Please help, questions about electric fencing options?

Mallory8502

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
75
11
53
I am new to all of this. I have seen a lot of people use Premier1 electric poultry netting, but it was a bit pricey for me. It looked like I would have to spend $100 on the netting, then an additional $200-300 for a battery or solar panel- is that correct?

Because of the expense, I was hoping to run a galvanized 'hot wire' just a couple inches off the ground surrounding my enclosure, hoping that it would be cheaper and effective (I only need 70 feet) But I don't know the first thing about how to install, what I need, what it costs, best place to buy etc.. I read somewhere that vegetation touching the wire could ground it, which would be hard to control if it's only a few inches off the ground, is this true? I saw spools of wire at tractor supply and was hoping to buy what I need from them today to get this started, but the employees couldn't tell me anything about it.

My goal is to prevent my dog from digging under the enclosure. It is a chain link dog run that has a layer of chicken wire on the outside and the roof, attached to a coop that is 4ft off the ground and well protected. The chicken wire comes out from the bottom of the enclosure in an apron of 1.5ft and I secured it to the ground with landscaping pins and then buried with dirt. There is another 4ft high metal fence made out of concrete reinforcement metal panels and metal poles around the enclosure that is meant to keep the dog from ever getting close enough to the chicken enclosure to bother them in the first place, but she keeps getting through this fence. I have to supervise her constantly. I don't want to hurt her with a shock that is too strong, but she needs to learn to stay out.

I know I could bury hardware cloth, but I feel the best method is to make her not want to keep trying to get in, and electric will do that. Training will not work on this dog. She is a husky so it is already in her nature to have a prey drive. I know I can't change that or ever trust her. Anybody that has ever had a husky knows they are patient hunters and extremely intelligent. She has learned that I don't want her messing with the chickens, so she shows no interest when I am outside, but once I leave her alone for 15 minutes I found that she has been going to a fence panel that is well hidden from sight and trying to work her way through it.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,513
12,998
707
Southeast Louisiana
I use the Premier netting and yes, vegetation, blowing leaves or trash, about anything can ground it out, especially if it is wet. Even if it does not totally ground it, the shock value can be greatly reduced.

You’ll need to buy a unit. The way it works, it sends a very high voltage (maybe 7000 volts) but low amperage pulse through the netting. Amperage is generally what does the damage. But a key is that it is a series of pulses less than a second apart. Because it pulses that allows anything that touches it to turn loose. If it were a continuous current they could not turn loose and it could kill them or paralyze them.

I have had a snapping turtle and a possum get tangled in mine so they could not turn loose. It paralyzed them. I was able to work the snapping turtle loose and it eventually crawled way. The pulsing electricity is not what killed the possum, but both of them were immobile and would jerk every time that current pulsed.

My unit plugs into an electric outlet. I don’t have a solar charger or a battery. If I ever lose electricity the chickens are vulnerable, but most of the time when a predator gets hit by the electricity it gives that area a wide berth in the future. It’s pretty satisfying to hear a stray dog yelp when it gets hit with the electricity and see it scurrying away with its tail between its legs, unhurt and never to return. I’ve been privileged to observe that. Someone on this forum even spreads peanut butter to encourage predators to lick the wire.

The problem is that people often drop dogs off here in the country. Those dogs have not yet been trained to avoid it. And raccoons, foxes, and such are being born and weaned quite often. The wire needs to stay hot to be effective.
 

OwensChickens

Chirping
6 Years
May 31, 2013
116
1
73
You can run a hot wire around your current fence. Just like the electric netting, it will ground out when vegetation grows into it. You should be able to find a charger for $ 30 - 50 at TSC. It is an option since you already have the fence.
 

res

Songster
9 Years
We ran smooth wire around our landscaping to keep our free-ranging hens out. We started out powering it with a $30 AC unit from TSC that is meant for chickens. The chickens laughed at it, and when I tested it with my voltimeter, it was only putting out 1000 volts. I highly doubt it would discourage a dog.

IMO, do not bother with the cheap low-powered units from TSC. Step up to at least a 25-mile AC unit. It WILL need to be installed indoors or sheltered in some way from the weather - mainly rain. You will also need a GOOD ground rod sunk deep into soil that stays moist (or you need to moisten the soil around the rod occasionally). Sometimes your soil type may need more than 1 ground rod. You also need the proper clamp and gauge wire running from the ground rod to the charger, and from the charger to the fence. The instructions with the charger should help you out with that.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,987
23,963
906
southern Michigan
Get a strong charger, do the ground rods, and run wire or tape, maybe two lines, one about 12" off the ground, another 24" up. Too close to the ground will acquire weeds too fast, and kill frogs, toad, etc. that you don't want to injure. Premier has good stuff and is very helpful; I order from them and buy the posts locally. Mary
 

Mallory8502

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
75
11
53
I use the Premier netting and yes, vegetation, blowing leaves or trash, about anything can ground it out, especially if it is wet. Even if it does not totally ground it, the shock value can be greatly reduced.

You’ll need to buy a unit. The way it works, it sends a very high voltage (maybe 7000 volts) but low amperage pulse through the netting.
Thanks that is good to know. I think I will go with a wire over netting because I have an existing fence, but I assume the unit works with anything. Where would be the best place to buy a 7000 volt unit? Solar options?


You can run a hot wire around your current fence. Just like the electric netting, it will ground out when vegetation grows into it. You should be able to find a charger for $ 30 - 50 at TSC. It is an option since you already have the fence.
Do you know if the chargers at TSC are strong enough to deter dogs, or just keep chickens in?


IMO, do not bother with the cheap low-powered units from TSC. Step up to at least a 25-mile AC unit. It WILL need to be installed indoors or sheltered in some way from the weather - mainly rain. You will also need a GOOD ground rod sunk deep into soil that stays moist (or you need to moisten the soil around the rod occasionally). Sometimes your soil type may need more than 1 ground rod. You also need the proper clamp and gauge wire running from the ground rod to the charger, and from the charger to the fence. The instructions with the charger should help you out with that.
Do you know if there are any good solar-powered options out there? Where would you recommend buying a 25-mile ac unit like you described?
 
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OwensChickens

Chirping
6 Years
May 31, 2013
116
1
73
I would recommend the strongest charger you can afford. I have seen the 2 mile fence work on keeping dogs in, but in electric fencing, bigger is definitely better.
 

res

Songster
9 Years
Thanks that is good to know. I think I will go with a wire over netting because I have an existing fence, but I assume the unit works with anything. Where would be the best place to buy a 7000 volt unit? Solar options?



Do you know if the chargers at TSC are strong enough to deter dogs, or just keep chickens in?



Do you know if there are any good solar-powered options out there? Where would you recommend buying a 25-mile ac unit like you described?
Most TSC's will have a good variety of units, both AC powered, solar, and battery powered units. You can also check any other local feed stores, both chains and privately owned.

Solar units can be used, but they tend to cost quite a bit. I am not sure I have seen one for less then $250. They are reliable, though, and powerful enough to deter dogs. I have a Parmak 50-mile solar unit powering the fence surrounding a 1-acre paddock. It keeps the fence at 7000 volts, easily, even after cloudy days. It can also power thru small weeds and grass touching it. The only time it lost it's charge was when a 16' metal gate accidentally made contact with it over night. That drained the battery down, but it recovered quickly as soon as I moved the gate.

I don't mean to shy you away from AC units by saying they need to be indoors. AC units are often more affordable and reliable when you compare purchase costs. They just need to be protected from rain/moisture, and people can get super creative and cheap to achieve that. I've heard and seen buckets and plastic totes used to "cover" them.
 
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