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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some 8 foot green treated fence posts on my property. I want to move them to build a chicken run (for winter) enclosed garden (in spring & summer to keep deer out). How do I get them out of the ground to move them? They are probably 2 feet down (I'm guessing). And when I relocate them do they have to be 2 feet down or can I put them 1 1/2 feet down to give me more head room to work in?

Thanks for any advise,
Morning Owl
 

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You may be able to just "rock" them back and forth to work them loose, but sometimes youll have to dig down on one side to break them free. It depends on how hard the ground is.

If they are 4 X 4 's they dont HAVE to be buried at all, if you put a 2 x 4 base to nail them to. 18" would be fine though for a chicken coop. If you get a lot of high winds its best to set them in the ground at least on the corners
 

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If you have access to a tractor with a front end loader, you can wrap a chain around the post and lift up with the loader. They come out quickly and easily that way. You might be able to accomplish the same thing with the rear lift on a tractor using a boom poll or some other attachment. Good luck.
 

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If you don't have a tractor, you could also use the chain method described and instead hoist it up with a jack.
 

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farmergirl said:
If you don't have a tractor, you could also use the chain method described and instead hoist it up with a jack.
I had never thought of that!! Once you get a post loosened just a little, it comes out of the ground easily...unless you are in a low lying area with water in the hole. In that case "rotsa ruck".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, my neighbor does have an old front end loader. He told me it doesn't have any down push to it so he couldn't dig the post holes for me. I never thought to ask him if he could pull the posts up. Now the trick would be getting the loader to the posts. :rolleyes: He has an old car, parts for all his machines and stuff there (He's a mechanic). That is why the original owners put the fence there. I don't mind, I like him and his stuff. :p
 

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I removed an old fence, with 4"x4" treated posts set in concrete with a farm jack and a short cable wrapped around the base of the post. Chains were extremely difficult to attach to the jack, but the cable worked great. Wasn't too difficult; got the jack at tractor supply.
 

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You can also use the 3-point arms on the back of any tractor w/o a loader. Just wrap the chain around one arm, and the post, and lift.

I'd put them 2 feet down in dirt, or you could go a foot and a half set in concrete.

You can rent a hand-held power augur to dig the holes, or find someone with a post hole digger on the back fo a tractor to do it for you. Either one is easier than a hand-powered post hole digger.
 

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Whoa, wait a minute. You appear to be in Montana and not in the Southern states. All the first responders live in the South.

While you call them 8 foot, I am thinking frost cycle. They could be 3 or more feet in the ground to get below the heaving frozen ground. Here in Wisconsin 3 feet would be minimum depth to keep the post from moving around and coming up on their own. You might need to put them back into the ground the same distance they came out.

For tractors with out loader, instead of trying to tie a chain to the 3pt arm up close the rear tires, I use an implement to extend my reach a little bit and to give a better place to attach the chain. Usually it's the small 3pt field cultivator but have used the scoop bucket. The field cultivator is made from angle iron so easy to wrap the chain. Because it is extended out a little bit from the pitvot point of the 3pt arm, the lift is a greater distance each time.

If I had a 3pt plow, I might try that to lift with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks FreeRanger, I'm not building a coop just a coop run. The only weight on it will be chicken wire to keep chickens in, in the winter and deer out in the summer. Do you still think I need to bury them that deep? And while I'm at it :p what is the best way to stretch chicken wire so it is tight? I made a small run 4' square, for my younger 3 week old chicks and I really couldn't get the wire tight. It's functional but looks like slop. :eek:
 

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Yes you still need to bury them that deep. They are less likely to push out the ground if they had the weight of a building on top of them. But you are just using them as fence post. Ask a local farmer how deep wooden corner fence post need to be driven into the ground. I don't know how deep the frost goes in your area. Otherwise the freeze thaw cycle will push the post up out of the ground.

I cheat the three foot minimum for my fence post because at 18 to 24 inches I hit limestone bedrock. So I place a half a dozen big galvanized nails near the bottom of the post, then add a bag of dry concret mix and fill in remainder with dirt/clay crap. I pretend the nails are mini rebar for the concrete to hold on to since concrete does not bond to wood. Make sure you brace the post for awhile and soak the ground with water to set the concrete. Use a level to set the post upright on both sides.

You can't really stretch chicken wire. I would run a top rail between the post and start by stapling across the top rail with 48" wide poultry fencing. Staple down the rails. Then you will need a second row (roll) to fill in the bottom area, but 48" will be too wide so some amount will lay against the ground. This is good. Cover that with dirt if you like. That area on the ground keep raccoons from digging in to the run.

try that?
 

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My two and a half cents is that it is not always possible to plant posts below the frostline, nor is it necessary if the fence doesn't suffer alot of torque. In AK our frostline is 10-14 feet deep. My fence posts are 6 inches to 4 feet deep, depending on the type of fence. I've not had any heave. We too are on bedrock in places, and here I build above ground fence. When I stretch woven or welded wire, I roll up a 2x4 in the end of the fence and pull on that. That way it stretches evenly. But chix wire is always a pain, even when new.
Lisa
 

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A chicken run doesnt have to be as sturdy as a fence. I still think it would be easier to build it without setting the posts in the ground. When I built mine , I laid the walls out and built them laying on the ground. It was easier to handle the wire that way, and then I simply stood them up. Im assuming it will be attached to a coop, and that will provide all the support it will need. You can use 6 ft wire instead of 4 ft , and 2 X 4 wire will stretch easier than "chicken wire".

This isnt a great pic but youll get the general idea:
 

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Bearfootfarm,
Great photo!

I agree you could build a wall on the ground and then just stand it up. If you are starting with all new materials and the ground was relatively level. However could not be a very long wall. The weight of 4x4 treated post would keep you from lifting too long of a wall unless you have a large group of people available to lift it up with out twisting the structure. You would also have to cut the 4x4's shorter than the 8 foot (I hate the thought of that).

Six foot wide poultry netting is not commonly available in my area. I suppose you can order it. I like the idea of having some of the fencing material lying on the ground or buried outside the coop to keep bad things from digging in. Of course they can climb over if other measure are not taken like a electric wire or a fenced in roof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Bearfootfarm said:
A chicken run doesnt have to be as sturdy as a fence. I still think it would be easier to build it without setting the posts in the ground. When I built mine , I laid the walls out and built them laying on the ground. It was easier to handle the wire that way, and then I simply stood them up. Im assuming it will be attached to a coop, and that will provide all the support it will need. You can use 6 ft wire instead of 4 ft , and 2 X 4 wire will stretch easier than "chicken wire".

This isnt a great pic but youll get the general idea:
Wow, that looks much easier than what I was planning. Then I don't even need to dig up the post at all. This is great. I will do this and save myself alot of work. Thanks! :hobbyhors Oh and I love the roosts in a triangle this will encourage them to roost out side instead of the coop. More poop for the garden. :p
 

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I took some better pics of the run today. Its 12 X 18, and about 7 ft tall
I used 2 X 4 welded wire instead of "chicken wire" Its stronger and easier to work with. I considered covering the top , but it's been over a year with no losses so I dont see a need for it. I can always do it if a problem arises, but my dogs do a good job of keeping predators out of the yard. I also built a new roost that pivots up out of the way instead of having to move it to clean up



 

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FreeRanger said:
I don't know where I got it but I wrapped my run with 1.5 x 1.5 inch instead of the easy to find 2x4 ww. Sure wish I could find my source again!

I worry the 2x4 doesn't keep little chicks in nor raccoons out.

The door to my coop sits about a foot higher than the floor. I keep small chicks inside until they are able to get out on their own, at which time they are too big to fit through the wire. No problems so far with anything getting through the wire.
 
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