Electric fence ?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tickbait, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. tickbait

    tickbait Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2009
    Our fence is 46 total ft. I planted 4 X 4's every 4 ft. They're 6 ft tall and I used 1 x 2, 14 ga. weld wire they called cage wire, 4 ft x 100 ft. I cut it in 7 ft lengths and buried 1 ft into ground and ran it up between the 4 X 4's. I bought a solar charged electric fence. I initially thought that because the fence was buried that it would be grounded enough and I'd run the hot wire on outside close to top of fence, because of door but have learned that fence would not be grounded sufficiently. I will put a 6 ft grounding rod in by the charger and another ground wire 4 to 6inches down from hot wire and might even weave it through the fence. I was wanting to throw the weaving part out for discussion and also maybe put another grounding rod in at the far end of the fence. I see itÂ’s not uncommon to have several grounds in a row by the charger. Would that be better than at the far end? Just realized I'll have to ground the door cage wire. I've got racoons and hawks. Netting of some type is next. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  2. gottalovemychickens

    gottalovemychickens SaveAChickenRideACowboy

    sorry im not good with numbers , have any pics ?
     
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    On that short a fence, your ground rod, plus simply connecting to the fence wire should be sufficient grounding.
    There's no need to "weave it through",

    And there's no need for a seperate ground wire, since anything climbing the fence WILL be grounded when it touches the hot wire.
     
  4. Monk

    Monk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just would like to ask... I plan on running a hot wire 5" out around the bottom of my run. Also a second hot wire 2" out around my run 2' up from the lower hot wire. The whole system will be grounded by a 6' grounding rod placed between the run itself and the bottom hot wire which is 5" out. Is this plan safe for the birds? They will be able to just bearly reach the bottom hot wire?
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Can I back up and ask what you are trying to achieve here?

    Are you trying to make sure critters get zapped even when the soil is frozen or very dry and not carrying a current well? Or are you concerned, under normal soil conditions, that critters will not get sufficiently zapped if they climb partway up the fence (have no paws on the ground) by the time they contact the hotwire? Or are you simply trying to install a conventional electrical fence?

    What you should do kind of depends on which of these (or anything else) you are shooting for.

    Quote:Ideally you'd make it so the chickens can't reach the hotwire all -- how the heck are they getting to a wire *outside* the run anyhow? If they are sticking their heads through, it is pretty cheap and easy to get some plastic garden netting (or whatever) to put on the inside of the fence to prevent it.

    In general chickens are pretty poor conductors, and so not all that apt to be harmed by electric fences, but of course it depends what voltage your fence is carrying; also, getting zapped on the head or beak is a little riskier than getting zapped on, say, the body. I cannot swear to you that you will have zero risk of chicken casualties, especially if you have 4-5,000v on the hotwire as you should to deter predators; but realistically the risks are very low. Zero if you can deny the chickens access to the wire.

    BTW unless this is a verrrry large run, you probably don't need a 6' ground rod; if you can get a 4' section of galvanized pipe instead, that is two feet less work to bang into the ground [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. tickbait

    tickbait Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2009
    Patandchickens, there are raccoons in the area and I also have a gate in to the run that is 4 ft wide by 6 ft tall so my thinking was to ground the fence and run a hot wire around the top but on the outside of the fence, to accommodate the gate opening. There is no one home during the work day. Thanks everyone.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:OK, that makes sense -- so in that case, I think your best bet would be to simply attach a wire *securely* (see below) to the fence, or each separate portion thereof if the whole thing is not one continuous piece of mesh, and run those wires to a *secure connection* with the ground rod sunk several feet into the earth (which is also attached to the ground terminal of the fence charger of course).

    By secure connection, I mean not just wrapped around or woven through or anything like that, but tightly wrapped for a few turns, or in a tightly-pulled underwriters-knot type arrangement. You want a TIGHT connection, no little gaps over which things will spark.

    For such a short fence I cannot see any point in multiple ground rods. Even if your soil is pure sand you'd probably be pretty ok, or at least no better off with multiple ones; the bigger thing is to try not to let the soil dry out completely (dry soil does not conduct electricity nearly so well as damp soil). And I say this as someone who truly sees one of the commonest causes of electric fence 'failure', so called, as being insufficient ground rods. Really I do not think you need to go overboard for this short fence [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  8. RonB

    RonB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2009
    Woodinville
    I'm also thinking of running an electric fence for my new flock. My run butts up against the barn so I have only three sides of fence. The run is 14'x19' and five ft high. How high up on the fence should I run my wire and how far out. I saw a raccoon last week. but they haven"t botherd my flock yet. They are locked up at night. they free range 2-4 hours a day
    You veterans are GREAT, thanks for helping us new guys!!!
     
  9. Vince

    Vince Out Of The Brooder

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    I think if you have the fence on during the day when your not home. Then you better have the flock locked in the coop. Hint: "chickens flombe'". I am not a coon expert but, the only problems I have had with them or any other critter to that matter is at night. Birds are locked up at night and the fence is hot. Also you may want to get a Havaheart. They work great!
     
  10. tickbait

    tickbait Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2009
    Thanks for everyone's help. For our location I'm not too worried about coons during the day but it would help my wife rest better knowing we've done just about everything we can short of locking them up in coop. We'll go slow and see what we're comfortable with. I'm going to sink one 6 or 8 ft grounding rod. First foot of dirt is top soil then we have clay. I'm confidant it will make for good ground and I will come up with a good connection for each fence section. I do understand moisture is another key factor. We do have a red tailed Hawk in the neighborhood and right now I'm looking at plastic deer fence to put up this weekend too. I've got the next 4 days off, Hurray!!!
     

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