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Electric Poultry Netting

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dipsey, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. Dipsey

    Dipsey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We were thinking about getting Premier 1 poultry netting for our chickens next year. The question is how do you keep chickens from flying over the 3 1/2 ft tall electric net? The idea of the quick setup and take down is appealing to give the chickens fresh greens in the spring and summer but I don't know how to contain them from flying over and going into the neighbors yard which will be bad. Here is a link of the net I am talking about https://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?mode=detail&fence_id=96 Also we have 6 Australorps and 2 Barred Rocks. Planning on getting more Australorps next year. Thank you in advance!!
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    If your birds are not accustomed to flying over fencing now then once you put up electric they will get shocked on it the first day and learn to respect the fence. Mine have never tried to fly over, they stay a foot away from fence as they know it's not user friendly for animals. If you've got flighty birds then cut flight feathers on one wing to keep them in.

    I got the 48", 164' netting with a hot gate and 0.5 joule Patriot charger. It's dual use, plug in or battery so I can move it far from house during summer. When first put up it's well over 4K volts, after a week or so and sagging it's over 3K volts so a quick tightening up in 20 minutes stops the current from grounding out. I mow the rough line where it's going to be moved each two or three weeks so the grass short prior to putting up the fence.

    This is the fencing kit that includes corner stakes that aid a lot in keeping it tight, Mine is the 164' with double spikes.
    https://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=44094&cat_id=160

    Energizer kits save some cash and come with all you need for connections and a volt meter to test the fence, mine is the P5 (battery) kit. It still comes with a plug in adapter too so you run an extension cord instead of the coaxial cable.
    https://www.premier1supplies.com/c/fencing/energizer_kits/

    Hotgates are nice! If you set up the gate then work out tightening the fence it works best.

    https://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=102851&species_id=ALL&criteria=hot+gate
    [​IMG]
    Just finished that coop today, moved fencing and towed in coop with riding lawn mower. That's the access panel open in back, pop door is on other side. I put the coop on 2x6 skids so it can be moved as easily as the fencing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I have used the 4’ Premier netting for a few years. If they wanted to my full-sized chickens could easily fly over it, but they generally don’t. It’s all about them being motivated to fly over.

    I raise a lot of cockerels and pullets with the main flock. With one exception the only time I ever found a chicken outside the fence is when a cockerel gets trapped against the fence when fighting another cockerel and goes vertical to get away. They were not trying to fly over the fence, just trying to get away from a losing fight. I did find a hen outside once. I assume she was trying to get away from an amorous rooster or cockerel and went vertical when trapped against the fence.

    One trick I’ve learned is that layout makes a difference in how many chickens fly over the netting. Try to set it up wide open. Avoid sharp corners where a chicken can get trapped pretty easily. Don’t go below a 90 degree corner if you can avoid it and rounding them off even more helps a lot. Also, avoid long narrow areas. Chickens have to walk past each other in these and narrow sections seem to instigate more conflict.

    Baby chick up to about 6 to 7 weeks old (full sized fowl) can just walk through the fence. If chickens touch the electrified section with their combs or wattles they will get shocked but feathers and down insulate them from the electricity. These chicks are small enough to just walk through without getting shocked. When an adult chicken hits the netting with comb or wattles they get shocked and jump back but that is kind of rare. They do eventually learn to not eat the grass and weeds right at the netting.

    A chicken is not going to get shocked if they try to fly over the netting and hit the netting. To get shocked an animal has to complete the electric circuit; from the netting, through their body, and into the ground. An animal’s fur will protect them from getting shocked since it provides insulation too, but practically any predator will not just run through or jump over the fence. They go up to the barrier and investigate it, usually with tongue or nose. They can get shocked when a tongue or nose touches a hot wire and their feet are on the ground to complete the circuit. Generally all it takes is for a predator to get shocked once and they give that netting a wide berth from then on.

    I’ve chatted with Premier a couple of times about their netting. I find them quite helpful but they don’t volunteer the information that their netting can be pretty ineffective in the snow. You have to ask. A wet snow will short it out. A dry snow will insulate the predator from the ground. The netting will still keep the chickens contained and the predators that have been shocked in the past will still respect it, but there are new predators coming along all the time. People abandon dogs in the country or raccoons, foxes, coyotes and such are being weaned and striking out on their own. Still, I’ve never had an attack from a ground-based predator since I put it up and just one loss from an owl when I was late locking them up in the coop one night.

    My current is over 7000 volts but the amperage is pretty low. Amps is the most dangerous part of that. If I grab it and brace myself I can hold on but if it surprises you then you will let go. The big safety factor is that the current is not steady, it pulses maybe 50 times a minute. If it were a steady current the animal or you would not be able to let go, but since it pulses they automatically let go if they can. Over the years I have found two snapping turtles, a possum, a snake, and a couple of frogs tangled in the netting where they could not let go. One snapping turtle walked away when I untangled it from the netting. It probably had not been there a real long time but was kind of paralyzed. It recovered. The possum was still alive when I found it, but paralyzed. I dispatched it with an ax, the electricity was not what killed it. The others were dead when I found them. They were tangled up and could not let go. They had probably been there a long time.

    A big problem with the netting is that weeds and grass will grow up in it and short it out when they are wet from dew or rain. I’ve had leaves or cut grass wash up against it in a washing rain and short it out. There is some maintenance involved. Weed eaters and lawn mowers are especially dangerous around that netting. According to Premier those are the biggest cause of problems with the netting. Depending on the time of year and how much rain I get I may need to mow that growth weekly or may be able to go a lot longer. If your ground is really rocky moving it can be more of a pain but even then it’s not really bad. One person can move it but there are times when two people can make it go a lot faster. The bundle of fencing is not only heavy, it’s awkward to handle.

    As Egghead mentioned the netting can sag and let a hot wire touch the ground, especially if your ground is not perfectly flat. The hot wires are the horizontal ones with the exception of the one right at the bottom. I take a stick with a notch on it and prop the netting up to avoid this. You can only tighten the netting so much, sometimes it still sags.



    [​IMG]


    I’ve found the netting to be really effective at containing the chickens and keeping ground based predators out. There is some maintenance and a bit of a learning curve involved though. It’s not an install it and forget it thing.
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I’d have to go look since I don’t remember. It’s one with their standard kit that plugs in to a 110 outlet. I got 164 feet to start with and added a 50 foot section later. That gives me about a 35’ x 90’ area since one side is my run. Why don’t you call Premier and talk to them? They should be able to fix you right up.
     
  6. Fentress

    Fentress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Excellent product. Not a single loss to a four legged predator in over 3 years. However, it is better at keeping predators out than chickens in. But, as mentioned above, the bird has to be highly motivated to fly over. I have some Speckled Sussex that have a very independent almost anti-flock mentality and sometimes one of those will get in the habit of flying over on a daily basis, but that is the exception.
     
  7. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The fencing companies recommend 0.25 joules per 160 ft. of fence. The electricity is sent through the fence in pulses, so it not unusual for the voltage to change when using the tester because of the pulses.
     
  8. Dipsey

    Dipsey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for such a late reply. It's Jelly and Apple Butter season for us. Anyway I wanted to say thank you all for the useful information. I think we will try out the Poultry Netting next Spring. Thanks everyone!
     

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