Can I use electric sheep netting with chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Artborean, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. Artborean

    Artborean Just Hatched

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    Hi all, we are new to chicken keeping and have been coming back here again and again, finally I had a question I couldn't find a clear answer to so I decided to sign up and ask :)

    We are building a coop and fixed enclosure/run with it, but in addition to that we'd like the chickens to be able to go out into other places, but not completely free range since we have a very excitable puppy who likes to chase, and of course there are predators in the area. I also want to use the chickens to keep some areas of the yard grazed down and use them at certain times in the garden etc. We have a hilly, uneven landscape and I want to be able to adjust the size and shape of the enclosure (eg, can put it in a wide open area or just in a part of the garden etc.), so a lightweight fence that's easy to shape and move around seems to me like a great solution.

    The problem is, we live in Norway and the market is small here compared to the states, so sometimes random things like backyard chicken supplies can be hard to find. I know electric poultry netting exists, but I haven't been able to find any here, and it can be very expensive to order stuff online from other countries.

    As far as I know, most people who have backyard chickens here either straight free range them or keep them enclosed in a coop/run at all times, or some combination of the two.

    However, lots of people here have sheep and use this mobile electric netting for them.

    Here is a link with a picture of what we can find in our farm supply store:
    https://www.felleskjopet.no/butikk/...erde/elektrisk-netting-basic-90cm-x-47247424/

    Would that work for chickens? Would they fly over it or get through it or would there be some other issue I haven't thought of yet?

    Or, if anyone here happens to know of a place to get this stuff in Norway, that would be even better :)
     
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Lighter breeds can fly well. You can stop them by clipping one wing.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Gap size in the sheep netting will likely allow chickens to pass through it by simply walking.

    Chicken tractor might be a way to get at what you are after. Show images of your landscape. I use tractors as part of my setups but slope can be a problem.
     
  4. Artborean

    Artborean Just Hatched

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    Chicken tractors are awesome, that was what I originally wanted to do, but sadly that's not the answer in this case. It wouldn't provide the flexibility we need to deal with the irregular terrain and it also wouldn't allow us to change the size and shape of the enclosure when we want it to fit into different areas. Then there's the physical challenge of dragging it up the hill (and preventing it from rolling/sliding/blowing back down again). So we plan to use the fence in the same way we would use a chicken tractor, but the fence would just work better in our setting.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I think I’d chat with the Norwegian Department of Agriculture or whatever you call it. They may have some ideas and know what is available.

    I agree, the chickens will walk right through that netting. If they touch it with their combs or wattles they will get shocked but their feathers insulate them. Until my chicks are around 8 weeks old, they can and often do walk through my chicken netting.

    I use 48” high (1.3 meters) electric netting. My chickens can easily fly over it but they generally don’t. Some people use 36” high (1 meter) wire mesh fencing and keep chickens contained. It’s not a matter of CAN they fly over it, it’s a case of WILL they. The only time mine get out is when a cockerel is losing a fight with another cockerel and gets trapped against the netting. He goes vertical to get away and winds up on the wrong side of the netting. I’ve learned to not make my corners real sharp and to not make long narrow corridors. If I spread it out enough and flatten the corners they generally don’t get caught against the netting.

    Uneven ground is not kind to any kind of mesh fencing. It sags or leaves gaps underneath. That’s another challenge you will face though cloth or plastic netting is a lot easier to work with than metal mesh fencing. But cloth or plastic netting without electricity isn’t going to be much of a deterrent to your dog or many other predators.

    I don’t have any great ideas for you. Electric netting does sound like your best solution but the mesh needs to be small enough to contain chickens. Good luck!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  7. Artborean

    Artborean Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the tips!! Some very good points in there, I'll keep in mind about the corners and not making long narrow corridors (that's something I might have done in between garden plots). How big are the spaces in the netting you're using?

    I wonder if it makes a difference whether we fully free range the chickens at all. What I'm thinking is, if they have been outside freely without the fence before are they more likely to fly over it if I try to contain them in it, or will they be content to just hang out there? I can already see that they are super curious, but they also seem pretty cautious of new things, so I guess it could go either way. We were hoping to let them roam freely now and then just for fun, but that might not be a good idea if it means it'll be impossible to contain them with netting when we want to.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The vertical spacing is 3” (75 mm). The horizontal is a varied spacing, starts small on the bottom and gets larger as you go up.
     
  9. Artborean

    Artborean Just Hatched

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    Thanks!
     

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