.

English cottage with garden

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Topics: garden fence, hex netting, garden netting, poultry netting, woodchucks, woodchuck

Chicken Wire Fabrication - Video

January 26, 2011 | by Duncan Page

Chicken Wire in Production   

The video below shows how chicken wire mesh is woven. You can see how the wires are twisted together to make a hexagonal opening. Chicken wire is also known as poultry netting or hexagonal netting.


The Continuous Weave Creates Inherent Strength

This particular machine is weaving mesh used in making gabions. Although the mesh is larger (3") and the wires used are heavier (11 gauge and heavier) than the chicken wire you can buy at your local store, the manufacturing process is similar.

There is one difference. This machine is doing continuous weave -  the twisted wires run in the same direction the entire length of the twist. Chicken wire available in stores is made with a reverse twist - the twist switches direction (reverses itself) halfway through the length of the twist. Continuous weave is inherently stronger than reverse twist. Good to know.

Is this the first time you have seen a loom weaving chicken wire?

Hexagonal Netting

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Topics: woven wire, hex netting, poultry netting, chicken wire

Poultry Netting - the Cintoflex Way

March 1, 2010 | by Duncan Page

cintoflex plastic poultry netting graphic

 Cintoflex--Flexible, Non-Toxic, and Easy to Install

Cintoflex, a Tenax fencing product, was designed as a replacement for an alternative to galvanized hexagonal chicken wire netting. Made from high-density polyethylene, Cintoflex can withstand environmental stresses such as UV rays and extremes of temperature. These black polyethylene poultry net meshes are produced by a patented stretching and extruding process. The netting is manufactured as a continuous net, possessing strength associated with wire netting. Cintoflex is non-toxic. It is unaffected by contaminants such as acids generated on a poultry farm.

Versatile Cintoflex Plastic Netting Advantages:

  • Lightweightplastic mesh on post & rail
  • Flexible
  • Completely recyclable
  • Easy to handle
  • Easy to install
  • Will not rot, rust or corrode
  • No rough edges to injure you or your animals
  • Easy to store - requires less space
  • Available in four different mesh sizes
  • Black color blends with the background becoming virtually invisible
  • Multiple overlaps are eliminated in installations where height is required
Ideal for a Wide Variety of Applications                                                                        
    • Perimeter protection
    • Bird exclusion
    • Deer control
    • Protection of trees, shrubs, and berries
    • Aviaries
    • Litter and debris control
    • Pond protection
The uses for Cintoflex are limitless. In certain applications, Cintoflex can be used as a replacement for hex netting chicken wire fencing. The larger meshes can be used to protect your property from deer damage.
What uses can you think of for these polyethylene meshes?
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Topics: plastic net, poultry netting

How to Choose Wire and Plastic Mesh and Fence

May 12, 2009 | by Duncan Page

chickens and sheep

Big box stores just don't stock what's actually out there--

There are so many different types of plastic and wire meshes and fences available that making the correct choice for your project can be difficult. And the limited choices available at most retail stores may not meet your requirements. The big box stores have no interest in stocking anything more than the basic commodity items and its a crapshoot as to the kind of counsel they might offer. There are many specifications that just aren't available - wire or plastic mesh and fence that may be just what you need. 

Exploring Possibilities 
Before you make a final decision on the product you want, make sure you have thought about and thoroughly considered all your options. The following questions may help you decide:
  • Why do I need or want a fence?hex netting wire mesh
  • What do I hope to accomplish with this fence?
  • Will the fence solve the problem or satisfy the need?
  • Will the fence serve multiple purposes?
  • Do I want the fence or mesh to last a long time?
  • Are there any requirements that determine the mesh size that I want to use?
  • Should the fence act as a barrier to keep something in or keep something out of an area? vinyl coated welded wire mesh
  • Where can I go and how do I get answers to my questions about the right product to use?
  • When is it better to use a woven instead of a welded wire fence or mesh?
  • Are there unique environmental factors that could potentially shorten the lifetime of the fence?
  • Would it be better for me to use plastic or wire mesh or fence?
  • Does my project require a lot of labor and expense that I will need to repeat if I use a less costly product with a shorter lifetime?woven wire fence             
  • Does it make more sense for me to use a more expensive product with a longer lifetime?
  • Is the appearance of the fence or mesh an important consideration?
  • Is a plastic mesh really strong enough to use?
  • Is one product more difficult to install than another?
  • How tall a fence do I need?
  • Are some fences easier to install if the ground is not level but has dips and rises?ornamental fence
  • Are there any local codes or ordinances that put restrictions on my fence?
  • Do I want the fence to blend into the background as much as possible?
This list represents only some of the questions you may have. Hopefully, it may suggest some aspects you have not considered. Some other blogs here may be able to help you answer additional questions.

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chicken strutting
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Topics: wire mesh, fence choices, poultry netting

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