Hot Wire Users... An experiment... are you up for it?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DawnSuiter, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just read from one of the "respectable" books that all it takes, generally, to keep chickens contained is ONE hot wire, 5 inches off the ground.
    Apparently, they will bump into it and then know that was not good, AND it doesn't occur to them to fly over something that they can see through so clearly... so they just stay. Barring the occasional flight of fury, only rarely will one be outside the perimeter.

    Assuming you don't have predator issues and can do this... can you give it a try? Would be so nice to use here and there... keeping them out of gardens for instance... or to easily move pastures...
  2. TriciaHowe

    TriciaHowe Mother Hen

    Nov 11, 2008
    Trenton, FL
    Don't know if this would work or not. I accidently left my exterior hot wire on once when I let my chickens, guineas and ducks out. Came out later to find one of the guineas electrocuted. He was laying on the hot wire. I didn't have a pulsing current then, I do now, so maybe that would have helped? I would be nervous about putting the wire on the inside of my pen personally....
  3. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    My chickens usually just go right across my hot wire. I have one at 5 and one at 10 inches approximately. usually they don't touch it long enough to get shocked. They have to push into it enough to get grounded to it. Like my rooster wanting to get in to the hens or another rooster. The pulsing fence is not dangerous like the steady on fence.
  4. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well shoot.. I was getting excited about the prospects... but that is why I asked, it is an older publication so maybe they had the steady on... and assumably the pasture was very very large so there wasn't a lot of need to push or test the perimeter... or die trying.
  5. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    I have used Premier Poultry netting since the birds were young. It is only 42 in high, but they have been "trained" to respect it by receiving shocks during curious pecks when they were young. We have a pulsating fencer, so they are able to let go during the non-eletric part of the pulse.

    Interestingly enough, they recognize that fences that do not look like the Premier fencing can be flown over. I put them in a pen of 4 ft tall plastic snow-fencing fence, and they immediately flew right to the top and on over.

    However, put them in the Premier fencing, even when it is not plugged in, and they stay put. Even though that fence is shorter.

    We have lost two birds who became entangled in the fencing. I personally believe they were frightened into the fencing from a hawk attack. To deter this, we string "Caution" tape or wide ribbon zig-zag from the tops of the posts. Seems to work.

    It is possible that a single or double strand of plainly visible electrified fencing tape could be used if the young birds were "trained" to it. I would imagine you would always have to use the same color/style of tape or they would stop recognizing it. This would offer no predator protection, I cannot think of an animal it would stop.

    The Premier fencing has been easy to use, but it is expensive. We have not lost any birds to preadtors, and we have plenty of Coyotes, Racoons, Opossums, Mink, Weasels, Badgers, Rats, Skunks, Cats, Dogs, Bobcats, Otters.....
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I just read from one of the "respectable" books that all it takes, generally, to keep chickens contained is ONE hot wire, 5 inches off the ground.

    Evidently my chickens have never read that book. They will go through a 7 strand fence running close to 8000 volts any time they feel like it​
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I had mine up, but not turned on when I first started letting them out. My chickens respected the wire barrier for about 3 days before they figured out to fly over it. I never tried it hot, but I still don't think it would work.

    They squeeze under the fence when they can, they squeeze between the fence where two separate fences meet, they walk through cattle panels, they fly over my back deck.
    Chickens are actually kinda hard to fence in, and too stupid to know that there are mean dogs on the outside of the fence. [​IMG]
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I suspect that "chickens" means either broilers, RIR or sexlinks, not flightier breeds, and "generally" means either "for some people but not others" or "well, a lot of the chickens stay in a lot of the time, assuming they have no strong reason to want to go elsewhere" [​IMG]

  9. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well.. bummer! Pat I suspect your right... they WOULD have been a more traditional farm breed, or meat birds too.. that makes sense. Owell... it was still worth asking! [​IMG]

    Thanks everyone for your feedback.

    Mine stay in their 3' fences pretty well, I was just excited that I might not have to string chicken wire everywhere to make more runs... no such luck
  10. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    A bit off topic but here's another idea to use an electric fence charger for...

    Years ago I saw an article in Mother Earth News (before it shrunk and I *think* it was Mother Earth [​IMG] ) about using a electric fence charger to energize a "porch" leading into the henhouse. The "porch" had to be elevated a bit which would work with most coops. As I recall, a wire/metal grid was designed and insulated and was placed in front of the pop door with a lead from the electric fence charger attached. Once the grid was energized the chickens would come up to the "porch" hop up on it and enter the coop...coming out they would simply hop down...each time they were not grounded and thus were not shocked. But, if a predator attempted to enter it would stand on it's hind legs and place it's front paws on the grid to climb up, thus getting shocked and repelled.

    That's basically what I remember from the article, I've never tried it...anybody feeling brave? [​IMG]


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