Electric fence and chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DanceswLabs, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. DanceswLabs

    DanceswLabs Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    0
    109
    Apr 6, 2010
    Wake County, NC
    Hello,
    I am new here and to chickens. I have been enjoying reading and learning on this forum, and now I have a question. I have (had) 8 Leghorn pullets, 1 Leghorn cockerel, 1 Cornish X pullet and three Black Australorp pullets. They are about 12 weeks old. I let them out to range a bit this afternoon. When I put them up a bit ago, I noticed one Leghorn pullet was missing, and then I found dead in the dogs' yard. The dogs were not in there; they didn't do the deed (although my female black Lab would LOVE to; )). We have the fence hotwired to keep my dogs from digging out. The wires are in a double strand with the strands about 8 inches apart. The pullet was on both strands.

    Here's my question: can the fence charger kill a chicken? I wouldn't have thought it would be strong enough. Could she have had a heart attack from panic (she is a Leghorn)? Is it the fact that she was on both strands that killed her?

    Thanks for your information/advice. I want to make sure this doesn't happen again.

    Jeany
     
  2. peaceful

    peaceful Chillin' With My Peeps

    241
    0
    119
    Jun 24, 2008
    BC Canada
    Seems to me it might have. I'm no expert, but it sounds like it.
     
  3. babsbag

    babsbag Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
    4
    131
    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    I really don't know the answer to your question, but they make electric netting fencing and advertise it for use with chickens, so that makes me wonder. But if she was actually touching both wires then your guess might be a good one. I know large birds, like owls and hawks can get electrocuted if their wings touch 2 wires, but of course those are high voltage.

    I am sorry you lost your chick.
     
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    13,295
    18
    291
    Aug 25, 2008
    SC
    Hi Jeany, [​IMG]

    I'm not sure either, I am just delving into the world of electric fences. It does seem that that's what killed the hen, because touching both wires would complete the circuit. I have had Leghorns, and they are squirrely at best. Great layers, but nervous and flighty.

    I'll be looking for answers as the pros chime in.

    But I mostly came in because.... I dance with my Lab! [​IMG] And yes, he snacked on a hen last year. Which is why there are 2 fences between dogs and chickens now. (Bingo is really into reggae, [​IMG] )
     
  5. babsbag

    babsbag Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
    4
    131
    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    I forgot to mention, my Border Collie has to lick her fingers too, ahhh, the taste of fresh warm chicken, raw. [​IMG]

    My chickens run with my goats and the electric fence strands are too far apart for the chickens to touch 2 at one time. The fence keeps the goats in, but mostly keeps dogs out, mine, the neighbors, and the coyotes (I hope).

    My doggies will never visit the chickens or vice versa, not on my watch at least.

    Just out of curiosity, how many joules are going through your fence? Have you ever measured it? Mine runs about 7.5-8.5
     
  6. kelar

    kelar Chillin' With My Peeps

    825
    9
    144
    May 22, 2010
    yacolt
    The answer is yes, your electric fence can easily kill a chicken. The voltage is for large animals, so any smaller animal can be killed or seriously harmed by an electric fence. Karen
     
  7. babsbag

    babsbag Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
    4
    131
    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    That is good to know. I remember seeing a chart at TSC that showed which fence controller would work for which animals. Since I was keeping goats I was looking for BIG. I will have to go look at the chart again and see where the chickens are in the list.

    Ours gives quite a jolt when I touch it so it makes since that it could kill a chicken. I wll have to pay more attention as to how far off the ground and how far apart I place my wire.
     
  8. Frogdogtimestwo

    Frogdogtimestwo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    We have a strong charger also due to all the different animals we have and our chickens occasionally touch the wire we have 6 inches off the ground, they usually high tail it off the fence but I believe if they didn't move quickly it would kill them. We have had several wild birds that land on the fence with both feet and never leave, for us it's unavoidable if we want to keep out livestock safe from the coyotes. It is an intermittent charger.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  9. dmccann

    dmccann Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,296
    12
    191
    Jul 19, 2009
    darlington pa
    My Coop
    Years ago my son had chickens and ducks, we had hogs in 1strand electric fence, it was constant current, one day he found his female duck dead on it, so it can kill ,sorry about your loss.
     
  10. DanceswLabs

    DanceswLabs Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    0
    109
    Apr 6, 2010
    Wake County, NC
    Ack! I feel like a negligent chicken parent! Poor little leghorn girl (would it be mean to say I wish it had been the rooster?) We will have to set the dog fence lower or switch it with the horses' fence charger. Two of our horses need a stronger charge anyway. The dogs are wimps and could probably use a lesser charge. I think I remember seeing one of those charts at TSC too, and I will go check it out before any more chickens walk the Green Mile in my back yard. Thanks for the info.
    Jeany
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by