Question for those who use hot wire/electric fencing for protection.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cupman, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello, I am building a new coop and I should be starting any day now, well it is going to be big enough for around 30 chickens. I was going to make the run size on my coop somewhere around 600-1000 square feet so they would have plenty of room. However, this presents a problem because unlike my current setup that is covered, this would probably cost a fortune to cover. My solution was to get hot wire/electric fencing. So my 2 questions are)

    1) What is the difference between hot wire/electric fencing? Which do you prefer?

    2) How much money would you guess it costs you to keep your fencing turned on?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    1) What is the difference between hot wire/electric fencing? Which do you prefer?

    2) How much money would you guess it costs you to keep your fencing turned on?

    1 There is no difference

    2 It's about like running a light bulb​
     
  3. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh cool, thank you. I'm not too familiar with the fencing, I've never had livestock.
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    I would suggest that you read up on the electric fencing. Try Premier 1 and Kencove catalog, and google electronet. There are many kinds of electric fencing. One type is a net with metal wires twisted into the horizontal twine. It is designed to keep livestock in rather than protect from predators, but it is somewhat helpful as it hurts.

    I personally do not rely on electric fencing. Animals know when it is on and when it is off.

    Netting not sturdy enough to stop a frightened animal from running thru it. This is my experience with sheep and horses. So I would only use it as an interior fence to contain the hens but not protect from determined predators.Also netting isn't very tall, usually 3 1/2 feet.

    Other electric fencing is thick cords of poly strands and wire. Designed for horses and cattle. Not suitable for chickens.

    A nighttime coop would be recommended for safety. And a smaller section that can be more predator proof.



    Every fencing has good points and weaknesses. Finind the right fencing depends on your exact situation.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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  6. FarmerMel

    FarmerMel Out Of The Brooder

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    You could get a solar powered electric fencing unit. They have one at Tractor & Supply for about $100. It also works great for us in the winter. We mount it 8 feet off the ground and place it on a spot that receives the most sunlight throughout the day.
     
  7. KirstenJL

    KirstenJL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use electronetting from Premier1. It's what makes keeping chickens possible for me since I'm in an area with a high predator population as well as free-roaming dogs. I have two 174 ft. fences hooked together on one battery-powered charger. The battery cost $44 and has been on since last January. I bought a re-chargeable battery for when this one dies, but it's still going strong.

    The netting (4 ft. high) keeps my standard birds in (except the rooster who had to have his wing clipped), and has kept all predators out except one poor opossum who got stuck in the netting and died. I saw a dog touch it and learn to fly. A couple of skunks have encountered it too and forced me to close my windows at night! The chickens respect it but don't fear it. They know how close they can get and readily walk right next to it I keep new babies in other enclosures until they're 4 weeks old and are too big to be tempted to run through the openings in the netting. I've had chickens for a year now and I have had no losses.

    It's expensive and not perfect (and there was a big learning curve for me as a newbie), but again, it makes my chickens possible. I have a small covered run, but the netting approximates free-ranging and I think my birds are happier for it.
     
  8. ajlynco

    ajlynco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kirstenjl-I live in town and the electric netting seems to be the way for me to allow my girls to free-range for a few hrs each day, supervised of course. I'm also a newbie so do you have any helpful tips re: electric fencing? [​IMG]
     
  9. KirstenJL

    KirstenJL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ajlynco--From everything I've heard Premier1 is the way to go. They are very helpful, but you have to know what to ask! I started out getting the solar charger and found out only after it arrived that it needed full sun. My yard is shady so I had to return it. I don't have an outdoor electrical outlet, so I was limited to a battery powered charger (which has been fine). The charger I have sits on a metal frame that extends about a foot into the soil. This serves as a grounding rod and if you have wet-ish soil (like we do in Ohio) that's all you need. It has to be sited at least 40 ft. from any other grounds (wells, satellite dishes, etc.) which really limits me (and was also something I didn't find out until I had it in hand). Weeds and grass need to be cleared out from under the netting (or the vegetation drains the charge on the fence), and I've also found that the charge strength varies with how wet the soil is. Mine is mostly in the yard so I found myself moving the fence and mowing every week or so (Round-Up may be the way to go here). Now that the leaves are falling I'm doing a lot of raking. It pretty much shuts down in the snow, but last year my chickens didn't go out in it anyway. I got the 4 ft. tall temporary (movable) netting with double-stakes. The kit I got came with a few extra support poles, but I ended up buying a support pole for every panel of the fence to keep it from sagging too much (I tighten the fence up every time I have to move it to mow). You can get Perma-netting which is sturdier if you don't plan to move it much.

    My chickens go out unsupervised--now that DLS time is over I don't even see them in the light. I got a rooster to watch over them, strung up some flagging to deter hawks and all has been well. If you live in a city you may have more issues with people and pets--this fence is hot enough to kill an opossum. I'm in a rural area where people respect livestock--if their dogs mess with my chickens and get shocked by the fence they're very clear about whose fault that is!

    Hope this helped. Good luck!
     
  10. ajlynco

    ajlynco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you make an electric fence out of chicken wire or field fence?? [​IMG]
     

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