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


Crossing the Road
Premium member
Sep 7, 2015
New Lenox township. Illinois USA
My Coop
My Coop
The pro to the net is it's easy to move to clear out the fence line every few weeks in the grass/weeds.
It's easier to follow the ground but short dips are a problem.
I had a limb fall on it, the ground was wet so the posts just fell over and no damage. The limb was 12 ft and bigger around than my thigh on the fence. I could just muscle it up and off.

It absorbs heat from the sun and the ground warms and thaws faster than the surrounding ground. The posts tip over in the mush.... and moles like to tunnel down the fence line tipping the posts.
I check the line every morning.

Snow will insulated the feet and they don't get grounded so no shock. But that's with any e fence


Jan 8, 2017
My birds travel no more than 100yds from their coop, usually max of about 75yrds. I had to fence my garden with an 8ft high welded wire fdnce to keep the deer out. It is very effective against my chickens ;). Introduce your dog slowly and supervised to the chickens to see if it has a high prey/chase drive or not. If so, be patient, and it can be helped with regular calm exposure.

If no one will be around for 3 days a week, how will they be secured at night?
On my property my neighbors are only about 50' from my coop. My dogs are fine with the chickens although unsupervised I would not trust 100% one of them is a bird dog after all


Jan 8, 2017
Might be easier and cheaper to fence the garden than the chickens?

Yup, that probably calls for fencing the chickens, although it also depends on how close the neighbors are.

You might be able to let the chickens out shortly before dark, and then they won't have time to wander very far before they come home again to sleep (adjust what time they're let out until you get the right results.)

Another option is to teach the chickens to come when called (it's easy: call and give treats) and then stay out there with them, and call them back every time they get to the neighbors' property.

For that, you'll have to make sure that your dogs respect whatever fence you put up, and that you trust them to respect that fence. ("Respect the fence" meaning that the dogs do not try to get through it. Some dogs will always keep trying to find a way through, some will try and give up, and of course electric fences affect dogs differently than physical fences.)

If it were only the feed bill--you can buy an awful lot of feed for the cost of any sort of fence! But I see that it's not just the feed that matters to you.

I see why you think a fence for the hens is the best idea, and I think you're probably right. I'm just throwing out a few other ideas in case they turn out to be useful (ignore them if they are NOT useful!)
Its not just the garden, we have multiple flower beds and a koi pond with flowers etc. its not possible or aesthetically pleasing to fence all those areas.

My dogs cannot acess the area behind the coop where I was planning on the fence. My dogs are contained by invisible fence and they are not allowed back there.

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
My coop is also close to the lot line, and the neighbor's buildings. We have a 4' woven wire fence, topped with electric rope, at about the lot line, and nearly never will one of our chickens get over there. The fence wire is raised a few inches above ground level, so it doesn't rust out anytime soon, and so sometimes a young bird will get under it. I roll logs to close up areas where it's possible for the chickens to get under the fence, and it's fine.
Nobody needs chickens visiting and leaving 'calling cards' on their property, decks, cars, or whatever.


Mar 20, 2017
My dogs cannot acess the area behind the coop where I was planning on the fence. My dogs are contained by invisible fence and they are not allowed back there.
So it's just a matter of keeping the chickens out of the dogs' space, not actually keeping the dogs out? That makes sense--I can see how a chicken-proof fence would be enough for that purpose, without needing to be dog-proof.


5 Years
Mar 23, 2014
Punta Gorda, FL
I too have always dreamed of complete free-ranging during the day on my 13 acres but predators are the issue of concern. Bobcats, for example, will scale a 4' fence electric even with barbed wire on top to grab a chicken. Dogs, coyotes, cats etc all will work hard to find a weakness in your fence.

I have electric fence (high and low) barbed wire and sonic repellents and over the years I have lost many chickens and ducks to predators when I have allowed them to free-range.

Restricted free-range may be a better answer. (Smaller covered run)
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P and D Homesteading

In the Brooder
Jan 28, 2018
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.
I free ranged for about 2 Years... 3rd year we discovered Fox...Took my best 3 laying hens and my best rooster...Got electric fencing after that...


In the Brooder
Mar 29, 2019
It sounds like Mtnboomer and we have the same set up. Our chickens are in a secure coop at night& a fenced area with a chicken door to get in and out of the fenced area & coop at will. They put themselves to bed at dusk. I lock them in the coop for the night. During the day they free range anywhere they want to go. They really don’t go far. They forage close to the two homes on the homestead. We live in a mountainous wooded area & we have plenty of predators - Fox, coyote, mountain lions, bobcats, even bears. The only chickens we’ve lost are the ones that decided to sleep in trees or ones that failed to get back to the coop early enough. And one by a stray dog. I think our German Shepherd keeps many predators out. She guards all of our animals.
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