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Will poultry / goat electro-net fencing keep in pot-bellies? I want to rotate them across my pasture

 
Michael Ball
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I want to rotate my pot-bellies across my pasture sometimes. They are surprisingly gentle on the land.
 
chad stamps
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You should rotate them through the pasture, and woods if you have them, all the time - do it right and the land will benefit from it as much as the pigs.

The netting works very well, but once they are trained to the wire (takes a day, if that) then a few strands of electric will work just as well and be cheaper and easier to move.
 
R Scott
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One HOT wire at nose level will keep them in when trained, but net is much better at keeping predators OUT, so I would use it if you have dog/coyote problems.
 
Paul Ewing
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Netting would be fine for older ones, but I would not use it with babies or when first training older ones unless it is pulled very tight. It would be easy for them to get tangled up in the netting and electrocuted slowly.
 
Walter Jeffries
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The netting does work well for pigs. It helps to keep the netting tight, pinned down and clip the leads to the bottom couple of wires as described here:

http://sugarmtnfarm.com/poultry-netting-for-pigs/
 
Steve Hoskins
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Location: NW lower Michigan
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I have used the netting, and it works great for smaller animals, but I have to say, not near as well as real wire when it comes to pigs.
The snap is hotter with real wire, and if you use good posts, or trees and rope, the wire will be much more durable in the event that a pig might test it.
With the netting, occasionally it can get knocked down, and then they are not afraid to play hopscotch through it, I think mostly because they have learned the little wire in the netting doesn't bite as hard as the silver stuff.
Also, the bottom strand of the net is not hot, and they often encounter the fence from below while rooting, so that lifts it, and it falls down.
Just my two cents as someone who has chased pigs too often.
 
Walter Jeffries
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Steve Hoskins wrote:the little wire in the netting doesn't bite as hard as the silver stuff.


This sounds like either you have grounding problems, shorting problems or your energizer has too low a joule rating. I would suggest a minimum of 2.5 joules, 6 joules is better.
 
Steve Hoskins
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I have wet ground, two well placed rods (good distance, wet ground) and a small, but good enough energizer on a very short run of fence, most of which can be observed from the house.

I watch them bump the fence while eating and they do not always get good contact. The hairs on their hides are enough to keep the netting from coming into conductivity as easily. With a taught single (or double) wire, this is never an issue. They touch, they scream.

Maybe the potbellies won't have as much fur, and this won't be a problem.

That does bring up another great point though. I turn the single wire into a double wire (hot and ground) for the winter. Do your nets have alternating hot and ground circuits? Mine do not, but it may be an option.
My nets are useless in the snow, as is any single wire setup.

I will also point out that the net (that i bought) is about $1 per foot and the wire cost is less than 3 pennies per foot (plus ropes to tie to trees or poles). The wire pieces can also be melted down into something useable later.

Anywho, the sugarmtnfarm modification looks like a great way to make it more effective if single wire isn't your thing.


 
Walter Jeffries
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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Steve Hoskins wrote:I watch them bump the fence while eating and they do not always get good contact. The hairs on their hides are enough to keep the netting from coming into conductivity as easily. With a taught single (or double) wire, this is never an issue. They touch, they scream. Maybe the potbellies won't have as much fur, and this won't be a problem.


Our pigs are very hairy and the poultry netting works. This could be a matter of training or a matter of not having the poultry netting pulled tight. Set the corners well. Get the bottom tight. Peg the bottoms half way between each vertical stay.

Steve Hoskins wrote:Do your nets have alternating hot and ground circuits?


No, ours are all hot wires. We disconnect the bottom wires.

But then we don't depend on poultry netting in the winter. Our deep snows and hard ice pack destroys it.

Steve Hoskins wrote:I will also point out that the net (that i bought) is about $1 per foot and the wire cost is less than 3 pennies per foot (plus ropes to tie to trees or poles). The wire pieces can also be melted down into something useable later.


Yup. That's why we have miles and miles of wire fence and only about ten sections of netting. The poultry netting is useful for certain places. We use it actually more to fence small pigs out than to keep pigs in. e.g., gardens. Although we also use it for in sometimes.
 
Andrew Ray
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Location: Slovakia
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A strong energizer is needed for netting, stronger than wire, since often the netting sags in many places and conductors touch the ground, dropping the voltage on the net.

I made a mistake with pot-belly pigs two years ago when I hooked up a solar energizer to the net fence. I didn't actually touch the fence to see what kind of shock it was giving-- turns out, next to nothing. Five pigs escaped to join, I suppose, herds of wild boar nearby.

I also had pot belly pigs push under the netting if it wasn't tight-- the group of pigs that learned this caused me to have to use pegs in-between the portable net fence posts to hold the net to the ground so they physically could push underneath. Suffice it to say this really destroyed the advantage of portability to have to pull up ground staples at each move.

Last year I bought a higher energy charger (also because I keep goats in the portable netting, and they weren't respecting it). They all respect it now.

However, plain wire is enough for the pot-bellies, even just one strand, though it is only psychological-- so there is a possibility that if something scares them enough they'll run through.

On the market here there is a 3 wire electric net made for wild boars. I think the bottom wire is too high for vietnamese pigs, but the concept would work better than those net fences with a non-conductive bottom conductor.
 
Steve Hoskins
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Location: NW lower Michigan
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Yes, stapling the "portable" fencing down sounds impractical.

Lost piggies!?!
That must have filled you with rage when they ran away! I have, so far, recovered all my lost piggies thanks to great neighbors, good luck, and a great dog.
I remember thinking "hmmm, how much would I pay to have them in the pasture here they belong, right now?" While they were out....And then thinking that permanent perimeter fencing was sounding cheap.
Then maybe I could just crossfence with single wire or hot/ground double wire for pasture rotation.
 
Andrew Ray
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Steve Hoskins wrote:Lost piggies!?!
That must have filled you with rage when they ran away!


I was quite upset with myself for not testing how the solar energizer actually felt. The solar energizer (Parmak 6v), btw, works fine for wires, so now I have it in an area that is fenced by an old chainlink fence with many holes-- the wire is on standoffs from the bottom of the fence and keeps the pigs/dog from escaping. It also worked for a double wire fence for the cows. Just not anywhere that there would be a low impedance, like electric netting...

Some hunter-neighbors did see the pigs, from a distance. The problem is, they escaped in the summer when all of the plum trees (many wild in fields around us as well) had fruit, and there was ripe wheat in neighbor's fields. 7 escaped, and two did stay behind, but the rest "went native" I guess.
 
Amy Woodhouse
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Location: NC, Zone 7
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Walter, as far as I am concerned, is the Warren Buffett of pasture raised pigs. I think there are a few keys here in things that he said you need to focus on. One is that they need to be trained. Do not put pigs that are used to being in metal or wood fences in an electric fence of any sort. They will most likely just run over it while realizing half way through that it also hurts. Which at this point they forget about because they are freeeee. How do I know this? Well, we recovered our pigs after trapping them over a three week period. I would take the pigs you want to put in this fence (wether strand or mesh) and line the inside of four pig panels made into a square. They usually come in 15 ft sections so that is a 15 x 15 square. I put 5 pigs at about 80lbs in that square and tractored them for a couple weeks. After a week they became very aware of the electricity and hardly ever touched the fence. They then can be put in a larger space and will respect the fence so long as they are happy and have plenty of forage/food. Now as far as hotness of the fence, if it doesn't make you go into a standing fetal position and squint one eye when you touch the fence with no shoes on...it's not hot enough. Get a tester and make sure it's hot, don't depend on the size charger you have as there are many variable that could be hurting your "hotness".
 
Walter Jeffries
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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For dry sandy soils try running a ground wire with the fence at the bottom. This may help. There are also netting fences that have alternating wires hot and neutral. I've never used those but have seen them in the catalogs. One would need to keep them tight to avoid crossing the wires.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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