Help choosing best electric fence for predator protection

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by r00stercogburn, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. r00stercogburn

    r00stercogburn Out Of The Brooder

    28
    0
    22
    May 20, 2010
    atlanta
    I am brand new to this and I am in the process of building my run. I want to put an electric fence on the outside of the hardware cloth for extra predator deterrence. I would really appreciate any advice I could get - I am quite attached to these little rascals and would be devastated if something happened to them.
     
  2. ottodog

    ottodog Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    22
    May 27, 2010
    Idaho Springs, CO
    I'm interested in this too. I was looking at them at the ranch store and it looks like they come in miles of fence. Do you just get the most powerful? What configuration do you run the wire on the coop to get the best protection? How do you cover the door?

    Sorry not trying to hijack your thread, but was just wondering the same thing.
     
  3. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
    9
    133
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Before you buy and set up an electric fence think out all the pros and cons carefully. An electric fence can be a good "extra security" measure or a terrible liability. If you are in a rural area with few neighbors and local kids that pass through understand what an electric fence is about you should be ok. If you are in a more populated area with a fenced in yard and the coop/run is completely inside that yard you will likely be ok.

    Any electric fence anywhere by law has to be flagged or have warning signs every few feet but you know kids,some are too young to read and some just have to test out to see if it's really "hot".

    Study up and make an informed choice!

    Larry
     
  4. r00stercogburn

    r00stercogburn Out Of The Brooder

    28
    0
    22
    May 20, 2010
    atlanta
    Thanks for good advice:)
    I don't have any kids nearby and run is in my yard next to a large "wild" thicket area in my elderly neibors property.
    Any suggestions for best electric barrier?
     
  5. ottodog

    ottodog Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    22
    May 27, 2010
    Idaho Springs, CO
    Quote:Larry, you make a valid point. For me we live on 10 acres in the forest, and don't really have kids in the area so its not really an issue. My big concern is the Black Bears. They are very determined, and if they want into something I'm not even sure hardware cloth will slow them down. Generally they only come out during the night, but this year have been showing up during the day. I'm just hoping an electric fence will deter them, but I'm not 100% sure it will.
     
  6. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
    9
    133
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    I don't have any "brand specific" advice but as far as size of the "charger" one that is rated for 1-2 miles will be more than plenty. Chargers come in 110 volt house current,battery or solar powered. If the coop is close to the house or shed with power they work fine(unless you have frequent power failures). If you would have to run more than 25' of extension cord to power the unit I'd go battery or solar powered(solar is more expensive to buy but you don't have to always be replacing batteries).

    As for the fence itself, Any good electric fence wire(steel or aluminum) works fine but the aluminum does stretch and has to be retightened regularly. You can also get "fence tape" that has the wire strands already strung through it and does not need the warning flags since it is hi-visability already but it is prone to break easier than the solid wire. You'll find the tape at a horse supply store.

    Fence posts...... Several kinds are used. If you use metal posts you will need insulators to hold the wire off the post. Plastic and fiberglass posts are also sold that you can attach the wire directly to.

    Most Importantly!!! Grounding rods. All electrice fence installations must be grounded to work properly! In damp areas one ground rod may be enough. In drier climates like here in Kentucky we use two or three rods to get good grounding in the drier summer months. Placing the ground rods under the eave of a shed and on the north side(less sun, ground stays moister) helps with grounding also.

    All in all, you pick and choose what works best for you.
    Hope this helps!

    Larry
     
  7. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
    9
    133
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Quote:Larry, you make a valid point. For me we live on 10 acres in the forest, and don't really have kids in the area so its not really an issue. My big concern is the Black Bears. They are very determined, and if they want into something I'm not even sure hardware cloth will slow them down. Generally they only come out during the night, but this year have been showing up during the day. I'm just hoping an electric fence will deter them, but I'm not 100% sure it will.

    Otto in your case I'd go a stronger route. If you can afford it I'd go with electrified bard wire. We use that in some of our permanent cattle pastures. Good solid wood corner posts,steel tee posts in the lines(plastic insulators for both wood and steel posts are sold at the farm supply store) and three or four strands of 14ga hi-tensile barb wire with the top and bottom strands electricified should work in your case.

    Larry
     
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    solar is more expensive to buy but you don't have to always be replacing batteries).

    "Solar" chargers run off a battery, and the solar panel simply recharges it​
     
  9. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
    9
    133
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Quote:"Solar" chargers run off a battery, and the solar panel simply recharges it

    Good point Bear Foot !!! I should have made that distinction,but.....brain [email protected]&t!

    Suffice to say, a "battery powered" charger runs until the batteries run down and have to be replaced. These are normally smaller unit for dog runs or temporary lots. Good solar chargers(either 6 volt or 12 volt) also have batteries but as Bear Foot points out,the solar panel recharges the battery and those batteries last a fairly long time.

    Sorry for the lapse!!!

    Larry
     
  10. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    28,884
    5,665
    576
    May 11, 2010
    I usually have to replace the batteries in my solar chargers every 3 -5 years. They age like everything else and need replacing. I love my solar power chargers and buy the best I can afford because I'm always adding to the fence line. And don't forget lightning. Have a spare charger for when lightning destroys the one you are using. I take mine to where I purchased (Colemans Feed Store) and they usually repair it for me within a few days.

    Larry has given excellent advice! I keep telling my hubby I need more grounding rods!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by