electric fencing

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sammi<3chickens, May 18, 2010.

  1. Sammi<3chickens

    Sammi<3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2010
    I am thinking about electric fencing for my garden rotation and chickens. Basicly I am going to have a 50' x 50' garden split in the middle, so each section would be 50' x 25'. Every other year, I plan on switching the chickens with the garden. I dont really care about keeping the chickens in the opposite pen all the time, but just to fence them in to concentrate on working in the off garden, plus letting them free range. My major goal is to keep them OUT of the main garden, and to keep bad animals from eating my garden. Last year, we figured out how to stop the deer, but I found a ground hog in the drive way, and found that ALL our veggies were eaten. I do know that the ground hog will dig. I was going to build a permanent fence and bury it about 6 inches deep, but I really dont want to do a permanent fixture, especially if we end up needing to till the garden.
    SOOO, we have alot electric 1/2 inch horse tape that is no longer in use. I was thinking...what if I were to put that up 3-4 inches apart, and as low as I could to the ground (the same as you would regular poultry netting.) Do you think that may deter the smaller animals out of the garden and keep the chickens out of the garden as well?

    I would rather use what I have, and I really cant afford to spend tons of money on poultry netting. I wish there were a more affordable option.
    Do you have any not so permanent ideas? I know this is not a garden forum, but....

    Thanks!
     
  2. jim s

    jim s Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Hi Sammi. I have an electric fence around my beeyard, 5 wires, the lowest one is 6 inches off the ground and every 6" - 8" up from there. I have chickens that free range on weekends when I am home, and they walk right over and under the wire. One got shocked once, scampered away real quick, but other than that, it doesn't seem to affect them. I have a 10,000 volt elctric fencer for bear, so it should kill a chicken, but... I am guessing the chickens don't ground well, so the electricity doesn't affect them.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Sammi<3chickens :

    I was going to build a permanent fence and bury it about 6 inches deep,

    This will not stop groundhogs; they can dig at least 18" down, and will cheerfully volunteer to do so.

    but I really dont want to do a permanent fixture, especially if we end up needing to till the garden.

    SOOO, we have alot electric 1/2 inch horse tape that is no longer in use. I was thinking...what if I were to put that up 3-4 inches apart, and as low as I could to the ground (the same as you would regular poultry netting.) Do you think that may deter the smaller animals out of the garden and keep the chickens out of the garden as well?

    It may "somewhat" discourage groundhogs, although an actual WIRE (which they can't see as well and will thus surprise them unpleasantly) would work better.

    Your main difficulty will be in keeping the tape or wire clean of grounding-out when it is that low. I can tell you from experience that between lumpiness of the ground, growth of weeds, and (especially) sagging of the conductor and it bouncing in the breeze, it can be extremely hard to keep a CLEAN hotwire that close to the ground.

    I would not count on it keeping chickens out, however. CHickens will just fly over it if they want to, even if you have several wires several feet high.

    I mean, you can certainly try it. You do what you can. But if you could scrounge up some 4' garden netting or deer netting, that'd do a lot better job of keeping the chickens out; and a chickenwire fence with maybe big pavers laid as an apron would do as good or better job discouraging groundhogs. (Groundhogs can be rather difficult to keep out of a garden once they know it's there, though).

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     

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