Made in Sussex: a fox-proof pen

The first fox-free chicken pen, by a Halnaker firm
The first fox-free chicken pen, by a Halnaker firm

A HALNAKER firm has teamed up with a Yorkshire company to create the world’s first fox-proof chicken pen.

The small engineering company Mark Francis Ltd has found the answer for chicken farmers around the world, with the new pen.

Mr Francis worked to create the fox-free ‘chicken house’ with Bradford firm Tatra Plastics Manufacturing.

He said the design and materials of the houses drastically reduce the loss of birds from attack.

The houses are made from high density Click & Fix plastic planking produced by Tatra Plastics.

All the walls and roof panels are made from Click & Fix, which has the appearance of traditional wooden planking, and metalwork and the roof edging and cap are made from a plastic-coated galvanised-steel sheet.

This means foxes and badgers are unable to chew or dig their way in, which wooden houses are very prone to.

What’s more, the use of plastic planking makes the houses very easy to clean out.

“All you need to do is unclip the front and back sections and sweep or hose the droppings out,” said Mr Francis.

The pens can be steam-cleaned or power washed and, as the material is non-absorbent, will dry in a matter of minutes. All the perches are also plastic and can be removed for ease of cleaning.

The current range of poultry housing is for eight, 16, 24, 32 or 48 birds.

This means there is a fox-free pen for everyone, from the back garden hobbyist to the commercial chicken farmer.

The houses are made from 100 per cent British materials with the exception of aluminium clips and rivets.