Electric, Barb Wire and Netting? Pictures bottom of Page 1

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by babychickfarmer, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. We are thinking about putting a electric fence around the top of our run. Has anyone else done this? What kind of voltage and will it work around the top of our fence or do you have to touch the top and the ground at the same time?
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  2. chcknrs

    chcknrs Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA
    I just ordered electric mesh fencing for the bottom of my run, don't know why you'd want it on top, except for hawks, but you can deter them with deer netting and it's much cheaper.
    The mesh fencing is not cheap, but it's very good insurance.
  3. Well we want it on the top because I have the whole run secured with fencing and that deer netting but Racoons are climbing over a part of the fence in the back run...I will go take pictures and post em to show
  4. chcknrs

    chcknrs Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA
    You can get the four foot electric mesh fencing and put it around the bottom and they will not be climbing anymore. Or you can try the single strand wire, might be cheaper.
  5. WikkitGateFarm

    WikkitGateFarm In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2008
    Pickaway County, Ohio
    Run a single strand a few inches up and a few inches out from the bottom of the fence, and another hot wire near the top. Anything that digs gets its nose zapped, anything that climbs gets its feet zapped, and it takes MUCH less power and expense than running mesh.
  6. Well we have an electric dog fence we were going to try to use.

    Here is a photo of where i think they were climbing up. This is the north side of our back run and it had braches from the laurel hangin over onto the other side, so we cut it back yesterday.

    Here is the south side of the backrun and unless they can climb that wire fencing they aren't gettin under anywhere else. I hade sure it was secure yesterday as well..

    Here is the back run all together and this is where we want to put netting over the top for one, barb wire along the top fenceline, and electric fencing around the bottom.


    the back run gate, which leads into the front run and they are suppose to get shut into the front run everynight, but it wasn't happening so now it is going to be made sure its done.

    The Front run, secured everywhere is covered in netting, nothing gets out and nothings going to be gettin in.

    What does everyone think? about the barbwire, the fencing, ect. Does anyone have any suggestions about anything, I am not going to lose any more of my girls and if it comes down to it i will catch the family of coons and relocate them.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm sorry, really I am, but I think you need to seriously rethink your run. It is only pure good fortune that you have not already lost most or all of your chickens, because it is MAJORLY not at ALL predator proof [​IMG]

    Raccoons are excellent climbers. Also they are strong. They can climb over (or actually, probably just rip apart) your chickenwire fence in the blink of an eye. The wooden privacy fence is also very easily climbable. Seriously. We're talking maybe ten, twenty seconds to get over it. The 'front run' (last pic) is not at all secure either; if they don't rip the chickenwire apart, they will just climb up and over, going thru the unscreened gable part at the top.

    First, you really oughta get something stronger than typical chickenwire. I would suggest at LEAST using 2x4" welded wire mesh.

    Then you need either a full roof, or perimeter electric -- NOT atop the fence, but along the ground, preferably at least 2 strands, one at 4-5" (you will have to keep the grass and weeds well cut back so they don't ground it out) and another at 14-16". They need to be stood away from the wire run fence far enough that there is no question of shorting out in the wind or rain, and they need to be on a fully reliable charger whose strength is checked at least weekly if not daily. (edited to add: the strength of an electric fence's "zap" is best measured in joules. You need something around 3,000 J (if I recall correctly) to reliably discourage raccoons - that is comparable to what you need for horses. You will need professional advice to choose an appropriate charger, because it depends very much on how much of what material you are running. DO NOT believe any of this 'charges X miles of fence' cr ap, as it is basically irrelevant to real world conditions. Talk to the customer service reps of major charger manufacturers or suppliers to get sensible advice.)

    Catching and relocating raccoons is basically pointless (or anyhow is IN NO WAY a substitute for having a well built run) because there is a roughly infinite population of raccoons out there -- new ones will just move in -- and all it takes is one raccoon, once, to put a permanent and probably severe dent in your flock. Plus once they have et some chickens they will be much harder to keep out in the future. Best to prevent them ever getting a taste.

    Barb wire would be pointless. It is meant to deter cattle and other large grazing stock. Several strands near ground level may *slightly* deter digging predators, but not enough to be a very good way of trying to achieve that goal around a chicken run (use a horizontal apron or buried vertical skirt of welded wire mesh instead).

    Sorry, I know that's not what you prolly wanted to hear, but it's the truth.

    Good luck,

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  8. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    I agree with Pat on most points. As for a place to start check out, kencove.com or afence.com Both of these places will help you decide on an electric fence. The one I use puts out at least 7000 volts, I say 7000 because that is as high as my meter goes. Forget a battery or solar power unit, I have tried both and they didn't work for me. I live in the Sierra foothills and my main predator problem is bear. With this fence on the bears have not bother me. The day it is off, I can count on a bear showing up. I run the electric though barb wire. If you use only the round wire the hair of the bear will protect it from being zapped. Because of this I only use plain chicken wire as a way to keep the chickens in, not as a way of keeping a predator out. Put the hot wires on top makes no sense.
    The predator has to be touching the ground for it to get zapped. And the ground has to be kept moist. So you have to install a sprinkler system around your run. The other things I use are motion detectors with both lights and noise makers. I keep a radio in each coop on a talk show. When I used music it didn't stop the bear, but they will stop short of the fence once they hear a human voice.
    You will need to clear all the weeds and trees from around the run also. At least three feet back. You didn't say what part of the west coast, but you could have the same problems as I do.
  9. Dilly

    Dilly Cooped Up

    Apr 15, 2008
    I know this is not what you want to hear, but Pat is correct. Nothing about your run is preditor proof. You have gone through allot of time, effort and expense and the preditors will not miss a beat going after your chickens and succeeding.

    It is better sometimes to have less and use the right materials and not loose your birds.

    Hardware cloth works.....
    Not even welded wire by itself will protect or keep them safe, if they do not go over, or under, they can and will be pulled through it.

    Chicken wire doesn't work.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: