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electric fence

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by HarmonyHen, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. HarmonyHen

    HarmonyHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2012
    I am planning to put an electric fence around my garden to keep the groundhogs and rabbits out. I free range my chickens and guineas. Any suggestions for deterring the chickens from the fence or a unit that's good enough for keeping bad critters out but won't be too bad if chickens inadvertently get too close?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Northwest Arkansas
    You don’t need to worry about that. The electric netting has a very high voltage but very low wattage. Volts are not what causes the big problems, it’s the watts. Plus it pulses instead of providing a steady current. That gives things time to turn loose if they touch it. It will shock but not harm them unless they somehow get tangled up in it where they cannot.

    I’ve had a couple of snapping turtles, a snake, and a possum get tangled up in it. The snake and one turtle died, the other turtle and possum were not killed by the current. I’ve never had a chicken come close to getting tangled up in it.

    I’ve been around when chickens touched the netting with their combs. Their feathers insulate them so the only way they get shocked is to touch it with a comb or wattles, maybe the legs but I haven’t seen that. What happens is the chicken squawks, jumps back, and immediately goes back to eating or whatever they do. It does not hurt them but they do learn to not eat that close to it.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Need to clarify whether wire or poultry netting to be used. Most chickens if standard size will respect netting although wire will not be effective. I currently have two electrified perimters, outer with wire and inner with poultry netting. Rabbits move freely through wire but are excluded by netting. I do not have groundhogs owing to dogs although they should be at least as easy as rabbits to obstruct with the netting.

    Another critter that does not fair well with electrufied poultry netting is the Plains Toad where big females seem really prone to get hung up in it. The other day I also had a couple roosters scrapping where one got stuck in netting. I got him out relatively but he did get zapped several times and was not happy. He did loose interest in fighting.
     
  4. HarmonyHen

    HarmonyHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2012
    We'll be using wire. A perimeter around the bottom , close to the ground.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    More than one strand will be required and they need to be very close to each other and low. Keep lower wire no more than 4" above ground. Keep grass mowed tight or suppress with a herbicide. I do not use herbicide but co-workers do which greatly reduces labor associated with mowing. Over course of year keeping fence clear of weeds is much more a consideration than actually putting it up. Keeping wires close together will physically block birds that otherwise do not make good contacts for getting shocked. Head area does get zapped but legs seem more inclined to be shocked on birds challenging my wire.
     

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