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First Winter ~ Electric Fencing Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Catnip5, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. Catnip5

    Catnip5 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    May 18, 2015
    Harpswell, Maine
    Hi All,

    First year chicken keeper here - after learning a few hard lessons regarding predators I sought out the forum for no-kill solutions. The thread was enormously helpful - and it prompted quite a lively discussion! Ultimately I decided to purchase and install a Premier1 electric net fence, specifically the poultrynet Plus version - 300 feet of it (3 100 ft. sections and a gate). Expensive but ever since I flipped the switch I've not had a single issue with predators. As fall is bringing down the leaves I have some concerns about hawks but so far the crows seems to be communicating concerns to the girls. Anyway...as I move into my first winter I am wondering about the practicality of keeping the fencing up since it won't be shoveled and likely 3 feet of snow out there. I do plan a nice wide path and ciruclar area for them to scratch around in but probably not more than 20 feet or so.

    Winter chicken keepers - what's your experience with how much outdoor space your girls need/want in winter, keeping in mind I"m in Maine - cold, snowy and icy.

    Anyone with the Premier 1 fencing in a winter climate? Do you keep it up or take it down? Any special considerations in the winter? Given the price I want to keep it in good shape for as long as possible. On the other hand...if the fox is going to travel over snow I'll need to keep it up and viable.

    Feedback appreciated :)

    PS Just got my first egg this past weekend :) 11 freeloaders, one layer, LOL
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Sep 13, 2011
    Fresh eggs are the best! Talk to Premier about the best plan for your fence. It won't work buried in snow, for sure. Chickens aren't snow bunnies at all; they will want nearly snow-free areas, or will stay inside. A covered run is a big help for winter, or they will hardly come out of their coop. You can shovel an area for them and fence that. Mary
  3. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I leave mine up year round. I have swept away powder type snow, with just a broom. Depending on how much wet type snow I get, I either clear it away with a snow shovel from both sides, or, if the snow is deep, I'll just unplug the fence, until I get around to clearing it. Unless I clear an area for my birds, even with the pop-door open, they seem totally content to just stay in the coop, and look out the open front.
  4. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    ^^^ I'm going to ditto what Folly said. Mostly for less labor (if I never see a snow shovel again I'll be just fine!) ease of keeping and less wear and tear on the $$ poultry netting. I don't remember how many you have, but a small snowless secure run for milder days I think would be the easiest on you.
  5. Catnip5

    Catnip5 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    May 18, 2015
    Harpswell, Maine
    Hi All ~ Thanks for the feedback. Not planning on any type of covered run as I don't care for the look of one, ease or not. Originally my girls were free range - my compromise for their sake is the electric fence. I have a dozen girls and a 10x12 coop. They are not interested in staying indoors at all and are out and about all day now..I even moved the food outdoors since they seldom go back in during the day.I think what I'll do is leave up one 100 ft. section surrounding the coop and keep that cleared with the gate and path.
  6. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    That sounds like a great plan!

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