Electric wire to keep chickens on our block of land

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by skippy1969, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. skippy1969

    skippy1969 In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2008
    Hi there

    We have 7 chickens and for the last year things were great until the recently they discovered the neighbours yard and dug up their gardens.

    We live in the bush on 2 acres and there are no fences on any of the blocks in our street and we cannot afford to fence along the whole one side of our land so I was wondering if a single or double electric wire run from one end to the other would be enough to keep the chickens on our side. I know they could jump over if they really wanted to but I'm thinking that if they try to go under it and get a shock they will think twice about it.

    The chickens do have a small run area but I don't want to keep them locked up because they are used to having 2 acres to free range on. I have tried keeping them locked up half the day and just letting them out late in the afternoon but they go straight next door.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    Uhh.. you'd have to get EXTRA SUPER DOOPER LOW VOLTAGE, because those electric fencers can pack a punch, and if you do end up doing it, don't get the battery type, get the solar-type, because the battery type have like twice the power... but by the time you've bought the wire, the posts to put it on, and the fencer...you may as well have put up privacy fencing... to be honest.
  3. azelgin

    azelgin Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    I have a hi-power electricric fence charger hooked up to a perimiter wire that runs around the outside of our chicken run. It puts out about 25000 volts and will jump a 3/4 inch gap. It works great to keep out coyotes, foxes, racoons, dogs etc., but, every once in a while a chicken gets hung up in it and gets so confused they don't seem to figure out that the shock is coming from the wire. Time after time they come back for another jolt and take off running in who knows which direction. Sometimes through the wire, sometimes away from it. They just don't seem to get the cause and effect of the situation and will even peck the wire now and then. maybe I just have chickens that don't understand electricty and somebody else has had better luck.
  4. brookwoodpat

    brookwoodpat Songster

    May 11, 2008
    What's to stop them from flying over the wire? It doesn't sound too feasible to me. Today I had a chicken jump/fly about eight feet up in a tree.
  5. Rhett&SarahsMom

    Rhett&SarahsMom Songster

    May 8, 2008
    dont they have poultry fencing that can be electrified?
    I agree with going with a solar charger though. My barn owner just switched the electric horse tape fencing from solar to plug in and WOW that zap from the plug in model is A LOT stronger. I avoid ducking under the fence now:D
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Chick-a-dee, people have been using electric fencing for chickens for decades and decades and the only (rare) fatalities are if a chicken gets hung up in electrified mesh or does something very radically stupid. On the whole it is pretty safe. Chickens are poor conductors of electricity, because of their body construction and their light weight.

    The problem, Dorothy, is that chickens fly [​IMG] -- no seriously, they can perfectly well fly over even a 4' electromesh fence if they happen to wake up in the mood for it. You can clip one of their wings to reduce the chances. Bear in mind that if there's an object they can fly or hop up onto, located near the fence, they can use it as a 'stepping stone' to get over anyways. Electromesh is expensive and a maintenance headache, tho.

    Just one or two wires is unlikely to make any much of a dent in their habits, sorry. (The usual use of electric fencing for chickens is to keep *predators out*, moreso than chickens in, although as I say, high fence and clipped wings will keep most of them home). And I really don't think you'd want to wing-clip chickens that are in an area not fenced to discourage predators.

    If for any reason you did try electric, please do not confuse plug-in vs solar with the POWER of a charger. It is true that solar chargers tend to occupy the lower (to middle, if you wanna pay a lot) range of the spectrum of how much charge they put out. But plug-ins occupy the *entire* range, and there are certainly plug-ins on the market that are no more powerful than a solar charger and weaker than some.

    Sorry, and good luck,

  7. pvc coop

    pvc coop In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2008
    I suggest fenceing your neighbors garden with an inexpensive 4 foot fence, and triming your chickens wing feathers one inch to keep them from flying over the fence.
  8. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    Quote:Electro mesh is expensive where we are [​IMG] We're going to use the electric fencing wire for our horses, to skirt our run with to keep predators away XD
  9. skippy1969

    skippy1969 In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2008
    Hi again

    Thanks for your input everyone. I forgot to mention that the other reason we don't really want to put up a high fence is because Kangaroos go back and forth between the blocks of land here and we don't want to block their path.

    Also we are on 2 acre blocks here so that's a LOT of area to have to fence.

    At the moment I'm keeping the chooks locked up in their run area until about 2pm and then letting them out for the last 3 hrs of the day. I'm in and out all the time too keeping an eye on them and so they've not been too bad this week.

    If I see them making their way in the wrong direction I call them and they come running which is good.

    I'm hoping that if they're only out for a few hours a day then they don't have a lot of time to wonder off and maybe eventually they'll forget about the next door neighbours land. :)

    I'm going to make some more interesting composty areas around our block too and hopefully that will be enough to keep them occupied.

    Thansk again for your feedback.

  10. spook

    spook Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    North Central Florida
    Only joking when I say this (I think [​IMG] ) but we have thought about little run wires (like a dog) with a leg tied to a string and to the run! We figured that they would be to preoccupied to eat grass!, lol!!! Again, Just kidding- in areas where they raise those game roos for fighting (which should be banned, my personal opinion), they give them a shelter and tie one leg to a peg in the ground. Stange things.
    Anyhow, good luck on your chicken issue. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: