height for single electric strand around perimeter fence

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Dipsy Doodle Doo, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. I've seen racoon tracks inside the chicken runs. The chicken houses have been critter-proof so far, but as you know, a determined (hungry) critter can breach windows and chew thru wood to get what it needs.

    What is a good height to start with for a single-strand perimeter hot-wire to deter raccoons from climbing into my pens? Or will a single-strand of hot-wire even deter the coons?

  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Uneducated opinion here.....I'd say that 1' to 18", be sure the ground for 2' on the outside side of the wire is soaking wet, and put pieces of hotdogs and balls of bread on the wire. If dinner bites back coon won't be back. (Disclaimer-this is plan A. Should Plan A fail, see Plan B)
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2007
  3. Love, Love, the plan, Becky! I've got the pvc posts in the ground and mulch around the perimeter(don't want the fence grounded by randon greenery).

    I just want to keep THEM out of our space, you know.

  4. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I'm glad you like my plan! [​IMG]

    I'm wondering about the mulch, though. I agree with having to keep the weeds down so the fence doesn't short, but your coon might just walk on the mulch, take your bait, and waddle off. That's if the mulch doesn't stay wet enough to give him a good shock. Mulch is great to keep the ground wet under it, but does it hold enough moisture itself to do the trick??
  5. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    6 to 8 inches off the ground is best for small critters. Like Becky said keep the ground wet. You also have to keep any plant life away from the wire. If a plant touches the wire it will short out the fence. Because of the heavy fur on a coon I would use barbed wire. This way the bards cut though the fur, where a plain wire would just touch the wire and not affect the coon. Before I installed my fence I typed in electric fence how to install. This took me to afence.com. This gave me more information than I could get from any one person. Being it is The American Fence Co., they have it all.
  6. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Songster

    Apr 18, 2007
    For coon, 6-8 inches, like Panner mentioned. You're looking for nose height. That way the critter sees the wire and sniffs it with their moist nose, or simply runs into it. It's very important that the predator experience the electric fence with their face, and not their shoulders.

    When an animal gets shocked, they will leap away from it. If the shock happens in their face, they will leap backwards. If the pain happens on their shoulders or hindquarters, they will leap forward. You do not want to be launching predators into your pen, you want to be sending them away from your pen.

    Use a strong charger. You are deterring a determined predator who can handle quit a bit of pain. You've got to cause them enough shock pain to deter them. A strong charger is much less affected by grasses growing up into the wire, sapping off the charge.

    Personally, I would run several strands. This way it deters other, taller, predators that show up. Foxes and dogs for example.
  7. Thanks all! 6-ish" high seems to be working --- no more coon tracks in the pens [​IMG] I had to re-hang some gates that opened out, and I walk into the hot wire at least once a day --- but it's worth it.

    But now there is a new problem. I have some 'tweens that run the back yard / garden during the day and sleep in a dog crate by the back deck at night. Some try to roost in the shrubs instead of going to their crate. I must have missed one last night cause there was a head --- just a head --- on my deck this morning. No blood, no feathers, no sign of the body --- just a head.
    Completely freaked me out!
    I never thought a predator would be so brazen to bother the little guys right here by the back door.
    I keep 2 live traps set just in case something comes prowling around in the night. I guess I need to change the bait --- cat food isn't working. I've caught coons and foxes with cat food before but whatever it was this time just ignored it.


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