Simplest Electric Fence Ever...Cheep!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mobius, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Will try to post proper details here....

    I found out about an electric fence reimbursement program in parts of the Rocky Mountain States:

    I am super excited to learn recently about an Electric Fencing Incentive Program. There are many bears in my neighborhood and they are waking up. New chicken owner here....

    No food outside, no garbage, food taken in every night, coop like Fort Knox...hardware cloth? Doesn't matter. Perimeter fence, chain link? Doesn't matter.

    Do I want to do this? No...but I have to. I live in the base of the Rockies, smack up against the west foothills, 60 miles from the Continental Divide. Is it gorgeous? Yes. Are there bears here? OMG.

    So I researched the living you know what out of electric fencing. I was uber lucky to talk with the local head of Fish Wildlife and Parks a couple days ago at a friend's party. He said: Electric Fence. I said: Ick, really. Well, short story long, that discussion spurred me on to research the heck out of it ( and I am not fond of electricity). Yup. Gotta do it. He was right. Grrrrr....izzly....

    OK. Then.

    I run across an amazing incentive program: 50% of cost up to $500 will be reimbursed (meaning I believe you could spend 1K and get reimbursed $500). Doesn't matter if it is just around coop or around perimeter fencing, or a new fenced area. Talked to the gentleman today and with some paperwork, receipts, etc, I will get reimbursed. He will even help with a materials list and planning if I send him pics. This is for black bears , grizz, you name it.

    The Incentive Program covers Montana, Idaho, Washington State, and Wyoming (specific counties). Colorado also has this program and I don't know where else, these are the ones I have found.

    I know, I know, you all want a link: (for Colorado)

    I am floored and quite happy: I can get expert advice, protect chickens (and bears), and get reimbursed!! Ya gotta LOVE it![​IMG]

    It is first come first serve. Don't wait til the money runs out. I got a next day pleasant, informative response to my voicemail inquiry.
  2. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    I then called local Fish Wildlife and Parks and got in touch with the local Bear Expert. He came out to my house the VERY NEXT DAY and demo'd electric fence design, checked my coop and told me EXACTLY how to do it and what to purchase. Wow!

    Materials list:

    9 strand polywire (which he GAVE me and it was enough)
    T50 Staples ($5 or so)
    Staple Gun ($20)
    Electric fence tester ($12)
    Speedrite Unigizer 1000 ($150)
    Insulator pack for external fence ($8) should I wish to add a little barrier there.
    Hardware cloth (2x10 feet) ($15?)

    So just over $200...half of which will be reimbursed...check internet or FWP in your area, there might be something similar....

    He told me the following:

    1. I don't need grounding rods.
    2. Polywire adequate against bears
    3. Put hardware cloth against coop openings
    4. Wire the hardware cloth by knotting a end of polywire through it or just weaving it in/through...
    5. Since run door was not grounded, I could just wire thehardware cloth there
    6. Wire the hardware cloth on the doors/openings...e.g. coop cleanout, nesting boxes, window.
    7. Ground the polywire by attaching to a ground source, in this case, run hardware cloth that touched the ground
    8. I don't need to use insulators
    9. Staple the rest of the run/coop with five levels of polywire, not grounded...
    10. Plug in and turn on
    11. Test everything with tester, correct as necessary...
    12. Did not need to do perimeter, could just wire the coop...surprised me!

    Next: Pictures tell the story
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
    Leighe likes this.
  3. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Done in half a day. Nesting Box door has HW cloth on it in right of pic...nothing in this system interferes with opening any doors, except you have to turn the charger off...but all the HW cloth is fully electrified on the openings. The HW cloth on the run is grounded, so I ran the wire on the outside at five levels as instructed...and knots work to attach one length to another!

    Do know this works against ALL predators...not just bears of course...
    Yup, I got decorative with the way the locks and carabiners wound up electrifed too!
    Charger easily accessible and out of weather...
    The bulk of the work as cutting and snipping hardware cloth as here;
    And here on the cleanout door...see the tiny knot/attachment at lower right of door? the door is now wired and the HC is ALL LIVE...
    Back side of coop and run...five levels...
    Bear guy told me that since I have small dogs that I could run it above head height for them with no loss of security...
    I used two insulators total to wire above top of fence, cause the posts themselves are grounded...per expert's instructions...
    See the knots? That is how easy things are to connect...

    I hope this makes some sense...ask any questions...I could NOT believe it was this I did it myself...
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
    Leighe and NorthTexasWink like this.
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    1 person likes this.
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

    Jan 18, 2008
  6. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    It was fully tested and all shorts corrected...mostly due to run HW cloth ends sticking out from the builder...bent it all back inside the wood so all set. Fully high charge per tester....not weak charge (9 volts?)

    It IS grounded...see the green knob on the charger? There is polywire attached to the grounding plug and then run/stapled down the side of the coop and attached to hardware cloth at the base of the coop/run that touches the ground. With a knot. It is simply that grounding rods not needed...bear expert tested and confirmed...hope this helps...
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
    NorthTexasWink likes this.
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Hotwire grounding is kind of different.... the charger itself will be grounded through the electric connection and power source. the grounding needed to achieve the zap effect is what I am concerned about. Because the zap to the animal comes from the ground and up through their body to the wires. Any way thats how I understand the hotwire I know. Sometimes it takes three or four grounding rods to achieve it...

    In my dry climate I cant even do that. So I have been researching Safeguard Bipolar fencing. It has a positive charge and a negative charged within a tape that keeps the wires separated. Mind you this is for horses....

    I am just concerned for your safety and when it rains and gets all that wood wet. Because all of it will be either charged.... or grounded out. Like having a live wire laying on the ground in a puddle.

    I met a woman who had hotwire done for her horses by a relative who ran it directly to the power on the house. It worked fabulously... till a storm and all her horses were electrocuted..... Different situation entirely because they werent using a charger ....

  8. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think we are trying to compare different systems here...this is a short run of wiring for a smallish chicken coop. For a large acreage, or for horses, or for hotwire, bipolar systems, direct connections to electrical, it may not be relevant at all. None of these are true in this example...
  9. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 19, 2012
    NW Vermont
    So if your chickens touch the hardware cloth, they get jolted?
  10. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    With the exception of the run door, no. Mostly this is on at night after the chickens are in bed so even with the run door electrified at that time, they won't get jolted because they are in the coop. Can't reach the run door.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016

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