Need help understanding electrifying fence to keep out dog

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bobbieschicks, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    I have updated my old coop/run configuration since my Lab/ACD mix puppy (now 49.5lbs, 9 months old) started digging under the wire and got/killed one of my chickens trying to play I guess.

    Old configuration. Note the then 7 month old puppy looking at the chickens. The broken concrete rocks around the perimeter worked for awhile but he soon was strong enough to move them.
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    Enter new configuration. Four corner and gate end posts are cemented, but the others are not. Bird netting across top and 2x4 welded wire around bottom of run. Problem now is he figured out how to pull the netting off and has attempted to launch himself into the run once. I'm sure it will be repeated. I don't want to put welded up top so we are going with hot wire perimeter.

    New configuration. 2x4 welded is stapled onto the 2x4boards and buried 12" into the ground around the perimeter (except at gate). The picture with no chickens at the gate is the back gate. The one with everyone crowded at the gate is the main gate. The other shows the netting and welded wire set up. My pup has already begun trying to dig down to no avail. And you can see some areas where he tried to breached the netting. He's managed to break off only one zip tie so far and I've replaced that with three others for the time being.

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    This is what I ordered to install. 500 ft poly wire, (2) 25 pack of yellow clips, charger, and (4) gate holders.
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    My goal is to wrap the run and I guess gates twice (there is a back and a main gate). One set of wires running around 6" off the ground attached to the wood posts. Second wire running at 15" off ground? I know I need to ground the set up so I plan to pick up (3) 5' rebar stakes and clamps at Home depot. Our land is pretty soggy most of the time so I don't think I'll need to go far before hitting water.

    Any advice on how to actually hang the wire around the perimeter would be greatly appreciated. Including how to do the gates. Both gates swing outward from the run.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like you have the stuff to put some excitement into this pup's life (and take the fun out of his chasing chickens).

    Had a little trouble at first understanding that the welded wire fence stopped midway up and the top half was simply netting. My first thought would have been to add a second layer of welded wire to replace the netting, which would only be left on top, where he could not get through.

    But since you have the electrical stuff, if you want to use it, here is what I would do.

    Make two runs around the coop. One just up from the base and another along the middle board at the seam of wire and netting. For insulators, I'd suggest a different kind. I would use this type, with a 5 inch stand off from the posts and boards.

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/wood-post-5-in-extender-insulator-yellow-pack-of-25

    With the wire extended out a bit into space, Pup will have a hard time getting over it or under it. If he tries to get to the seam, he will encounter this......probably by putting his front paws on it while standing on the ground. That should earn him a good zap! The lower level will keep him from being able to get to the base to dig without also getting a good zap. The short stubby insulators won't extend the wire rope out enough so he work around those.

    For the gates, use the insulaators you have and make a run around the border. You may be able to extend a run from the hinge side so it stays hot, or use the gate connector as your switch. But the gates should be hot and protected too.

    The ironic thing is, you will have to go to a little bit of trouble to set this up, but once you do, the dog may only get zapped a couple times before he gives up. So a lot of trouble for not much fireworks, but that is the way it works. Good news is it will also be there waiting for any raccoons to peel them off the fence should they try to climb it.
     
  3. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Jun 24, 2011
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    My Coop

    Excellent. I think that sounds like a good plan. I'm sure it won't take many zaps for him to get the "chickens aren't fun" idea. Thanks!
     
  4. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    4,490
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    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    I finally got good enough weather to start the wiring process. Decided not to hold everything up just because I wasn't sure about how to handle the gates. I went ahead and ran wire straight across the back gate because I just don't use it. If I change my mind later I'll figure out a plan. The main gate is only being held shut by a bungee cord at present so eventually I will need something better. But because I haven't electrified the gate I'm able to go through it without getting shocked. And I think it's safe for now to not worry about running wire on the gate, but if things change I'll need to figure it out.

    I finished screwing in spacers, nailing up insulators, and running the wire that took in all about 4 hours and by 2pm I turned it all on. I then touched the wire with the back of a finger to see how it felt and it's like a tiny hot curling iron hitting your skin but not leaving a mark. So I had my daughter let our almost 10 month old 49.5lb puppy out of the house. He had been obnoxious earlier in the morning by attacking the chicken run and ripping at the netting. Not an unusual thing for him to do as he has been getting bolder about trying to dig there too.

    He rushed to the unelectrified gate and started pawing at the ground like he wanted to dig under. Then he rushed around to the side where he's been trying to rip and dig at the fencing. Didn't take long for his head to touch the hot wire. He yelped and barked and raced away from the fencing. He looked at me like "what the heck was that!" Then he bolted to the back of the house and stayed there until I went to get him on the leash. I waited a bit then I brought him back into the yard near the run and he was very quiet. I let him go and he ran over to the other fence line to play with the neighbor's pup through the fence, they were running up and down the property line and having a great time. Then he raced back towards the chicken run like he normally would have done. Normally he'd tear around it fast as possible and rip at parts of it or try to "play" with the chickens. Not today. As soon as he got within 3 feet of the run he slammed on his brakes and stopped short, turned, and raced back away. Success!

    I unplugged it for now because I never intended for it to be more than just a temporary learning tool for him. So I will plug it back in when we head outside again and keep it plugged while out there until he gives the chicken run more respect. I'm wondering if I will even need to electrify my garden or if the yellow polywire will scare him into staying out of it. Hmm time will tell.

    Here are some pics of the process and finished product.


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  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Missouri
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    A favorite story of my dad's is the incident involving a hired hand and their dog. The hired hand wasn't the brightest bulb in the box and got the idea it would be funny to see the dog get shocked by the fence. So he tried a number of things to make that happen. None of them worked, as the dog had already had a dose of it and wanted no more. But eventually, handy got frustrated about it, caught the dog, physically dragged him over the fence....dog struggling all the way, handy stood him up and touched his paw to it. Dad said they both got zapped and both let out a yip and both ran away in opposite directions. As my dad said, the dog was a lot smarter than the hired hand was.

    BTW, the same thing works with birds to keep them in. I was out working in the yard today and the birds were gathered around. I noticed a few of them were getting really close the fence. Close, but did not touch it. One was working the line grazing on anything green and I noticed she stopped, looked up and realized how close to the wire she was, and moved back and away from it. They know too.
     

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