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Electric fence--how much is too much?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

After weeks of planning and procrastinating, I finally got electric wires running around my chicken coop. We did it because a bobcat had jumped the 5.5 ft fence during daylight (they are completely locked in at night) and taken three hens and our rooster.

Anyway, got it all wired up and the fence charger is reading around 12+ volts (?). Now I am wondering if that much power will harm the neighbor's dog or any child that might touch the fence? Everything I can find about electric fencing only talks about the dangers of not enough power, and I can't find anything that indicates what might be too much, or a dangerous level of power.

This is the charger I bought: Parmak Super Energizer 4 Low Impedance 110/120 Volt 50 Mile Range Electric Fence Controller SE4

Is it safe for dogs and children?

New chicks 2/13/2013: 2 Buff Orps, 2 Black Australorps, 4 Easter Eggers, 2 New Hampshire Reds, 2 Silver Gray Dorkings, 2 Blue Splash Marans

 

New chicks 3/11 2009: 2 Buff Orp hens, 2 Jersey Black Giant hens, 4 Barred Rock hens

 

New chicks 3/7/2011! 4 RIRs, 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Black Sex Links

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New chicks 2/13/2013: 2 Buff Orps, 2 Black Australorps, 4 Easter Eggers, 2 New Hampshire Reds, 2 Silver Gray Dorkings, 2 Blue Splash Marans

 

New chicks 3/11 2009: 2 Buff Orp hens, 2 Jersey Black Giant hens, 4 Barred Rock hens

 

New chicks 3/7/2011! 4 RIRs, 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Black Sex Links

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post #2 of 16

They'll get a heck of a shock.  Only touch it once.  But they'll be fine....as long as no kid tries to be cool and urinate on it.  Now that can be deadly.


Edited by mdbokc - 5/8/11 at 4:51pm
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathi D 

After weeks of planning and procrastinating, I finally got electric wires running around my chicken coop. We did it because a bobcat had jumped the 5.5 ft fence during daylight (they are completely locked in at night) and taken three hens and our rooster.

Anyway, got it all wired up and the fence charger is reading around 12+ volts (?). Now I am wondering if that much power will harm the neighbor's dog or any child that might touch the fence? Everything I can find about electric fencing only talks about the dangers of not enough power, and I can't find anything that indicates what might be too much, or a dangerous level of power.

This is the charger I bought: Parmak Super Energizer 4 Low Impedance 110/120 Volt 50 Mile Range Electric Fence Controller SE4

Is it safe for dogs and children?


No it's not safe for either but it is a model that pulses so it won't "grab" anybody. Keep the weeds out of it as it is powerful enough to be known as a "weed chopper" that means it will burn off wet weeds and also shock right through them.

  Here are the stats from the Parmak site
 

  The Super Energizer 4 does everything a fence controller should do - it just does it better!!!
Super Energizer 4 is equipped with a built-in DIGITAL performance meter which tells you the exact condition of fence.
Shocks through wet weeds and brush.
Over 8,000 volts of holding power with 500 OHM load.
New color coded fence and ground terminals.  Red to the fence and Black to ground.
The Super Energizer 4 controls both predators and livestock, including sheep.
Fuse protection with built-in lightning arresters

This is from this page.

http://parmakusa.com/Fencers/110.htm

I have a smaller one that does not pulse and it will turn a stallion intent on breeding.

post #4 of 16

And I forgot to add, unless you put a top on that pen the cat will just jump it again.

post #5 of 16

How old are your kids? If they're little, you can always unplug the fence when they're out running around. As they get older, you can tell them to leave it alone (they won't, and then they'll lear their lesson). As for dogs, one zap and they'll steer clear of the fence.

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #6 of 16

It won't do any real harm.
They only pulse for 1/10th of a second

Teach the kids to stay away from it since unplugging it won't serve any purpose

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathi D 

After weeks of planning and procrastinating, I finally got electric wires running around my chicken coop. We did it because a bobcat had jumped the 5.5 ft fence during daylight (they are completely locked in at night) and taken three hens and our rooster.

Anyway, got it all wired up and the fence charger is reading around 12+ volts (?). Now I am wondering if that much power will harm the neighbor's dog or any child that might touch the fence? Everything I can find about electric fencing only talks about the dangers of not enough power, and I can't find anything that indicates what might be too much, or a dangerous level of power.

This is the charger I bought: Parmak Super Energizer 4 Low Impedance 110/120 Volt 50 Mile Range Electric Fence Controller SE4

Is it safe for dogs and children?


12 volts?  Are you sure you are measuring it right?  Check the range of your meter.  Are you measuring AC or DC volts?

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

To clarify about the kids and dogs--the kids would be my neighbor's grandchildren, who are old enough to be told not to touch the fence, and my neighbor's dog, who weighs about 25 lbs. The neighbor's driveway runs along the side of our property, and they know that I'm putting in the electric fence and are totally OK with it, however, their dog does like to come up to the fence to look in at the chickens. If he just gets a shock and learns to stay away, that's not a problem, but I wouldn't want him to be hurt.

When I say it's putting out 12 volts, I am not sure I am using the right terminology. That charger has a digital readout of its output, and it reads around 12 to 13. I don't actually know if it's volts? or what. It says that a reading of 4 is enough to deter furry animals, and that a reading of 12-17 is not unusual. I just can't find any information that states whether those readings are dangerous or not. Basically what I am reading is that since the shock is intermittent, that makes it safe. But does that mean it's safe for a 25-lb. dog? That's what I need to know. I don't want to ruin my good relationship with the neighbors by hurting their dog! Well, I don't want to hurt the dog, anyway.

Also, I know that it's not going to be 100% safe against predators, but I'm hoping it will help.

Thanks for all the info--this is a great resource.

New chicks 2/13/2013: 2 Buff Orps, 2 Black Australorps, 4 Easter Eggers, 2 New Hampshire Reds, 2 Silver Gray Dorkings, 2 Blue Splash Marans

 

New chicks 3/11 2009: 2 Buff Orp hens, 2 Jersey Black Giant hens, 4 Barred Rock hens

 

New chicks 3/7/2011! 4 RIRs, 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Black Sex Links

Reply

New chicks 2/13/2013: 2 Buff Orps, 2 Black Australorps, 4 Easter Eggers, 2 New Hampshire Reds, 2 Silver Gray Dorkings, 2 Blue Splash Marans

 

New chicks 3/11 2009: 2 Buff Orp hens, 2 Jersey Black Giant hens, 4 Barred Rock hens

 

New chicks 3/7/2011! 4 RIRs, 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Black Sex Links

Reply
post #9 of 16

you want it strong.  you'll have to teach your kids to not touch it, but even if they do, it will just hurt like heck.  but, if it doesn't hurt whatever touches it, than it's not going to deter anything from getting to your animals.

whenever this topic comes up (strength of electric fences and if they'll seriously injure someone), i have to chuckle remembering an incident with my youngest brother.

my next oldest brother and i were in the barn talking, and we heard our youngest brother making all kinds of noise (he doesn't normally show emotion, never has) outside, just yelling and howling.

we stepped outside, and the dude had gotten his leg twisted in the electric fence wire (hogs, single strand with a spring tensioner - this was right at the corner where the tensioner was).  it was so flipping funny, but it took us a couple seconds before we realized what was going on, and to go unhook it.  he just got up, sniffed a bit and walked off.  lol

no, they won't kill you, but it feels like someone is hitting  you in the back with a 2 x 4.  the first time you feel it, you get p****d off, because someone is hitting you, then before you can look around it happens again!  and again!

your neighbors dog will quickly learn what that wire means.  we've had plenty of dogs, and they did not touch the fence more than twice.  the first scares them and they run off.  the second time they realize what was happening the first time and this time, and what is doing it.  if it will keep a 500 pound hog in, it will keep a 25 pound dog out.  you don't want your neighbors dog in there, anyway.  yes, it's fine when everything is peachy, but the second those chickens get startled and head for the hills and no one is around, the dog will be on their heals


Edited by Saltysteele - 5/8/11 at 9:37pm
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathi D 

To clarify about the kids and dogs--the kids would be my neighbor's grandchildren, who are old enough to be told not to touch the fence, and my neighbor's dog, who weighs about 25 lbs. The neighbor's driveway runs along the side of our property, and they know that I'm putting in the electric fence and are totally OK with it, however, their dog does like to come up to the fence to look in at the chickens. If he just gets a shock and learns to stay away, that's not a problem, but I wouldn't want him to be hurt.

When I say it's putting out 12 volts, I am not sure I am using the right terminology. That charger has a digital readout of its output, and it reads around 12 to 13. I don't actually know if it's volts? or what. It says that a reading of 4 is enough to deter furry animals, and that a reading of 12-17 is not unusual. I just can't find any information that states whether those readings are dangerous or not. Basically what I am reading is that since the shock is intermittent, that makes it safe. But does that mean it's safe for a 25-lb. dog? That's what I need to know. I don't want to ruin my good relationship with the neighbors by hurting their dog! Well, I don't want to hurt the dog, anyway.

Also, I know that it's not going to be 100% safe against predators, but I'm hoping it will help.

Thanks for all the info--this is a great resource.


OK, I went to the website and read about that digital readout.  It is a 3 digit readout that they used to  monitor the fence voltage.  The readout is meant to be read in "Thousands of Volts".  So 12.5 is 12 thousand 500 hundred.  13 is 13 thousand volts.  Those numbers are perfect for a good fencer.   It should definately do the job.

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