Electric neting on chicken tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ken Cook, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Ken Cook

    Ken Cook Out Of The Brooder

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    Has anyone tryed or heard of building a tractor using electric netting? I guess it works the same a a hot wire around a fence, so maybe use PVC and short stand-offs on the wood??

    What do you think?
     
  2. Ken Cook

    Ken Cook Out Of The Brooder

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    I haven't seen the stuff up close, but I wonder if it could be used instead of regular chicken wire. This way, a fence would not need to be moved when the tractor was moved. Just run an extension cord or set it up with solar panels.
     
  3. cbenson6820

    cbenson6820 Out Of The Brooder

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    That is a great idea in theory but i see a few issues with that. First issue, every electric fence i've seen required a grounding rod so you would have to either have a very large and long ground wire, have multiple ground rods placed around the yard, or pull up the ground rod and move it every time you move the tractor.

    Second, you have to find a way to securely mount the wire without grounding it out which might be difficult but not impossible.

    Third, if the wire doesn't fit the tractor perfectly, how do you make it fit while keeping it all energized? i've never seen the electric netting in person so i don't know if cutting it and wiring pieces back together so its all one big net, just shaped like your tractor would work.
     
  4. Ken Cook

    Ken Cook Out Of The Brooder

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    The groumd wire comes off one side of the Shock Box, I think. If insulated wire was run to say 4 points and spikes put around 4 sides, say 1 foot long, I think that would work.

    From what I've read you can disable the bottom strand. To me that means each strand is spliced together, so I should be able to splice each sheet to make it all work together.

    I want to try to take a close look at some of this wire mesh. I think I may beable to make it work, but I am really looking to hear from others on this subject.

    Thanks for the responce.
     
  5. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not familiar w/ the netting, but figured I'd do some thinkin' out loud here ...

    Before goin' forward, it'd be best to find out what voltage/current combinations would be safe for chickens, assuming any level of shock could be tolerated w/o causing disruption of laying, or egg binding, or heart attack, or spastic seizures ... I have no clue.

    But, once you figure that part out?

    Rather than running one wire, you can run both the high voltage and the ground as alternating wires on your chicken tractor (making anything that touches it come in contact w/ both). There'd be no need of grounding spikes of any kind (save for as a safety measure to prevent electrocution by the 120VAC, which should be on a GFCI anyhow).

    Also, I wonder if the insulation w/in television cable (like that used w/ satellite systems w/ the f-connectors on it) would be sufficient for transmitting the high voltage w/o arcing, 'cause you can sure pick up large rolls of that stuff for next to nothing nowadays.
     
  6. Ken Cook

    Ken Cook Out Of The Brooder

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    The places that sell the mesh also sell the box to charge it. As for alternating the + and - on each wire, I think all the mesh is1 circuit and the Negitave post on the box goes to the ground spike.

    I have not been able to find the mesh locally, but it can be ordered with free shipping. I hate to spend $160 for something I may not be able to use.

    Hase anybody here used the Electric Mesh at all?
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm not exactly sure what you are considering or how you plan to set it up. How you would have to manage it depends on how many chickens you have, your climate, and how the grass and weeds grow.

    I've used just a tractor. Those are a commitment. You have to be around to move them every day or two. If you need to go to a funeral, wedding, or something like that, you need someone you can depend in to move them for you. I don't use a tractor anymore.

    I currently use electric netting from Premier. I have it set up so the chickens can go out of the coop into the area protected by the netting. It depends on how fast the grass and weeds grow. Sometimes I have to move it every couple of weeks. Sometimes I can go months. Snow can be a problem too. The problem is that the grass and weeds grow up around it and ground it out, especially when they get wet. A weed eater will destroy the netting. I physically take up the netting, mow where I want it to go, and put it back up. The gate part is fixed but I can vary exactly how I run the netting to get new grass.

    I don't know what area you are looking at or how it would be set up. I'd suggest you consider building a coop. Make it so you can move it if you wish. Mine's not movable but you are in a different situation than me.

    Put your electric netting up around the coop, running it from a door from the coop that you can go through and the chickens can go through. When you are ready to move the netting or the coop, lock the chickens in the coop. It should take you less than two hours to take the netting down, mow, and put it back up. You can put it back up in the same spot or move both netting and coop.

    One problem you might have is the gate to get into the netting area and/or coop. The way I get around that is to have a second door on the coop that I can go through without bothering with the netting. But that creates another problem. Climbing predators can go over my coop and come down in the protected area. The way I handle that is to lock the chickens in the coop at night. It's not a perfect solution but I haven't lost any in the year I've been doing it this way.
     
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  8. Ken Cook

    Ken Cook Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm thinking that having the netting used on the tractor, instead of regular chicken wire would make it easier to move everyday than pulling the fence down and putting it back up every 2-3 days.

    I guess the real question here is could it be installed on the tractor succesfully without grounding it out. I think it would depend on how floppy it is. My thoughts are, if the tractor were to be built from PVC or the parts that are made of wood have pvc attached that it may work.
     
  9. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Again? I ain't experience w/ the netting, but I do build ridiculously complicated stuff (mostly, just 'cause I can ~'-)

    If you were to do the hoops of thin-walled black plastic many folks typically use, but either banded the surface to resist bending, or even drilled holes through which ropes could be tied in a manner that provided tensioning (sorta like the inverse of cable bridges), then the net wouldn't flop around so much.

    Also, the grey electrical conduit contains UV inhibitors that prevents it from becoming brittle, whereas PVC (and I believe CPVC) will more quickly fail in the sun. Some of the cheaper plastic pipes do as well, but the new polyethylenes they've been using in many homes? You aren't supposed to allow it to have any exposure, as it begins the process of decomposition that continues 'til somebody's got a real mess in their house.

    My dad was an engineering draftsman, who invented literally thousands of things ... right down to FMC's logo, in fact ... so I get it naturally (not sufficient excuse for my buttin' in, but serves to at least explain why ~'-)
     

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