Hot wire to keep chickens off the Fence. Anyone tried it?

cicene mete

11 Years
Jun 19, 2008
How high off the ground should I place a line of hot wire on the inside of my fence to keep the chickens off of it? I'm going to run some on the outside to keep predators out, but I wonder what height to use on the inside to keep the birds away from the fence so they don't jump out.

If they can "jump the fence", a hot wire won't make any difference anyway.

Make the fence tall enough to keep them in.

If a chicken can go over it, so can predators
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You can't keep chickens from going over a fence with hotwire. Really really.

And if I'm misunderstanding and your intent is to keep them from sticking their heads *thru*, hotwire is a dangerous and very ineffective way of doing that. Use smallish mesh (even STRONG plastic mesh is ok) for that.

The only way to DEFINITELY keep them from going over a fence is to put a top of some sort on the run. If you can't or don't wish to do that, then your best bet is to make the fence as tall as possible (absolutely no less than 4' but 6' will work better, though they can still easily get over that if they really want to) and when you put a horizontal rail near the top of the fencing, don't put it AT the top of the fencing but a foot or two lower down. That way they can't see the top of the fence real well AND can't very easily go up to perch there and then fly down outside. Clipping wings can also help. But if they really really want out, probably none of the above will do it. There is no good way I know of to predict how hard they will try to get out, although the larger and more-interesting and less-crowded the run is, and the less bored they are, they better; and bantams and small breeds (aside from silkies of course) are generally better fliers than large fowl breeds.

Good luck, have fun,

Thanks for your replies. I am fencing and over an acre, so putting a top won't work. I have used electrified poultry that in the past, and what usually happens is the birds stick their heads through it, get zapped, and stay away from the fence from that point on. My chickens won't fly over the electrified poultry netting, even though they could.

I assume people have done this before with a strand of hot wire for a much larger space, but I'm not sure how high I should place the wire. So again, if anyone has done this before, please let me know.

Thanks again.
Electronet is different than just running a hotwire on existing wire mesh fence. With electronet, it is in large part the mesh size itself that's stopping them, and when they try to really jam themselves thru it FORCES them to contact the hotwire pretty stoutly, because two sides OF the opening ARE hotwire.

That is a totally different situation than trying to run a hotwire on/over an existing non-electric fence. There is really not much relationship.

If your chickens are content and unathletic enough to stay inside electronet, they will most likely stay within the unelectrified boundary fence too, as long as its mesh is small enough they can't squeeze through. (If it is not that small, then a hotwire won't help you anyway). Beyond making the topline inconspicuous and flimsy, though, there is really just NOTHING you can do about it if one of them decides to fly over.

GOod luck, have fun,


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