Blueberry protection in heavy snow

Many members have posted pictures of various enclosures they have built for protecting blueberry and cherry bushes from deer, rabbits, birds, and squirrels. I like the quonset-type enclosures of chicken wire sides and netting over the top. I was thinking of building one like that where you remove the netting over winter, but then I figured the deer might just hop over the chicken wire, since they can hop eight feet high. I am wondering if anyone in snow country has built one with chicken wire over the top also that they left on year round. If so, did they have problems with the weight of the snow? I had planned on putting a few PCV pipes arching over the top to help hold up the chicken wire, but I don’t know if that would be strong enough for a wet, heavy foot or more of snow. (To you Southerners, no, the snow doesn’t always just pass through the wire.) At present I have individual chicken wire enclosures around each individual bush of my 100 or so blueberry bushes, plus another 35 or so currants, bush cherries, haskaps, and gooseberries. It protects the bushes, but makes picking a real pain. Also, many of the bushes are starting outgrow their individual wire cages. So I would like to hear experiences with wire enclosures and snow. I know it can flatten the individual wire cages if they don’t have posts supporting them, but so far hasn’t caused much damage in doing so. Since my orchard isn’t always accessible in the winter, I want my enclosure to be maintenance free. Thanks.

We built our enclosure from 48",2x4 welded wire fence. We doubled it on 4x4 posts to get 8’ tall and then used it for the ‘roof’ too. Snow goes right through it, no problem but so do bb loving birds so we net the bbs inside the fence. Keeps most mammals out.

I use that size wire, except six foot tall, around my trees, but rabbits go through it, so I have to add hardware cloth around the tree trunks. I wouldn’t think that 2 x 4 openings would offer any rabbit protection for the bushes, especially in winter. I had rabbits go through 2 x 4 fence and chew off my onions this year. Maybe by winter the rabbits are larger, although this past winter they did girdle and kill a 7-year-old 5-on-1 apple tree surrounded by 2x4 fence, but with no hardware cloth, because I thought it was big enough not to need it and it was also leaning too much to put the hardware cloth around the trunk very easily. I do remember having a rabbit get stuck in some fencing years ago. I waved at it and scared it. It wiggled around frantically for several minutes before finally getting free. It seems it was in the late spring, but I don’t remember for sure.

On my apples I have to wrap them in chicken wire too. @$%$# rabbits…same for the deer!!