What size energizer for electric fence?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by emen8, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. emen8

    emen8 In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2007
    The Poconos
    After losing my four hens to a bear attack on my coop, I'm looking into installing an electric fence. I can run electricity to the coop so I won't need a battery operated model. The local feed/grain/hardware store has a few different energizers, most of them the brand Fi-Shock, and I'm not sure if any of them are the right size to repel a bear. Most were in the $25-$35 range, with the highest price being $79. The packaging seems to rate them on the size of the area they protect.

    Since the bear was able to lift off the top of the coop, tearing out the latch, I plan on running the electric wire around the top, so he'd be sure to touch it if he comes back. I'm pretty sure I can install this so he touches a wire with his paw (or at least leans on the wire) while he's also touching the ground. I should be able to screw the insulators directly into the wood of the coop, and the store has 12 gauge wire. It will only take about 12 feet of wire to go around the coop once, but I'll probably make a couple of loops to make sure he gets jolted. The thing I can't figure out is what size energizer to use. Can anyone advise me?
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Call the manufacturer of the chargers that your farm store carries (the number should be on the box, and if not the store should be able to find it for you) and ask them. This "charges x miles of fence" thing is a complete crock, as it does not take into account what fence material you're using or what soil conditions you have or how much charge you need. But if you describe your setup and needs, the manufacturer rep should be able to advise you which of their products to buy. It's dangerous to buy an overpowerful controller, especially for such a short run of fence, so I'd advise not just guessing.

    BTW don't get talked into buying a special-made "ground rod", just use a 6' length of 1" galvanized steel pipe whammed deeply into the ground [​IMG]

    Good luck,

  3. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    I can't advise you on the type you need...just a little hint

    Once you have it all set up....take some pieces of meat (hot dogs work well) and string them on your wire at both "bear height" and racoon and dog height.

    It guarantees a MEMORABLE event that they won't want to go through again....

  4. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    We use the one made for Bulls they say it will work on fences 5 miles long. I figure that way at 20 feet the bears will get the full force of the zap.
  5. greginshasta

    greginshasta Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
    How large an are are you trying to enclose?

    I was under the impression that the last thread revealed that you have kids, and that having something strong enough to discourage a bear could be a risk.

    What about the possibility of a dog run, perhaps even with chain link fencing across the top? If it comes to it, perhaps razor wire across the top.
  6. emen8

    emen8 In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2007
    The Poconos
    What I'd like to try is putting electric fencing around the top of the coop, where the bear entered. It's about 3 feet on each side. It's about 5-6 feet off the ground, and the kids wouldn't be able to get to it.
  7. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Songster

    Apr 18, 2007
    Fi-Shock doesn't make one big enough for you.

    To deter predators you need to hit them *HARD* with a powerfull charger. Fi-Shock units are all too weak for the job. Even their largest most powerfull unit, the XP-5, isn't enough, especially for a bear.

    If you've got some ag supply stores around you, check them. But you still may need to mail order a unit. Expect to pay around $150-$250 for a unit powerfull enough to deter predators.

    Can you get by with a smaller unit? Maybe. Depends on how determined the predator is. If the predator isn't really interested, a unit that "ouches" may be enough. But if the predator is serious about eating your livestock, you really have to hit them hard to make them change their mind.

    You've also got to consider fence line mangement and such. The more grass growing up into the fence wires, the weaker the shock. How rigorous are you going to be about maintaining a scrupulously clear line?

    Personally, I'm running the Zareba A100LI. I probably should have spent a little more and gotten the A200LI, just because of grasses in the line. None the less, it was quite an upgrade over the more typical 5 miler unit I had been running.

    Did it make a difference? You should have heard the predators screaming the first few nights when they tangled with it. It's greatly reduced not only the predation on my animals, but their travel patterns, as many don't even come across my unprotected fields any more.

    Is it perfect? No. The fox have mastered the art of leaping through my field fencing like flying torpedos.

    And make no mistake, the unit doesn't care if it's a predator, or me. I've tangled with it, and it'll knock me to the ground, leaving me trembling and shaking for a good 10 minutes or so.

    Can it zap the birds? Oh yes. I've watched it light them up when they'd be standing in mud and go to nibble on the wire. Not a bird has died or shown signs of real injury. The geese seem all but impervious to being shocked.
  8. emen8

    emen8 In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2007
    The Poconos
    Thanks, Foxtrapper, for your info. I shouldn't have to worry about grass and weeds, as my plan is to only electrify around the top of the coop, which is 5-6 feet off the ground. And the perimeter of the coop is only 12 feet. I'm hoping that the only reason the bear even looked into the coop was because he was initially after the suet holder that was about 10 feet away and got curious about the smells/sounds inside the coop. If my theory is correct, a unit that ouches might just be enough, as you said. I'm still doing my research....
  9. emen8

    emen8 In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2007
    The Poconos
    I spoke to Fi-Shock and they said only the professional models are rated with high enough joules to repel a bear, but that they're overkill for my small setup. The ss-7000 model is no longer made, but it delivers 1 joule under load (as opposed to stored joules, which is how most energizers are advertised). The CSR said that model would have fit my needs. Does anyone know of any others that would work for me?
  10. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Songster

    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    And make no mistake, the unit doesn't care if it's a predator, or me. I've tangled with it, and it'll knock me to the ground, leaving me trembling and shaking for a good 10 minutes or so.

    Ouch! The ZAREBA A100LI sounds like a mean motorscooter​

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