Electric fencing, do you really need it vs non electric fencing

Merrymouse

Crowing
Jan 8, 2017
1,224
1,335
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Massachusetts
I want my chickens to free range behind their coop which is wooded. I've been thinking about this for years and this is the year Im going to do something about it. So, do you all think regular fencing like the Premiere one No Shock Hen pen fence will work good enough if I only let my chickens out during the day and they are cooped in a secure run and coop at night? I would go for it and spend the big bucks to get the regular premiere one electric poultry netting but my area is rocky and full of trees, stumps and sapling. So my concern is it would constantly short out from the bottom part of the fence coming into contact with saplings and ferns etc. Also, I must admit Im a bit intimidated by the set up and use of the electric fence. Also its pretty heavily wooded so I don't think a solar powered energizer would work. Do they have other options? I do have electricity in my coop and I want to run the fence right off the coop. Ill upload a pic of my property so all you experts can let me know which option would work for me. Help me get this project done, its been on my mind for at least two years! :bow Thanks so much.
 

Merrymouse

Crowing
Jan 8, 2017
1,224
1,335
256
Massachusetts
Here is the wooded area behind my coops
3F640384-6B9E-4CDD-9A5C-D65A888542A3.jpeg
CCD8C71C-2036-4477-BFFE-C52AC0D2F0D6.jpeg

it needs to be cleaned up and it looks really sparse in the dead of winter but once all all the leaves saplings and underbrush fill in it’s pretty dense with vegetation. Thanks
 

Mtnboomer

Songster
Mar 17, 2019
234
419
102
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
My adult birds free range through woods and fields with no barriers whatsoever snd they put themselves to bed each night in a secure coop. I then just shut the door and release them again in the morning. In 3years of this practice, i have only lost 1 bird (adult 12lb rooster) in broad daylight, middle of the day. We have plenty of predators from fox and coyote to Bobcats and bears, so lack of predators is not the cause of my success.
I give credit to my dog. He has no clue he's doing it but his presence alone and scent has kept the predators from roaming through our yard until after sunset when the chickens are safe in their coop. We did not have him when the rooster was taken.
 

Molpet

Crossing the Road
Premium member
Sep 7, 2015
7,816
29,530
872
New Lenox township. Illinois USA
My Coop
My Coop
I have the hen pen and shock or not from preimer. Chicks can go through the hen pen so I was using it around the garden. Something chewed through it.

I like the shock or not. The chicks can't get through the 3/4" chick guard on the bottom. I have 2 solar fencers that I switch out this time of year and they get about 10 hrs of sun and go dead when its cloudy for days. If you have electric a AC one would be better, unless you have lots of power outages

If you have trees lots of Predators can go through the tree canopy. And of course hawks
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,463
22,709
906
southern Michigan
Your birds will love it there! Free ranging is a risk for them, so do be ready to have losses, at least occasionally. Raptors will take only one birds at a time, and it takes roofing to prevent their attacks.
Any fencing that you want to use will require clearing a path through or around your wood lot, and keeping it cleared. For that effort, electric fencing or electrified poultry netting does by far the best, rather than installing something that is much less effective.
Mary
 

NatJ

Songster
Mar 20, 2017
396
889
146
USA
It looks like the no-shock fence is meant to control where the chickens can wander (keep them out of your garden, or off your porch.) But when I looked it up, the page says it will not stop predators.

So it all depends on what you want to fence to do--contain the chickens vs. protect them too.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
12,200
15,288
762
California's Redwood Coast
So, do you all think regular fencing like the Premiere one No Shock Hen pen fence will work good enough if I only let my chickens out during the day and they are cooped in a secure run and coop at night? I would go for it and spend the big bucks to get the regular premiere one electric poultry netting but my area is rocky and full of trees, stumps and sapling.
Hi there. :frow

That no shock hen pen looks fairly short term and bunk to me.. doing nothing to keep even ground predators out like fox, dog, raccoon, coyote, etc. Though it MAY work to retain your hens.

I personally would skip the poultry netting and go with E wire... keeping a line clear enough for it isn't that hard (especially since switching to wire instead of poly no fear of weed whacking it), it's affordable, easy to set up with T post, and effective WHEN wires are placed properly, doesn't break down in the weather. As stated by others it still won't do anything for aerial predators or those that climb overhanging trees.

I have tons of power outages so went with solar. Had to replace my battery after about 3 years for $45. Would much rather have ac instead... maybe I will switch after we get a whole house generator installed.

Yes, our dogs and own activity does make a huge difference.. but it's always good until it's not... and my hens are MORE replaceable than my roosters. I have kept birds free range for about 10 years and only lost my first chicks last year. The hawks are persistent here this time of year.

Good luck, it looks like a splendid place to forage! :)
 

Mtnboomer

Songster
Mar 17, 2019
234
419
102
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
That being said, its a risk. Are you willing to take it and accept the possibility of losing a bird or two or all of them?
If you choose to electrify or not, if you are building a large open top enclosure, search some other threads here. Some great responses to this question were provided.
To me, its not worth the expense of the fence. The dog and myself are around during the day and they are secured at night. So despite the high variety and population of predators, I am not concerned. Your lifestyle may be different and allow for more isolation and opportunity for predation.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,463
22,709
906
southern Michigan
Electrified rope is super stuff, from Premier1supplies.com. They have good products and advice, and the rope is less expensive that the poultry netting. Set up properly, with a HOT charger, it works very well, and is visible, where wire fades into the background.
Mary
 
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