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Poultry Electric Net Fencing

 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 855
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Any wisdom or lessons learned about electric net fencing technology.

How does it work in incessant rain?
Different kind of energizer specs?
Double spike of single spike?
Integral posts or otherwise?
Height with or without wing clipping?
Uneven terrain?
Are there different grades of fencing out there?

Here's what I was thinking of buying.
http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?mode=detail&fence_id=96
http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=78479&cat_id=53

Energizer
http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=127241&cat_id=170
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1251
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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forest garden hugelkultur
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How does it work in incessant rain?
Pretty well. Actually as long as it isn't grounded out on too much grass, it's all good. Drought is actually worse as it can cause conduction issues in the grounding rod(s). Ice in winter will weigh it down and ground it out. With a half inch of ice mine bent almost completely over to the ground. Fortunatly it wasn't in use, I just didn't get it out before the ground froze. But once the ice melted, they popped back up. only one post was bent a little.



Different kind of energizer specs?

With more juice you can run more fence or overcome a heavier weed load. If you wan to expand in the future you won't have to buy a new charger if you get something with some extra power now.

Double spike of single spike?
I like the double spike. I think it's more stable and you can work it around a bit more to get the right angle without loosening the hole too much that the post falls over. If the ground is really rocky the double spike can be harder to get in the ground. It's also harder on frozen. frosty ground with two spikes.


Integral posts or otherwise?
I like the shorter lengths of fence because they are easier to move. The closer the posts are to each other along the fence, the easier it is to deal with, especially on uneven ground. If you need to put posts in between, use a good wooden stake and tie it. The plastic extra posts are kinda weak and they tend to bend especially in direct sunlight. They get soft when they get hot and they tend to stay that way.

Height with or without wing clipping?
Think of the fence as a deterrent and not a barrier. Almost any chicken could get over if it really wanted to, most choose to stay in because the deal is better in the fence. Some birds are repeat offenders and I would say to clip one wing. It puts them off balance. Don't put anything they can jump onto near the fence. They will use it as a launch pad to get over. That being said, taller fence is better as a deterrent. Also, heavier breeds are more likely to stay put.

Uneven terrain?
It depends on how uneven. I live on a hillside such that a chicken on the high side of that paddock could go airborn and glide over the fence on the low side of the paddock. It happens from time to time when the get too excited they go back in with a bribe of food. If you mean lumpy ground, I would suggest clipping the bottom horizontal wires so that they don't ground out on the lumps when the bottom of the fence touches the lumps.

Are there different grades of fencing out there?

I like the premier1 brand but I haven't tried the others. Most other people I've come across seem to like the premier1 stuff too.


Best wishes
 
John Polk
master steward
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Posts: 8015
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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One note on the 'step in' posts:
Whether fiberglass or plastic, if you have very hard clay, or rocky soil, they are easy to break/damage trying to step them in (same goes, early in the season if your soil is still frozen). To avoid breaking them, carry a cordless drill, with a bit a couple sizes smaller than the post itself. Pre-drilling pilot holes makes installation much easier.

An occasional trip around the perimeter with a string trimmer will help with the weed/grass shorting problem. Just 'aim' it so it throws the trimmings into the enclosure. That will encourage the birds to hunt around the fence instead of just the middle.

 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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Hey Paul,

In my experience it does have some grounding issues with long grass and they loose a bunch of their punch. They pack way more wallop when run from an outlet than off of a solar/or battery set up. I actually don't even bother to run electricity though mine since I don't have too much predictor pressure and find it works just fine as a light weight physical barrier. I use 4 foot high net and it works great for the ducks and geese, and as it is along the property line right up against a 3 foot bank and 2 foot ditch the chickens seem to generally (though not always) respect it even though they're wings are not clipped. Of course when they are frightened they'll hope right over. I much prefer the two prong to the one prong. It allows you to step on it to secure it instead of having to ram it straight down and put bending stress on the stake. It is a good idea to have some sort of anchor post every now and then. Either a T-Post or a piece of rebar works very well. I've used them in pretty rocky (little glacial till type stone) around here without too much inconvenience. They can be a pain to take down and set up solo especially if there are alot of obstacles in the terrain that need to be worked around. Two people makes the task much much smoother. Anyhow that's more or less my take on the subject.
 
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