Question about electric fencing and weather

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by esjro, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. esjro

    esjro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 22, 2008
    Stockton, NJ
    We just installed an electric fence from Premier, which we purchased thanks to the suggestions on this forum. [​IMG] I bought it because there are foxes where we live, and I seem them sometimes during the day. Now I can let my ladies out within the fence during the day while I am at work though I still secure them in their coop at night.

    For those of you that have fences, how do they work in bad weather??? It is raining like crazy today, and in the winter we get snow (I am in NJ). Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Wraith

    Wraith Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2008
    Upstate SC
    Will an electric fence not kill a chicken? I have a know it all buddy who says it will, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's wrong...again. Good luck against the foxes.
     
  3. esjro

    esjro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 22, 2008
    Stockton, NJ
    I sure hope not! They were all okay as of this evening but it was only day 2 of the fence. I would suspect not though, because although the voltage is high (2000-4000 V depending on weather, contact with the ground, etc.) the current is low. It is like the old safety training saying, "Volts kick, amps kill."
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  4. FFChick

    FFChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2008
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    We have our backyard protected by an Electric Fence Wire that was purchased at Tracktor Supply. Ours is installed conected on a rail fence. It was the only way to keep our dog from jumping over the five foot tall fence. The electric fence is only "hot" if it is touched when you are grounded such as by standing on the ground. I would think if you are using it to protect chickens, you install it higher than they can touch it while they are standing on the ground. Lets say they land on it while are flying across the yard it will not harm them. I'm thinking of wrapping a loop of wire around our chicken pen. We have foxes, bears & maybe even coyottes in my area of Hunterdon County. What I do have is a problem with is Thunder Storms that blow out our transformers on our electric fence. We are on our third unit.
     
  5. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    I have the hot wire around my coop that is approximately 6" off the ground. You want to place it so that animals are not going to dig under your fencing. The hot wire will not kill a chicken. There are woven electric fences manufactured specifically for chickens and they still utilize the same type of energizer that you would purchase at Tractor Supply. We have lots of skunks, weasels, raccoons, foxes and coyotes in our area and I know of several who have lost a lot of birds to predators. I never have. A few weeks ago, in broad daylight I watched a large coyote learn that my chickens might smell appetizing, but getting to them is painful. I haven't seen him since. Weather doesn't affect a properly installed system. The most common problem with electric fencing is inadequete grounding. Read installation instructions carefully and install proper grounding or you WILL have problems, especially during dry weather.
     
  6. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    I am in the Sierra foothills with snow in the winter and it does not effect the fence. The only thing is you have to keep the weeds off the wires.
    I do not know how many volts mine puts out for my meter only goes to 7000 volts and the fence maxs tthe meter out. Chickens have been on and under it and have not been killed. When they are on the ground touching it, I think their feathers insulate them against the electric wire.
     
  7. esjro

    esjro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 22, 2008
    Stockton, NJ
    Quote:yes, I have the "poulty netting" type fence from Premier. The netting is wider than typical pountry netting, but the entire fence is electrified. I hope this works on the foxes! [​IMG]
     
  8. riderbecky

    riderbecky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    Ottawa Valley
    From what I understand, feathers don't conduct electricity very well.

    Although what most people have are electric fencing outside of their run, one strand low for the diggers and one strand high for the climbers/jumpers (I'm talking preds here, eh).
     
  9. Mom2Cool

    Mom2Cool Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2008
    wow I was just having this very same question as hubby is stringing the webbing aroun the top of the pole on the new electric fencing. I guess it hadn't occured to us until now that they could get zapped too. LOL though technically the chickens are kept inside the their penned area & the electric fencing is on the outside of that. Originally we'd thought to do the electric fence around the entire back yard but the wooded area is a bit "too wooded" to keep all the foilage off of it & so we opted to just do the Chicken coop/penned in area. Hubby's using a gated area so we have a place to come & go without being zapped ourselves.

    I was just about to put this post up asking for any suggestions when I found this other persons post about "electric fencing & weather" & if the chickens would get zapped themselves. We'd just been thinking the same thing ourselves & I'm also a bit concerned about my own dogs. My girls aren't left unattended with the chickens (bird dogs) & are actually the best deterant for the over abundance of Black Bears we have right now. As long as the girls (dogs) are outside & barking they won't come over the fenced in yard. But if the girls are inside or it's nite then yea the bears will be in the yard killing chickens. Anyway I just don't want my girls being zapped either. If they do get zapped is this a life threatening thing for a dog or is it a teaching thing? I can & will attempt a "boarder training" with them but the ultimate will be them sticking their nose on it. but I just don't feel like having to rush them to a vet in shock or something either. Any thoughts?

    Here's a couple of pics of how it's being set up. The poles seemed kind of flimsie and so hubby has them brased up against a woodend post.... I hope I sized these right.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  10. esjro

    esjro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 22, 2008
    Stockton, NJ
    Quote:Funny that you should mention that... my dog just went to visit (aka terrorize) the chickens and encountered the electric fence for the first time. I felt kind of guilty watching him run up there and knowing that he would likely get zapped, but it was bound to happen at some point any way so...

    Our yard is very woodsy too and has been overgrown with weeds for years, so I was unable to see what was happening. I did however hear a "yelp!" and saw my dog hauling *** back towards us with his ears down and his tail between his legs. [​IMG] It must have stung because he hasn't been interested in going over there again, but after he got a belly rub and a few minutes of "Oh, poor doggy, are you okay? Mommy loves you" he was just fine. [​IMG]

    My husband did a lot of reading on the Premier1 site and here at BYC before purchasing the fence. The overall consensus seems to be that if you buy an energizer specifically made for the purpose of keeping predators out and livestock in the fences are safe. The high voltage packs a kick but the current is very low because the fences have high resistance, so though they hurt they'll likely a milliamp or so of current.

    Actually, I think I will go measure it and report back here too reassure you and myself. :)

    Edited too say: the hubby just got back with the multimeter. He measured at different points along the fence, and depending on where he measured (directly on the wire or on the fencing material), he got between 0.3 - 1 mA. Keep in mind that that is measuring with a meter using a metal probe - a chicken's feathers will help insulate it, and I'd imagine a dog's fur would increase its resistance too so there should be no harm. It takes about 20 mA to kill a human.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008

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