After a year, we just had something dig under last night. The girls were safely locked upstairs. Luckily he could not get into the upper part so my chickens are safe but he'll be back. Ideas?
Edited by lanaschix - 3/15/16 at 4:31am
You must ground an electric fence or it won't shock anything. For large installations, they use the earth to conduct the current back to the fencer, but in very dry places that does not work well, so you will see them use a second wire a little lower as the ground. If anything touches both wires at once they get shocked. The trick is to place the 2 wires so that any predator will touch them both at the same time.
You might look into the electrified mesh fences made to contain chickens. Premier and Kencove are brand I recall seeing.
I agree with you about having wire on the bottom of the tractor. Good way to damage their feet and legs too when moving it.
I use an apron of 2x4 welded wire, 2 ft wide around to outside perimeter of my tractors. The wire is attached to the bottom boards all the way around, overlapping the corners as needed for full coverage. When I want to move it, I flip those apron to be vertical and use a rubber bungee to hold them up. Then I drag the whole tractor to the new location and drop the aprons back down. I'm extra cautious, and put board as weights on all the wire aprons. I also leave sharp prongs pointing out where I cut the wire. All to deter digging predators.
This year I hope to try narrower (3 ft) tractors for between the rows of vegetables. Aprons will not work here, so I intend to cut a piece of 2x4 wire to fit under the tractor (with a few inches protruding, maybe. Then make a second, identical piece to lay down in front of the tractor, so I can pull it onto the new piece, then go move the old piece for the next move. I can't say for sure that will wokr as expected, but I'm hopeful.