electric fence

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by picklespickles, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    has anyone else put up an electric fence?

    any special tips or tricks?

    i hope to put one up in the next two weeks.
  2. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    thankfully we are enteritn the season where weeds won't be growing. so that is good. dont' know how or if i will be able to keep up once that starts.

    (weeds touching fence make inactive)

    anybody with electric fences? any tips?
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    Corydon, Indiana
    You need 3 metal poles hammered into the ground 8 feet apart, that get a thick wire toattach them all to the shocker. You need those plastic insulators to run the shock wire. You need a gate handle. You can run the wire one way, it doesn't have to run back to the machine. You need to keep the shocker dry, I use a rubbermaid tub turned upside down, cut a square in the back and slide it over the machine. If the wire touches anything, it will short out the machine. If the machine has a fuse, get a few. And trial and error will direct you in how to place the wires. I don't know if you bought one yet, but Americanlivestocksupply has really good prices and assortment. I've seen them for half of what Tractor Supply wanted.
  4. pipermark

    pipermark Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
    I am trying to set one up now, and I am not having good luck. The charger is flickering which means something isn't right, but I cant figure it out [​IMG].
  5. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    thanks for the advice. [​IMG]

    maybe it's touching something like a weed?
  6. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    For the best information on electric fences go to afence.com There you will find the completer guide to installing an electric fence. The height of the wires depends on what you are tring to keep out or in.
  7. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Songster

    Apr 18, 2007
    Quote:By flickering, are you meaning the indicator light flashes when you hear the charger click? If so, that's actually normal and indicates that things are working correctly. The light flashes to show a discharge through the fence circuitry.

    Buying one of those multi-led electric fence testers is a good idea. They are quick and easy to use out on the line. It's faster and easier than playing with a blade of grass and trying to feel the pulse.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The charger is *supposed* to pulse "on" every second or so (they generally have a little light that flashes and make a sound like "tick, tick, tick") - a pulsed charge is much safer and less likely to cause accidental death than a constant charge would be.

    www.premierfencesupplies.com has another good guide to setting up and troubleshooting an electric fence, if that helps you.

    Do get one of those $12 neon-bulb fence testers - they make troubleshooting a malfunctioning fence SO much easier (finding exactly where the charge drops out). Just don't believe the exact alleged voltage they read, as they are pretty inaccurate in that respect.

    The most common problems are things like: insufficient grounding (too few or too short ground rods, or ground too dry or frozen), poor connections between wires or wires+hardware, or unknowingly having the fence shorted out (weeds, nails sticking out of insulators, saggy wire that flaps against other materials, etc). If you are using a section of insulated wire to bury in the ground etc, you MUST use real electric-fence burial wire not just household wiring wire, as the latter isn't insulated against high enough voltages and will short the fence out sooner or later. Also don't run an electric wire right close along a long stretch of metal (other metal fence, or metal shed wall) because it causes resistance in the circuit even if they're not actually touching. Oh, and keep the ground rods WELL away from underground metal water pipes or buried utility lines, otherwise it can mess up your phone or radio reception.

    Good luck,

  9. Unpenned Hen

    Unpenned Hen In the Brooder

    Nov 5, 2007
    Is it possible to hurt your chickens too much with them getting stuck under the fence or something? My Mom bought a fence for the goat several months ago and was afraid to hook it up because of hurting something/someone too much. We're such whimps...[​IMG]
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, unfortunately animals can get killed in an electric fence, but hardly ever.

    One thing is that animals differ in how good of a charge they'll conduct and how much of a charge it takes to kill them. So for instance if you have a horse-strength electric fence with metal t-posts, you may very occasionally lose the occasional songbird that perches on the wire in such a way that part of its body also touches the t-post. They just can't deal with as much current as a horse can.

    The other thing is that if an animal gets STUCK in an electric fence, so that it can't fall/run away and just keeps getting zapped over and over, that can be fatal. But (with the possible exception of horned sheep/goats and medium-mesh electromesh fences) this is pretty seriously rare and can be largely avoided by good fence design. I have trouble imagining how it could happen to a chicken, unless a predator chased it into an electromesh fence in which case the chicken was in trouble anyhow!

    BTW the same pertains to people - electric fences are not entirely without risk, so you need to make sure nobody falls on them, crawls headfirst into one, or contacts one that's carrying "extra" voltage.

    You know what? Animals (and people [​IMG]) can luck into bizarre accidental ways to hurt themselves on ANY kind of fence, and really I'd say that properly-designed-and-installed electric is one of the safer types.


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