Does electric poultry fencing work really well? What brand is best?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sarahandbray, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

    677
    58
    123
    Aug 12, 2014
    I've been trying to figure out how I'm going to build a large pasture for my chickens since I want something in between free-range and penned up birds. Electric fencing seems PERFECT!
    Would you trust your chickens alone during the day in an electric fence pasture? Or is that asking for trouble?
    This sounds like the perfect application for me!

    Sarah
     
  2. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,228
    478
    231
    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I've had my electrified poultry fence going on 4yrs without a loss to a ground predator. I have a kind of FortKnox type of coop. So nights were no problem. But the day, when they were out, turned into a different story. Got away with freeranging for almost a full year, until the fox discovered the chickens. Lost 17 in two separate day attacks. I had to do something, and I didn't want to keep the birds shut in the coop all the time. And I could not be out there with them all the time. So I bought 300' of Premier's poultry net. I liked it so much, I bought another 350' of it over the last couple of years.
    You have to keep the grass clear around the fenceline, or it will weaken the fence's zap. I use Roundup to keep it clear. You can move the fence, and mow, but week after week, I got tired of that. In the winter, you have to keep the snow cleared also. I've cleared powder type snow, with a broom. If we get the wet heavy stuff, I just unplug the fence. If there is a lot of deep snow, chickens(Mine anyways) will just choose to stay in the coop. And even if they do come out, I think the ground preds around here have had enough bad experiences with the fence, and don't even want to test it.
    I have found the fencing to be, for me, the Perfect solution. I don't have any experiences with other manufacturers. But I can say that Premier makes a good product, they have fast, free shipping(With orders over $100, I think). And they have good customer service. Below is a link to what I use.




    http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?mode=detail&fence_id=93

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  3. bucky52

    bucky52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,124
    23
    171
    Apr 26, 2011
    do your chickens get zapped.
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,615
    1,101
    311
    Dec 25, 2012
    I prefer a regular smooth wire type electric fence. One with at least 5 or 6 horizontal wires beginning at 3 or so inches off the ground.

    With any type electric fence you must be concerned with weeds, tall grasses, and deep snow shorting it out. When a continuous short occurs all the juice will run to ground through the short and any 4 legged chicken thief who challenges your fence will be undeterred from getting himself a nice warm chicken dinner. This is true for what ever style of electric fence you choose.

    The beauty of electric fences is that once a chicken thief is zapped it is always shy about challenging that fence again. The same is true for chickens. You might say that an electric fence is an "educational" device.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  5. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    912
    184
    146
    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    I use 200' of electric fencing from Premier 1, and it has been great. I have only had one loss since setting up the fence, when one of my roosters flew over the fence to challenge something, and he paid for his mistake with his life. My chickens all stay inside the fence, occasionally my ducks will fly out for a short time, and then fly back in. When you first set up the fence, stay out with the chickens for a couple of hours. The chickens will get shocked, and learn to not touch the fence. I had 1 chicken who would get shocked, run into the fence, get shocked, run into the fence. I had to grab her and pull her away, which is why I recommend watching them for the first two hours or so.

    Even though electric fences are very good deterents, they are not fool proof. Someone posted a video of a bobcat circling the fence, jumping it, grabbing a duck and jumping back over the fence with the duck in its mouth. The bobcat returned and repeated the process two more times for a total of 3 ducks. So you may be able to let them out all day, it just depends on your predator situation.

    Get the fence and let us know how it goes.
     
  6. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

    677
    58
    123
    Aug 12, 2014
    I tried looking at the Premier website, but I guess I'm confused. How much does the basic set-up cost? Can I run it off an extension cord down from our Morton Building? And what do u do in thick snow? We're in upstate, NY and get hammered with snow.
    But I love the concept of it being relatively mobile, easy to set-up and a major deterrent to ground predators (and my own dogs!).

    Can you walk me through what I would need? And this may sound dumb--but how do you get into the fence to get into your cool? Is there a door or something?

    Sarah
     
  7. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    912
    184
    146
    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    For a basic setup, you need a section of fence, a charger, connecting wires and a ground rod. I bought 48" high poultry plus fencing in 100' lengths. The difference between Poultry Plus vs regular Poultry net is Plus has posts closer together which make for a more sturdy fence, and Plus comes in 100' vs 164' lengths. I bought my charger and connecting wires at a local Tractor Supply, and the grounding rod at Lowes. The fencing is around $150, the charger was $75, the cables were $5 and the ground rod $10. I plug mine into an extension cord coming from the house.

    Deep snow will short out the fence, so it may not work well in winter. I take my fence down at first snow, and the chickens are cooped up in the coop and attached run until Spring. My chickens don't like being out in the snow anyway.

    [​IMG]
     
    Merrymouse and aart like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by