Will this be sufficient to keep things out or do I need to add electric fencing around?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dgrr29, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. dgrr29

    dgrr29 In the Brooder

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    So this is the chicken run I'm currently building. It's 25'X50' for now and will expand later this summer over to the other side of the garage out in the open where the permanent coop will go. I've buried the posts in 2.5' of concrete and anchored them well with support braces so they really don't move, little to no play in them. I've stretched the 14gauge welded wire (2"x4") and stapled it to the support boards and posts. I've also ran 24" of chicken wire along the bottom. As you can see from the pictures I'm burying anywhere from 6" to 18" of wire in hopes that it will keep things from trying to dig in. The 2" mesh netting for the top just came today so it will be going up this weekend. It's been a bit cold still to move the chicks out to their temporary coop, they are just now 5.5 weeks old. My question is should I still safeguard and run some electric netting along the base? I don't want to go through all this expense to just have something get in and kill all the chickens.
     

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  2. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Sr Chicken Wrangler

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    Weasels and mink like creatures will come right in on that wire. You might want to put 1/2 hardware cloth around the bottom 2-3ft high.

    The poultry net at the very bottom will stop nothing with teeth.

    Otherwise a nice looking run.
     
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  3. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    What predators do you have in your area? That certainly makes a difference.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    Welcome! Electric fencing is always a good choice, and will make a real difference is safety for your birds. Howard E has good articles here about it, and Premier1supplies.com is an excellent resource for information and materials.
    Chicken wire is a waste of time and money, and bantam chicks can get right through it too. Rodents and weasels have no problems either, and most predators can climb very well. That's why electric is so helpful!
    Any fencing will offer some protection; locking the flock in every night, and having a predator proof coop and run big enough for those times when everyone is locked in, because of snow cover or predator attacks, will be your primary defense.
    Mary
     
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  5. Howard E

    Howard E Crowing

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    Looks like you are serious about safety!

    Not sure if it's too late, but if that had been me, I would have left the fence wire on the fence posts all the way to the ground, putting the bottom boards over the wire, vs. draping the wire over the boards. It may not matter enough to move it.

    For sure, DO NOT bury the apron.......do it as you have done it, but only lay it flat on the ground, pinned in place with landscape fabric staples, tent stakes, etc. Trying to bury it is a ton of work you do not need to do, plus buried underground, it will rust out in no time at all. (Rusts bad enough laid flat on the ground). Once the grass grows up through it, you won't know it's there and an apron laid flat on the ground will be just as effective, if not more so.

    And yes, it will be much more secure with two strands of hot wire run around the coop. One at the bottom......about the top of the bottom board.....that one for all land based predators, including dogs. And another towards the top, such that any climbing predator (coons mainly) that manages to get past the bottom wire will encounter the top hot wire while hanging on the fence wire. You can use wire or even poly rope.

    Best insulators for this use would be these.........

    insulator.jpg

    These create a standoff of about 5 inches or so.......goal is to get the predator to try to fit past the hot wire and fence wire. A shorter insulator too close to the fence might
    a. short out, and
    b. allow them to just climb over it.

    Also, this has to be run using outside corners, so getting good tension on the hot wire or poly rope through the corner bend can be an issue. Put two of these insulators right on the corner and it may make the bend OK.

    For a short stretch like this, you can use any of the less expensive AC fence chargers. Be careful of the really cheap Fi Shock ones. Avoid those. You want at least 5,000 volts and 7,000 is better.

    Lastly, that run is awfully close to the back of your house. Not sure how many birds you plan to have, but if you get objectionable odor and flies, best solution will be 4 to 6 inches of cheap grass hay.
     
  6. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Sr Chicken Wrangler

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    I agree, I actually lay a 2 foot wide roll of hardware cloth on the ground and stake it down. Bending about 4-6 inches of it upward at a 90 degree angle and tying it to the upright fence. After a few months the grass grows into the fence and I can even mow over it. (I normally use the weed wacker, but kids have accidentally mowed over it and it stays down)

    I use the same insulators you do. It seems to help.
     
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Crowing

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    Also, if you leave the section of apron wire you have already buried, and it is tied/connected to the fence wire, the buried apron wire can be used as your ground rod. Just connect your fence charger's ground wire to the fence. That way, the upright fence wire is grounded too.

    That way, any animal standing on the ground or clinging to the fence gets it. You could sell tickets for that show!
     
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  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    OK, Howard, you got me on that one. Here's my ? to you. I have a charger that hooks up to a 12V deep cycle battery. I also have electronet (Premier1 poultry netting) which I have not used for several years due to hawk predation. Would it be possible to hook the electro net to the run: chicken wire fence (with buried skirt) and electrify the whole she-bang? The fencing is 6' tall, approximately 125' long, some portions of it covered with 2 x 4 welded wire fencing. Stapled to the wall of the coop in 2 locations. Would any hot spots be created where wire is stapled to the wood building or wood fence posts which are often wet and in contact with the ground. Also, would the door create a breach in the system? I assume I'd have to bridge across door framing some how with my electric tape (what ever that's called). I have very little knowledge about the working of electricity, and imagine that with all this wire, the system would be drained pretty fast. The charger is a powerful one, designed to charge 3 miles of fence and eat weeds. I would love to electrify my entire chicken complex, and include a free range area and garden which would cover about 1000 extra feet of real estate.
     
  9. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Sr Chicken Wrangler

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    You can hook the ground wire to the fence, but a better way would to be drive a good earth ground in relatively close to the fence, or run a jumper wire from the grounding rod to the fence wire.

    You cannot hook the hot wire to the fence, if you expect the fencer to last more than a day or two.
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Thanks. I do have a good ground rod. I'm getting tired of pounding it in and removing it. I live in boulder country. That ground rod has taken on some interesting contours over the last 30+ years I've had it! I could do the stand off plastic insulators around the run, and then hook that to my electronet. Run polytape around coops/run, garden, and area between. Work the electronet into the area somehow, with deer netting over the top to keep the blasted hawks out.
     

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