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Single strand low electric fence...will it work?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking of following the guy's advice on a simple single strand low to the ground electrified fence. Am I dreaming to think this would work?
http://www.plamondon.com/faq_electric_fencing.html

This fencing would be for the hens day range area. We have 1/3 acre fenced city lot and they would get moved around for free ranging in certain areas. I want to keep hens in and ground-based daytime urban predators out. Basically raccoons, maybe the occasional possum. The area would require less than 200 ft of fencing. I would use the solar charger here:
http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=12605&cat_id=43

And ideally either a single strand of wire or polytape @ 5" or a double wire/tape setup @ 5" and 10".
The other option is this garden type netting:
http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?mode=detail&fence_id=34

The low fencing has advantages of being able to be stepped over, no visual barrier, extreme portability.
Has anyone (besides Robert Plamondon) used this with success? I see a lot of folks using the taller poultry netting but not the low version.

Country mouse stuck in the city with 10 chickens (3 Silkies, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Blue Rock, 1 Easter Egger, 1 Black Australorps, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Barnevelder) 4 obnoxious cats, and one new mixed breed puppy!

RIP Echo - the best dog ever and a friend who is dearly missed every day (my avatar). 

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Country mouse stuck in the city with 10 chickens (3 Silkies, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Blue Rock, 1 Easter Egger, 1 Black Australorps, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Barnevelder) 4 obnoxious cats, and one new mixed breed puppy!

RIP Echo - the best dog ever and a friend who is dearly missed every day (my avatar). 

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post #2 of 10

I have electric fence in my backyard to keep my dogs out of a certain area.  My female doxie just walks under it even though it's low to the ground and my lab-mix just hops over it when he decides he wants too.  So if they can figure it out I would think the racoons probably could too.  Just a thought.

Check out my BYC page for incubator ideas.
Mom to 3 boys, 2 Dogs, 1 Parrot, 1 Cat, 5 Chickens, and Wife to a Great Hubby.
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Check out my BYC page for incubator ideas.
Mom to 3 boys, 2 Dogs, 1 Parrot, 1 Cat, 5 Chickens, and Wife to a Great Hubby.
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Premier claims this Versanet 20" fence WILL keep out raccoons and other small varmints. I was really hoping someone out there would say that it works great! I'm sure the girls will just fly over it if they really wanted to. But this one guy claims he ranges all his hens with a similar setup and has never lost one. I may give it a try anyway...? It's definitely and $$ saver even  with the solar charger. Someone? Anyone?

Country mouse stuck in the city with 10 chickens (3 Silkies, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Blue Rock, 1 Easter Egger, 1 Black Australorps, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Barnevelder) 4 obnoxious cats, and one new mixed breed puppy!

RIP Echo - the best dog ever and a friend who is dearly missed every day (my avatar). 

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Country mouse stuck in the city with 10 chickens (3 Silkies, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Blue Rock, 1 Easter Egger, 1 Black Australorps, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Barnevelder) 4 obnoxious cats, and one new mixed breed puppy!

RIP Echo - the best dog ever and a friend who is dearly missed every day (my avatar). 

Reply
post #4 of 10

Being as it is relatively well established that a single strand of electric will only keep "most" coons out of a corn patch, I have a lot of trouble believing that it would be more than "sort of" successful in keeping them out of a chicken patch. And the only dogs/coyotes it will scare away are unlucky and/or naive ones; the majority will either not even notice it as they launch an assault on the chickens, or will be experienced enough to go over it. Note that Plamondon does not claim that it is 100% effective, just that it is cheap and useful.

I am willing to believe that the 20" netting will keep out essentially all raccoons, as they are not really inclined to jump. HOWEVER, and this is two BIG howevers: 1) it won't keep out dogs or coyotes or that sort of thing, and 2) ANY electric fence fails SOMEtimes, for a variety of reason, and predators are often real quick to notice it's dead and take advantage of it. Netting or a low wire require *especially* diligent mowing and fence-testing, and even then, various problems can conk out your fence without you noticing for a while.

Really truly, I am a big fan of electric fencing for many purposes, but a) when it is important to protect vs predators, it should not be your main defense, just the "cherry on top" of an otherwise strong and persuasive PHYSICAL barrier; and b) the fence needs to be designed to keep out ALL common predators, not just raccoons.

Think twice before buying a solar charger, btw -- battery-operated ones are often cheaper and give you 'more bang for your buck', even when you include costs over the years. (Remember that a solar unit needs ITS battery replaced every few years TOO, or more often if you let it ground out)

JMHO,

Pat

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks Pat! Very helpful. This is really a secondary defense just for their daytime pleasure. We are in the city and the lot is fully fenced with 5" chain link so I'm not worried about dogs or coyotes. I also have a good dog that watches them religiously. The coop itself is becoming a fortress too so they'll (hopefully) be safe at night. I like the idea that the fence may kill a rat if it tries to go in. Mostly I want the girls to have a big portable space to roam and keep them out of my garden! I would probably leave it on at night as extra measure of safety. And to hopefully kill rats!

Country mouse stuck in the city with 10 chickens (3 Silkies, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Blue Rock, 1 Easter Egger, 1 Black Australorps, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Barnevelder) 4 obnoxious cats, and one new mixed breed puppy!

RIP Echo - the best dog ever and a friend who is dearly missed every day (my avatar). 

Reply

Country mouse stuck in the city with 10 chickens (3 Silkies, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Blue Rock, 1 Easter Egger, 1 Black Australorps, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Barnevelder) 4 obnoxious cats, and one new mixed breed puppy!

RIP Echo - the best dog ever and a friend who is dearly missed every day (my avatar). 

Reply
post #6 of 10

If you have the chain link surrounding your yard and your main intent is to let them range but keep them out of the garden....fence in the garden. smile

Ed

Job 27:3-6   All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;  My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
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Job 27:3-6   All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;  My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
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post #7 of 10

foxinachickenhouse

I don't think a modern fence charger is going to kill a rat. Most are designed specifically not to kill (they pulse rather than apply a constant charge). The reason being so that your livestock doesn't get killed by your own protective measure. I agree with Intheswamp. If your main intent is to keep them out of the garden, then fence the garden. It sounds like you're pretty secure for ground-based, daytime predators and like you'll be locking them up at night.


Edited by Mervin - 5/4/10 at 8:38am
post #8 of 10

Honestly an awful lot of people find that the predator that ends up killing one (or all) of their chickens is their good dog who has hitherto guarded them religiously. So be cautious.

But, that said, if you have a dog out there with them and it's just for daytime use I can't see what point there'd be in an electric fence. If you just want to keep them out of your garden, like Ed says just fence the *garden*, it needn't be permanent or expensive (you can unroll some cheap 3' plastic garden netting and attach to bamboo poles poked in the ground, or any other sort of cheap and easily removeable arrangement you like).

I highly, highly, highly doubt that any rats -- especially city rats -- are going to be dumb enough to be killed by an electric fence. It is most certainly *possible* for small animals to be killed by modern electric fences, yes even the pulsing ones -- the most common scenario for that is that a small bird lands on a hotwire and brushes against a metal t-post which is so conductive that even a single pulse is enough to kill the bird -- but rats have sensitive whiskers and are very cautious and not generally going to be contacting grounded metal.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Today in the early evening (still very daylight) I was alerted by my neighbor that there were raccoons in the tree next door. I looked up and there were three large raccoons in a tree 15 feet from the portable plastic fence run where my teenaged pullets were happily grazing away! They were just watching them and waiting! barnie I ran a coon away from under the carport night before last. I chased it into a tree and then went about whacking the branch it was in with my maglight and screaming like mad. Oh how I wish I could shoot in the city and dispatch these cute little varmints to another world! Today I had a perfect shot on all three. rant I watched them for awhile and the moment the dog went inside they came down from the tree ready to maraude all over the place. There I am hissing and barking and throwing rocks. My poor neighbor is probably on the brink of calling the wagon.

It's funny, I've had chickens before and lost a few to predators but it was a large flock of unnamed birds and while bummed, I wasn't emotional about it. These girls I've named and cuddled and all that, and I just can't imagine losing one. Plus, my poor silkies can't see a thing with their show quality hats!

Anyway, being as I've seen these buggers in the daylight watching my girls, I'm getting the fence. Will let you all know how it works out.

Country mouse stuck in the city with 10 chickens (3 Silkies, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Blue Rock, 1 Easter Egger, 1 Black Australorps, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Barnevelder) 4 obnoxious cats, and one new mixed breed puppy!

RIP Echo - the best dog ever and a friend who is dearly missed every day (my avatar). 

Reply

Country mouse stuck in the city with 10 chickens (3 Silkies, 1 Buff Orp, 1 Blue Rock, 1 Easter Egger, 1 Black Australorps, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Barnevelder) 4 obnoxious cats, and one new mixed breed puppy!

RIP Echo - the best dog ever and a friend who is dearly missed every day (my avatar). 

Reply
post #10 of 10



If you shoot in the city, first, know where you bullet is heading.  A .22 will travel a mile.  But if you're careful and you simply want to get rid of chicken eating raccoons or coyotes..... get .22 Long Rifle subsonic rounds.  About as noisy as a cap pistol.  Your neighbors will not know.    Tomas in Tucson

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