hot wire on a wavy fence (PIC)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jmc, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    i don't think i could attach a hot wire or two on to this fence. between the fence posts, the mesh is too wavy. only way i could have it not wavy would have been to have it professionally installed...........thank you no........................

    in other sections, the waviness is worse.

    also, the paddock enclosed by this is about 100 ft x 70 ft

    it is 2 x 4 mesh, 60 in. tall with t posts ev ery 4 and sometimes 5 ft.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    You can purchase insulaters that bring the wire out more away from the fence.
    [​IMG]

    They do make a fence stretcher that clamps on to the fence then you can it attach a comalong to a cornerpost and pull it tight or like me i use my 4-wheeler and pull it tight.

    I think i paid 30 dollars for mine 10 years ago and i used it last weekend doing a fence patch , great thing to have if ya have alot of fencing to do.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  3. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    Yep, we did this on our fence that surrounds our 2 acre pasture.
     
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    If the stand off insulators aren't long enough, there is no reason why you couldn't just set some more posts at the corners and run the hot wire a little further out.

    Don't trap yourself into thinking there is only one way to do things
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    As previous posters have said, just use standoff insulators. Which you'd want to do ANYhow. If you only need to gain another 1.5" clearance, I would suggest the easiest thing to do is use NAIL-ON insulators that you screw (not nail) onto pieces of 2x4 that you strap onto the outside of every other t-post. (edited to clarify: ideally they would be full height, so they are resting on the ground. You will get at least 5-10 yrs life out of them this way and they are real cheap to replace if you ever need to, so it is not something to sweat)

    From the looks of it, that will do a perfectly satisfactory job.

    At the same time, it is worth trying to tighten up the fence so it is STRONGER -- wibbliness is weakness. You don't need it professionally-installed, just do *yourself* what a pro would do [​IMG] (although might have to wait for a less freezy season). First, you need proper corner posts (p/t 4x4 or cedar posts); t-posts suck as corners and will always cause a saggy fence. Second, put in proper diagonal or h-style bracing on each side of each corner post, yes you can do this even if the run posts are t-posts. Third, release and retension the wire mesh (or use a crimping tool to retension it without having to release its attachments... but this does not work so well on 2x4 mesh and will shorten the lifespan of the galvanizing). That may be sufficient. If it's not, add a top rail (2x4 lumber is fine), and again, yes you can do this with t-posts you just have to be creative.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  6. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    thanks to all.
    zazouse, can you give me the link to that fence stretcher bar you show up there. local places seem to favor the three-prong type. i'd rather have a clamp type so i don't pull the mesh apart............
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    You have to be *real* careful using a fence stretcher on 2x4 mesh, it is not usually welded well enough for you to be able to pull on the verticals like that. If you want to try, no need to buy anything, it is actually *better* (for the fence, although it takes a little longer to set up and take down) to use something strong like high-test baler twine and wrap the fence mesh onto a piece of 2x4 lumber as tall as the fence. Then use your comealong or whatever on *that*. Carefully.

    The waviness is more likely due to your corner posts tilting imperceptibly in (thru being t-posts and/or unbraced) and the lack of a top rail than due to insufficient stretching. This type wire mesh is not meant to be *stretched* per se anyhow, just the slack taken out (which won't hold if your corners are not really correctly built)

    Pat
     
  8. seabass327

    seabass327 Out Of The Brooder

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    Your fence really doesn't look bad. You won't get a picture perfect job without spending a lot more for heavy posts and tensioners. I have a similar setup but with wooden posts a little farther apart. As already mentioned by others, the biggest change I would recommend is to just make sure your corner posts are very solid by replacing them with wooden posts that are braced well. YOU REALLY SHOULD CHANGE THOSE OUT. It didn't look like it from the picture, but maybe it already is that way. I don't believe you should use a fence stretcher without much much stronger corners, you'll just pull everything apart.

    If you get the longer insulators you should be fine the way it is. Every now and again I find a place where the fencing will touch the hot wire. In those places you can just cut some 1" pvc and brace the two pieces apart. Another thing that might help is not to connect the insulators to every post. You can skip some and where the fence is especially wavy just angle the post and fence in between away from the hot wire. I'd probably use three hot wires, the lower two are probably the most important (those are where you'll stop the raccoons and other small animals). Another thing in your favor is that the bottom of the fencing isn't as wavy, its mostly the top. The upper hot wires really only matter for big critters.

    Before the electric fence I had problems with bears, foxes, and racoons and since I put the fence up they've all kept clear. The tracks are still in my yard, but nothing gets in. Depending on your directions with whatever charger you get they may or may not recommend grounding the fence as well. I found that by putting in a good ground and also attaching the ground wire to the fencing you'll get a much better zap. Just remember to test the fence regularly.

    Looks good, and you don't have to do much more.
     
  9. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    thanks again.

    yes, i feel leery about stretching 2 x 4 mesh fencing like that. i could really see me pulling all kinds of stuff apart (not just wire, either!)
    no, the corners are merely 'lone' t posts. i will be changing those out this coming year, assuming the economy of the world still exists this coming year...........

    i was wondering about even rigging up an insulator to the wire mesh fencing itself in those places where it is very wavy. i think that could be easily done, even if there was a bit of 'play' in the insulator. but i think this is almost the same as what you are suggesting, seabass, about the pvc piping to shim the wire away from the fence.

    wouldn't an uninsulated piece of pvc wreck the charge though?

    pat and seabass-thank you (and welcome aboard, seabass)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  10. seabass327

    seabass327 Out Of The Brooder

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    I can almost picture some insulator that is made to attach directly to the fencing, but couldn't tell you where I saw it. A five or 6 inch piece of 3/4" pvc with two cuts into it will work the same. Just cut about half way through and slide it over the wire and fence.

    I've used pieces of pvc to hold the hot wire off the fence and to hold the lowest one up between insulators. I just use regular white schedule 40 and have had no problems loosing the charge even in the rain. I don't know what snow and ice would do though, but technically its distilled water and wouldn't carry a charge. During the summer I manually pull weeds almost weekly to keep the grasses from growing up into the wire and grounding it out. In some areas the chickens do it for me. I don't have rocks to pile against the bottom of the fence to keep animals from digging under, so my bottom hot wire is pretty close to the ground (4 to 5 inches).

    It really doesn't have to be perfect, set it up and go. The charger is the most expensive part, you can reuse all the other parts, and if you want to change something you'll only be out the galvanized hot wire. Which for me is about $17 for a quarter mile. I've spliced and expanded my fencing a lot in the last two years and haven't lost chickens to any bears, racoons, or foxes since (and there are a lot here). The electric fencing is all that keeps them away. I don't do any type of predator control other than that.

    good luck

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010

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