Hot wire and chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ScoobyRoo, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Songster

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    I remember reading a post about this late last year and I was wanting everyones opinion. My DH wants me to ask all of you chicken lovers out there if you have used hot wire to protect your vegetable garden. He knows 2 strands at least is needed. But at what height? What were the results? I know there is a high-low voltage but still? I'm not too keen on this idea and would worry about having fried chickens. MY idea is to take my cattle panels that I use to grow my pickling cukes on--make a big pen to surround my tomatoes and hoped that would work. I wouldn't mind them eating on mu cukes as there is always plenty of those. Will they eat any soft flesh veggie growing? beans, zukes? I want this in place when we start planting soon. Will be doing tators in a week or so. Suggestions please. Thanks!

  2. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Songster

    Jan 10, 2009
    SE Iowa
    Electric fencing is not very effective because of the heavy coat of feathers. In order for the wire to do its job it really has to touch the skin which it won't do. Have you considered just a chicken wire fence to keep them out?
  3. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Songster

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    Quote:Yes, we have considered chicken wire but our garden is 200ft long and about 30ft wide. That is a lot of fencing materials to buy. We are trying to get by with the resources we have on hand. That is a good point about the wire needing to get closer to the skin. I know it will zap you with clothes on.

    briznian, thank you for the interesting article. I'll read that to my DH.
  4. Tweeza

    Tweeza Songster

    Aug 17, 2008
    New England
    We have a 10 mile electric fence around our acre backyard to keep the dogs in. My husband said he saw one chickens get bitten by it. They seem to stay away from the fence. We are planning on using hot wire around our garden and figure several strands starting fairly low to the ground should work...but this could just be wishful thinking also.
  5. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    If you just want to keep chickens out of the garden,that 2x4 welded wire fence works good.You could take it down at the end of the season pretty easy.Seems like overkill to hot wire your garden just for chickens.
    Mine like to dig up the fresh soil,but once plants are up and established the tomatoes are the only fruit they bother.I use cattle panels to grow my cukes up.But take a look at the 2x4 wire with a few metal t-posts. Will
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    My birds got into my compost piles and spread them out. I was constantly raking them back into piles. Also they were scratching up the newly planted plants. I start everything from seed so it was becoming a pain to keep planting. I decided to either fence in my gardens or the chickens. I decided to fence in the chickens. I do have electric wire around the chicken yard to protect my birds. A few months ago a neighboorhood dog dug under my fence and killed one of my hens. There are pictures on my BYC Page.

  7. Jolly Acres

    Jolly Acres In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2009
    Paris Twp., OH.
    I have hot wire around my goats.
    It doesn't keep the chickens from going in and out of the goats pasture.
  8. Dannyo

    Dannyo In the Brooder

    Dec 24, 2008
    If you are just looking for a cheap fix, but you're willing to do the work. I've noticed the more it feels like springtime the more I see used chain link fence for free on Craigslist. If you are willing to go pick it up (perhaps tear it down) you can secure this to T-post to save cost as well and it will keep out the chickens. It won't stop the bunnies though.

    Good luck!
  9. I have a electric fence around my garden and the lowest strand is 6" off the ground and the next one up is 1' and they never seemed too bothered by it.

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