Electric fencing? What works?

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


10 Years
Jul 26, 2009
Chenango Forks NY
I read in a recent issue of Backyard Poultry that a good cheap fence would be to take one line of electric wire and place it about one foot off the ground around the area that you want to keep your chickens free ranging.

Is this a good idea? Right now my poor chickies are not really getting out of their dirt pen much due to the fact that they will not stay in the backyard and are constantly driving my dog, who is out front, nuts.

I really have no experience with electric fences and when I went to TSC they were not all that helpful. Would this be a good fence for me? I have lots of room for it in a huge overgrown garden so I would not have to move it everyday. I would have to move it alone when I move it too.

Also would my chickens just figure out how to jump over/duck under it? Is there a better choice for movable electric fencing? Thanks
I use electric poultry netting from Premier, it works very well to keep predators out and chickens in. sometimes they fly over but are always eager to get back in with the rest of the flock. An occasional shock happens to me when I forget to turn it off. I have a battery operated charger. I put netting over part of the yard and that and the roosters and geese scare the hawks off.
A single strand never works, no matter what height you place it. Chickens are pretty insulated from shock by their feathers and learn to duck under or hop over anything like this. I tried putting a 1.5 ft. chicken wire topped by a single strand this spring around my garden. This didn't stop them either. They slid right over the chicken wire, all the while brushing across the charged wire.....nothing!
I've even tried three strands of wire at six inch spacing....nada...they still get past it.

The only electric wire I've ever heard of being effective for chicken containment is the poultry netting mentioned above.
For meaties, sure. Also for any other fairly unmotivated chickens. It is probably more along the lines of "make most of them more likely to stay in one area" rather than "actually confining them"

A key thing, though, is that it will do NOTHING WHATSOEVER to keep predators out, like some loose dog running through the neighborhood. So you would only want to do this inside some very, very predatorproof perimeter fencing.

If you HAVE very, very predatorproof perimeter fencing, it seems to me that the most sensible option would be a roll of 4-5' high plastic garden netting or 'safety fence', and some step-in posts. Again, the odd chicken may go over the wall, but really, without a top on a run you will get that sometimes no matter what.

If you lack good perimeter fencing, poultry electromesh is a really nice fencing, but I will admit it is spendy, especially once you add a *good* charger and fence tester.

Good luck, have fun,


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