This bare-bones cage was created to keep the birds from devouring the yummy strawberries in our garden. In the past, we just draped chicken wire on top of the plants. This worked fairly well but it was a bit of a pain to position and remove the chicken wire and it also didn’t prevent those wily birds from pecking at the berries through the openings in the wire. So, we decided to get serious and build a wooden-framed cage that could be easily tipped on its side when it was time to harvest the berries.
The frame of the plant cage was made from 1″ cedar decking that was salvaged from an old deck. Each board was ripped into strips that were about 1-3/8″ wide. The cage was approximately 5′ x 10′ and 16″ high. The whole thing weighed less than 30 pounds (about the weight of two 6″ x 10′ decking boards).
A fruit cage like this isn’t practical for a large strawberry patch (where you can tolerate some fruit loss to birds and varmints) but it worked just fine for our little 5′ by 10′ patch.
It was somewhat challenging to assemble the cage in the woodshop because it was so large and ungainly. But, eventually I got it all put together and was able to carry it outside… There was nothing fancy about the joinery –basically butt joints held in place with deck screws. The top and bottom were created as separate frames and then connected to each other via six 16″ uprights.
Conventional chicken wire was stapled to the sides and top of the frame. The wire wasn’t wide enough to cover the top so we used two overlapping strips connected to each other with nylon ties.