electric fence/southern predator?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by faithnkids, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. faithnkids

    faithnkids Hatching

    Aug 18, 2007
    I thought my pen was failsafe - a ten foot high solid wood fence around the coop, concrete pad with a wire mesh henhouse built on it. Now I"ve lost half my lovely chicks in a week. I inspected the perimeter of the fence on the ground, and no holes have been dug. Something is climbing the fence! The chicks are adults; some have head chewed off; a few were absolutely stripped to the bone (drought conditions may make things worse?), today I found the plywood back wall of the henhouse chewed through with two more dead chicks. Half the hens refused to come in to night and roosted in a magnolia instead, 20 feet off the ground. Don't blame 'em. I wired closed the hole that had been chewed and will entire wire the back wall of the henhouse, but here are my questions - you southerners, are these possums? I've lost some to possums before, but usually they don't eat as much. And - my MAIN QUESTION! A friend recommended electric wire fence, top and bottom. Anybody done this, how effective, any referral to a website giving tips? Thanks!!!!
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2007
  2. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    My experience with possums have been that they eat the guts out and leave all the good stuff. The will eat from the breast bone to the vent and leave the perfectly good meat. Could it be raccoons or fox's? Never had much dealings with them. We are in the process of building an Alcatraz for our birds and man it costs twice as much to predator proof than it does to just build the dang chicken coop!!
  3. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    So sorry to hear of your losses!

    Sounds like it make have been a racoon from things my land lady has told me. She raises all kinds of poultry behind our place and has had alot of losses to coons.

    Not using electric fence, so I can't help you out there. Is there some way you could enclose the top?

  4. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Sounds like a coon to me. Here is the site I looked at before I installed my electric fence. It is the Amercian Fence Co. in Texas, either afence,com or [email protected]. They have a page on the installation of a fence and they will answere any questions you might have. Because of the coon's fur you might wnt to use barbed wire instead of the little thin wire that comes in the kit. Keep the first wire about 6 to 8 inches from the ground and keep the ground damp. My fence will keep most predators out, as long as I remmenber to plug it in. Good luck
  5. nairba57

    nairba57 Hatching

    Aug 18, 2007
    I live in the south and my property is surrounded by a marsh and wildlife refuge. Predators include bobcats, coyotes, possums and racoons. When the racoons eat the chickens they usually just pop the neck and drink the blood. ( I didnt believe it either) Possums strip the meat and eat alot of it. Possums are notorious climbers and a wooden fence makes it easier for both racoon and possum to go over. Possums ate several of my chickens after hurricane rita took its toll and they started sleeping up high in trees also. However the possum found them there also over time. I have an electric fence and it works great. I have about four hundred yards of fence. The wire up top wont work. The correct way to run the electric fence is to run one wire about six inches off the ground and then circle the wire back and run the second about a foot off the ground. All predators are crawlers and will try to go over and strike one of the two wires. They will never be smart enouph to take a running start and jump. As they are walking sniffing for food and traces of a scent to get to them. After a few times they hit the wire they will quit trying until a new predator comes along. Running the wire around the top makes no diffence as thier feet have to be grounded to recieve the shock. Yes i did that my first try until a Old farmer man told me how. good luck...
  6. faithnkids

    faithnkids Hatching

    Aug 18, 2007
    Terrific advice - thanks everyone. I'm meeting a friend for lunch today who installed an electric fence, so I'll post any tips I get from talking with him. I completely cleaned out the coop and perimeter yesterday and set out a trap - of course, no takers yet! @#(($)!

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