DMK Permaculture

Permaculture Mandala Garden, Chicken Tractor Design

Critter Proof Fencing

Our definition of a critter proof fence is to keep out bandicoots, rabbits, cane toads, foxes, dingoes, dogs,  kangaroos, wallaroos, wallabies, betongs; and other critters like a neighbour’s stray goat, horse, cow or pig. There are some we will never stop, such as large pythons, and goannas.   Qu “Where does a 300Kg gorilla sit?”  Ans Anywhere he wants!” And so it is the same with +6mt long pythons and +2mt goannas, when they find us, we gently coerce them to move on, or call wildlife enthusiasts for assistance.
Fence 00
The fence is 165cm high, has three wire strands with dog wire mesh from the top strand 120cm down to the bottom strand about 50cm off the ground. Recycled corrugated iron is hung horizontally along the bottom of the fence, trenched into the the ground about 20cm to 25cm. We found this design of fence is effective in keeping unwanted critters from the garden. Some fences have a skirt buried outwards from the bottom of the fence,  and while this was considered as well, in the last 5 years we haven’t found it necessary. Digging under the buried corro iron will be challenging enough for critters. So in keeping with permaculture principles we have designed a fence which we know to be effective to keep out the critters and pests in our area.

We chose to use galvanised pipe for posts and strainers rather than timber, for longevity reasons and given our local termite issues, we are simply too old to do things twice, or ‘the hard way’. Using galv pipe saved on labour costs and messing with heavy tree trunks and machines. The extra cost ended up being a small price considering the years it will last.

Fence 01

First the corner strainer holes were dug by machine auger, the posts were cut and assembled and concreted in position as one piece, all bolted together. We used 2 inch posts, and 1.1/4 inch angled braces.
Fence 02
A trench was then pre-dug (by machine) between the posts to make burying the corrugated iron easier later.
Fence 03
The star pickets (8ft / 2.4mt) were hammered into the bottom of the trench, and 3 wires strung above. See the old garden (40m sq) being swallowed up by the new.
Fence 04
Dog wire mesh was attached to the 3 wire strands with ring clips from the top down.
Fence 05

The corro iron is hung down into the trench, tied to the bottom strand of wire, buried to an average depth of 25cm.

Fence 08

The iron is also attached to each star picket to keep it from slumping. In hindsight (wonderful thing) this is only necessary if the inside will be used as a wall for a raised bed, as much of our fence line will be.

Fence 07

The iron sheets are overlapped and screwed together. The end/corner sheet is cut away to fit concrete post base at the bottom, with minimal gap, then screwed to the post.
Fence 09
Corner iron is crumpled over to prevent little unwanted creatures from getting in. Experience shows ‘young’ cane toads can get in if not.
Fence 10

Our critter proof fence will keep cane toads, bandicoots, kangaroos & wallabies out of the garden, and protect chooks in the dome from dogs & dingoes. Possums are clever climbers and need to be dealt with on an individual basis.
Fence 11
The gate hinges were welded on while being held in place. Gates have corro iron added to the bottom, cut to match the concrete step, preventing small unwanted critters getting through or under the gate.
Fence 12
Fence 13
Note the trampoline spring to keep the gate closed. Tramp springs are plentiful & easy to find, and really suited to gate closing, in fact they are quite handy little buggas!
Fence 16
Big “Easy-Grab” Gate Handle is 1.1/4″Rural Pipe screwed with double screws to prevent slewing, works well & is cheap.Fence 14Gate Holding strap, is old ‘tie-down’ hook, with stretchy elastic loop (cheap from hardware store), joined by using fencing ring clamp tool, clamping with double rings. Efficiently holds gate closed or open.

Fence 15
The Fully Fenced, Critter Proof, Garden Area of 1,750 square metres. (nearly 1/2 acre)

Fence 17


Back to TOP

6 thoughts on “Critter Proof Fencing

  1. Hello, Thank you for showing your fence. It looks like just the thing for a one ha orchard I’m planning.
    Can you supply a sense of costs?
    Thank you again,Ian

    • Hi Ian, We have since added a roll of bird wire 60cm wide, above the corro all the way round, bandicoots and rabbits are conquered. The galv posts are comparatively cheap, compared to working with logs and timber. The 2.4mt star pickets were about $10ea, 3mt gates were $110 plus hinges, smaller gates were $70 or so plus hinges. Posts are about 3mt apart. Corro iron was all free recycled and scabbed. Our Critter Proof Fence is about 150mts long and cost a little over $2,500 including concrete for posts. All held together by a million ring thingy’s. This was in 2013, so allow for inflation of costs. Cheers, Dana

  2. Hi guys… not sure why you didn’t attach a floppy overhang to the top for possum protection? I’ve got about the same amount of land I’d like to critter proof and have been advised that the floppy overhang does a good job of keeping possums out as they can’t climb it. What strategy are you guys using to deter possums?

    • Hi Wesley, thanks for your comment. We do not go out of our way to protect against possums, because we don’t have much of a problem. We bought a big cage and catch and relocate them to a park when they bother us. I’ve heard the over-hanging fence works very well, however possums climb extremely well, upside-down is no challenge! A straight up but floppy fence also works(ours is a bit floppy). However we have a shed opening onto the garden, and the fence butting to each side, so the possums just come over the roof and get in that way. We have added a 600mm wide strip of bird wire all the way around, just above the corro, as an added protection against rabbits and bandicoots climbing through the squares of the fencing ‘dog’ wire. The fence was well worth doing, good luck with yours, would love to see any pics. Cheers, Dana

      • Hi Dana…

        Possums are a big problem in Tazzy so I’ll definitely be putting in the floppy overhang AND electrifying it AND getting a dog to scare off any that think twice. Apparently relocating possums isnt effective as they’re territorial so although the relocated possum will likely either die of starvation or aggression from other possums sooner or later you’ll have one back in your territory anyway… but I guess if you have no other option and they’re not a big problem anyway it’s no big deal. A lot of peeps just shoot them apparently. Ill be using some of your other ideas to keep the other critters out. Cheers

        • Tazzy, Yes well electrifying fence is a popular idea. It remains an option for us later if need be, however we’ve only had 2 or 3 possums in the last couple of years, and the area we relocate to, is well chosen. I have heard it can be difficult for them, although I believe if there were less humans in an area, there’d be less possums there too, they thrive on the immediate environment around us. Best of luck, and you’re welcome to any hints or help we can give. It’s the permaculture way.

Say G'day

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s