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barn stall converted into a chicken coop, electric fence question

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone.  This is my first post.  My wife and I are preparing to get six chickens, and I'm hoping for some help with defending them with an electric wire (or twine).  I've been reading this board, and it is clear to me that if I don't do more to defend them, my chickens won't last very long.

We have lived in cities our entire lives, so please assume that we know absolutely nothing; trust me, you won't hurt my feelings if you explain things like I'm in kindergarten.  We have a barn that we don't use, and so we converted one of the stalls into a coop, connected to a small run outdoors.  I wanted to find out about the best way to run an electric wire to help keep predators out.  We have neighborhood dogs that have probably never even seen a leash, and we have raccoons, coyotes, foxes, etc.

We have two sections of chicken wire inside the barn (the other two sides are the barn itself), and outside is our rectangular run with three sides made up of chicken wire in the fourth the side made by the barn.  The outside is a grassy area and I don't know how tall grass affects the wire; plus, we live in New England and get a lot of snow.  The barn has power.  So, if any of you would be kind enough to help me understand the best way to set up an electric perimeter, that would be great.  As I said, I don't know anything.  Can you attach the wire directly to the chicken wire or does it need to be not in contact?  Does it need to eventually connect itself to make a circuit?  What can it touch?  Are there any potential fire hazards?  What about the grass and the snow? Basically, any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

One DW, 12 adult chickens, 13 juveniles, one part-time barn cat.  4 Mille fleur Cochins (2 roos, 2 hens), 3 Blue Cochins, 2 RIRs, 2 BOs, 2 EEs, 1 JJ, 1 SLW, 1 Australorp, 1 OEGB; 8 American Gamefowl (1 roo).
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One DW, 12 adult chickens, 13 juveniles, one part-time barn cat.  4 Mille fleur Cochins (2 roos, 2 hens), 3 Blue Cochins, 2 RIRs, 2 BOs, 2 EEs, 1 JJ, 1 SLW, 1 Australorp, 1 OEGB; 8 American Gamefowl (1 roo).
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post #2 of 5

If you are running the wire on the outside, and i assume you are, then you are going to have to get some kind of posts to connect it to. if you check out a farm and home store or even a hardware store they will have either plastic posts made for the wire or connectors to hold the wire to a t-post. You have to leave room between the chicken wire and the electric wire. I use a pet fence controller for mine and it seems to work better since the converters for larger animals like cows usually have a delay before they shock. If you use a pet fence box you will get directions on how to connect it but the wire also has to be grounded. I used a tent stake into the ground to do this and it works well. you will need to keep grass trimmed around it. If you have a door entering your run like i think most of us do then you will want to buy these things that can connect the wires in case you want to enter the run after you shut off the electricity. I hope this has been helpful if not i am sorry i think i said all that i can think of.

I have a wonderful wife, 2 kids,18 different types of birds some mixed some purebred golden duck wing Phoenix.
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I have a wonderful wife, 2 kids,18 different types of birds some mixed some purebred golden duck wing Phoenix.
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post #3 of 5

HMMMM....best way to do it is to just dig a trench around the perimeter of your run . Tack on chicken wire to 2x4's and re-bury it . I live on 36 acres with coyotes , skunks , mink , weasles , wolves , bears , wild dogs...you name it . Never had a problem . Had to shoot a skunk in the garage the other day though . Electric fences work great . The problem is ...you have to weed eat the grass out every other day . To truly keep predators out like skunks or dogs you have to keep the line down low  , which on most low powered fencers will ground it ou . You could get what they call a weed burner , which I use for the horses , but when put down too low will catch the grass on fire in the dry season .  Maybe someone knows more than I do about this ...but I think in the long run , go with burying the chicken wire . All of the oldtimers I know ( 72-92 yrs old ) have told me to do this .wink

Be TRUE , Be YOURSELF , But most importantly , Be TRUE to yourself . If you can't look in the mirror everyday , and know you are a good human being , then what are you living for ?
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Be TRUE , Be YOURSELF , But most importantly , Be TRUE to yourself . If you can't look in the mirror everyday , and know you are a good human being , then what are you living for ?
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post #4 of 5

We converted a horse stall for chickens too and added a security porch indoors and a secure run outdoors.  If you think some of our experiences might be of help, please click on the home page below for photos and a description of how we created this space.  I think you're goig to be well-prepared and happy with your choice, especially in winter.cool

I'd recommend 1/2" hardware wire added over your chicken wire for predator protection.  You have the same monsters out there as us!


Edited by LynneP - 6/28/08 at 10:02am

Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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post #5 of 5

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Edited by Frogdogtimestwo - 7/19/08 at 7:41pm
"No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses." Herman Melville
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"No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses." Herman Melville
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