electric poultry fencing

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by texasrangers1, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. texasrangers1

    texasrangers1 In the Brooder

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    I have a couple of predators around my chicken coops. I've heard a lot about the poultry fencing but I still don't know what it will do to the predators and the chickens. I do not want the fencing to shock my chickens and seriously injure them. but i do want it to shock the predators enough that they won't show around the chicken coop again.

    I want some insight on what ya'll think on the poultry electric fence.​
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    I use electric fencing of all sorts as intended for livestock. Actual harm caused is very rare. My birds learn quickly to avoid shocks from netting and wire fences as do wildlife and dogs. Only concerns I would with poultry netting is if you are running a lot of Cornish X birds at relatively high density where stupid and clumsy birds get crowded up against fence. I use the electric poultry fencing to primarily for Mr. Fox's entertainment bit such does not provide much protection against great-horned owls, dogs needed for those and dogs have to be trained to get into fence to run owl off.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I’ve had the 48” poultry netting from Premier for about 2-1/2 years. The only loss I’ve had since then was one chicken to one owl when I was late locking them in the coop for the night. Before I got the netting I’d on rare occasions lose one to a fox but I’d had some pretty serious dog attacks. This is netting, not fencing. I have not tried fencing so can't speak to that.

    The netting works by sending out a pulse of very high voltage at a rate of about 50 pulses per minute. Since it pulses instead of you having a steady current, whatever touches it can let go. That means it is not likely to harm the animal. I had a snapping turtle push up under the netting and get tangles up so it could not let go. You could see it jerk every time the current pulsed. I untangles it and left it alone. When I came back later, it had crawled of.

    Another time, a possum got tangled in the netting. Again, you could see it jerk when the current pulsed but it was still alive. The fence is not what killed it, though if it were left there a real long time, the current might eventually kill an animal.

    I have seen chickens get shocked by the fence, pecking at stuff in the fence. Their feathers insulate them from the shock, but if their comb or wattles touch the net when it pulses, they jump back and up. It does not kill them but they do learn to stay away from the net.

    Baby chicks can walk right through the netting. Their down insulates them. Mine need to be maybe 6 or so weeks old before they stop walking through the netting.

    Mine is 4 feet high. Chickens can fly over that if they want to, but mine generally don’t. The only time I have a problem with that is when I have young adolescent chickens being raised with the flock. When they get in their pecking order fights, male dominance fights, or a pullet is trying to escape the attentions of a cockerel, one may get trapped against the netting and go vertical to get away. Occasionally they come down on the wrong side. No, they do not know how to get back inside on their own. I’ve found a way to minimize this is to have a fair area inside the netting and try to avoid tight spaces. Make corners more open instead of making them sharp. And have the netting wide. One time I configured it so it had a long narrow section to get them to an area further away. That was not good. I had several get trapped and fly out of that. I know I’m making this sound like it is a huge problem, but it does not happen as often as I’m probably making it sound.

    One problem with the netting is that grass and weeds will grow up in it and short it out, especially when it is wet. Depending on where you live and the weather, you may need to move the netting as often as once a week and mow to keep the grass and weeds down, though in certain climates or times of the year, it may be a lot less often than that. I spray round-up where the netting goes to keep the growth down. That makes my life a lot easier.

    In theory many predators can jump over the netting, but in reality what practically always happens is that the predator goes up and inspects the fence first instead of just jumping over it. That inspection usually consists of sniffing it with their nose or licking it with their tongue. Once they get zapped they figure that fence is made of lightning and is a really good place to avoid altogether. I’ll admit to a certain satisfaction in hearing a dog yelp and seeing it run off about as fast as it can go, never to return. It does not injure them, it does not really hurt them, but it does shock them. They don’t like that.

    I’ve been very pleased with mine once I came up with the round-up idea, which I got from someone on this forum.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    My inner perimeter around juveniles is also 48" high electrified poultry netting. Length is about 164 feet. Do not forget importance of charger as more required for netting than for regular fencing but charger can only be scaled up to run four lengths; beyond that and you risk burning fence up.


    Another trick for owls is to have pen encompass a very thick patch of brambles the birds can roost under. Owl can still learn to walk in but increased the interval between periods of loss. When owl learns to walk in that is when dog becomes really effective.
     
  5. texasrangers1

    texasrangers1 In the Brooder

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    could you run the electric fence on top of it to protect the chickens or just leave the top of the coop alone and let it be open
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    For an electric fence to work, the predator has to be grounded. You have to be able to complete the circuit. For my electric netting, I drove a ground rod into the ground and keep that rea reasonably damp, mainly through discarding wash water when I’m cleaning vegetables. The circuit is completed when the animal is standing on the ground and touches the hot netting.

    For an electric fence, you have to insulate the hot wires from the metal fence. The metal fence has to touch the ground. The current is complete when the animal touches the hot wire and the grounded metal fence at the same time.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “on top if it”. Could you be a little more specific and describe what you are talking about?
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    You can run hot wire on top if fence below is well grounded.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I read that as maybe on top of the coop though I'm not sure. That's why I spoke of grounding.
     

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