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electric poultry netting and snow

 
Kevin Swanson
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OK chicken paddock lovers. What do you do in the winter? The fence does not work due to it grounding out.
 
Walter Jeffries
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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Our chickens don't want to wander in the winter so it isn't an issue.
 
Kevin Swanson
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They don't leave the coop? I'm concerned about predators reading my chickens. My chickens have been out digging around in an inch or two of snow. This much snow makes the fence ground out and its this not delivering a shock to any potential predators.
 
Walter Jeffries
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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They don't go far. During the warm months they wander over about 20 acres. They are protected by our livestock guardian dogs. During the winter they stay within about 50' of the nesting area. You might try building a sun room like this:

http://sugarmtnfarm.com/2006/01/31/chicken-sunroom-how-to/

In the winter ours prefer staying in there to going out on the snow even though they can. In the sun room they have hay to stand on and it is warm. At night they go into the coop.

I'm surprised that an inch or two of snow is grounding out your fence. It takes a foot or two to make much difference on ours. It might be that your energizer is too low powered. I recommend at least 2.5 joules, preferably more if it is powering a lot of load. I use 6 and 15 joule energizers. You might also want to dry clipping the leads to the bottom couple of wires. See:

http://sugarmtnfarm.com/2008/06/12/poultry-netting-for-pigs/

For predators I would suggest having a guardian dog. Ours eat predators. It's a dog eat coyote world out there.
 
Kevin Swanson
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Walter I think you hit the nail on the head. I have a solar fence charger and it is probably not enough joules to zap through the snow. It is only .5

 
Walter Jeffries
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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Aye, the solar energizers don't tend to be very powerful. I recommend using AC energizers, placing them at the power and then running fence from them out to the fields. We do an underground section in some places to get out. I find this works much better. Once you have 10,000 volts with 2.5 joules or more going along the fence it can go for miles. Our outside perimeter is 1.5 miles of fence line and from that we power the paddock lines. That is actually divided into two sections each on their own 15 joule energizer. We have another energizer that does the inner ring. Loads such as wet snow and grass do drag fences down. Raising wires, clipping low leads and cutting brush help.

Note that when the fence energizer manufactures rate a charger to do 10 miles they mean 10 miles of wire, not fence, at no load. That is to say our outside perimeter of 1.5 miles of fence with four wires is really 6 miles of fence, except there is load on it so that makes it even worse. When looking at the ratings I would suggest dividing their distances powered by a factor of ten to 100 thus a 100 mile energizer will power one to ten miles of fence lines - provided you walk them regularly and keep them in repair.
 
Wyatt Smith
Posts: 111
Location: Midwest zone 6
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Trample a new perimeter in the snow with your boots and reset the fence.
 
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