Portable electric poultry netting- help me figure it out?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SeaChick, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Hi folks-

    I've browsed previous threads on this subject but I'm still confused. Hoping someone can help me understand what's entailed.

    The situation is: We may buy a house this fall and need immediate, temporary fencing for the winter. Longer-term, I like the idea of rotating the chickens pasture area, althernating with the veggie garden (like, on one side of the coop or the other on alternating years). We are also considering clearing some of the land and having a few goats for milk and to help clear the brush and weeds (the goats would also be rotated on different areas of land).

    For all these I like the idea of some fairly portable electric net fencing for animal containment and ground predator protection.

    I've looked at Premier's site and the Tractor Supply site, and I am still confised as to what the components are and what we'd need.

    I understand that I have the choice of hardwired, solar, of small portable batteries for power. What I don't get is the vast discrepancy in price. ($50 controllers on TSC, but the ones listed on Premier's site with the portable netting are like $200!!)

    A pre-fab roll of netting & posts is about $160, so I have that expense written down. Now what's my best bet for powering these 2 areas? (One being the portable chicken pen, the other being a larger area for the goats. It looks like the netting material is similar in both cases.)

    Can one power source power both areas even if they're far apart? Do they make small, affordable solar ones that would be good for either application? Hardwiring is the least attractive option, especially for the goat pasture which might be moved some distance from the house at some point in time.

    If someone can help me figure this out (and what ballpark costs are) I would very much appreciate it!! WE are trying to get all our ducks in a row before we make an offer on the house!

    Thanks so much!!

    Stacey
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I firmly believe Premier is the best, bar none, source for excellent-quality well-priced electric fence components in North America, except that IMHO their chargers are a bit more upmarket and 'champagne' than one necessarily always needs. OTOH, be aware that there are a lot of not so great chargers on the market as well.

    Differences between chargers relate partly to how reliable they are; partly to how powerful they are; and also to the characteristics of how well they keep your fence 'hot' in sub-optimal conditions (dry or frozen soil, weeds touching fence, etc).

    If you are running a large fence, sometimes poorly maintained or on difficult soil conditions, with large costs if stock escape, then I'd really suggest going with the best quality you can get, for which Premier's chargers are certainly one of the sensible options.

    However if you can be philosophical (if annoyed) about an occasional loss and you are going to size the charger properly and maintain the fence well (i.e. not let it get overgrown) and dry/frozen soil won't be an issue, then IMO you may do just fine with a less expensive charger from a reliable brand like Zareba. (Note that since you live in a snowy area, you will need some kind of permanent-fencing enclosure for your goats during the winter -- electric won't cut it then).

    Since Premier gives really good customer-service advice, if you're thinking of buying some stuff from them anyhow, I would at least TALK with them about what charger specifications you need. It will be eddifying even if you end up getting your charger elsewhere.

    A pre-fab roll of netting & posts is about $160, so I have that expense written down. Now what's my best bet for powering these 2 areas? (One being the portable chicken pen, the other being a larger area for the goats. It looks like the netting material is similar in both cases.)

    You are going to need quite a large charger for that -- each roll of netting has a pretty high resistance. I would expect to spend in the $200+ range.

    Can one power source power both areas even if they're far apart? Do they make small, affordable solar ones that would be good for either application? Hardwiring is the least attractive option, especially for the goat pasture which might be moved some distance from the house at some point in time.

    I don't think you're going to find a solar charger that has enough power for you, and if you do it will NOT be affordable -- you're looking at probably $400++.

    All in all I'd suggest a battery-operated charger for your situation. Yes, you will have to buy a new battery every year or two($30-50, ish), but you would have to buy a new battery periodically for a solar unit *anyhow* and the battery unit gives you independance from grid power failures which can be a big issue if this is your only/main means of predator protection for small food items like chickens and goats.

    FWIW yes you can run fence at some distance from the charger, by means of a length of double-insulated fence wire (NOT household wire or an extension cord - must be rated to 20,000 v). You'd want to run it along an existing fence or something, so nobody trips on it or mows over it. How far can you go with this? It depends on the size of your charger and the load of the existing fence -- you would have to figure out the total resistance of the double-insulated lead-out wire and compare it to how close to the charger's limits your fence already is. Twenty or fifty feet should not be too much of a problem; longer, maybe.

    Hope this helps some, and good luck,

    Pat​
     

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