Am (or was) getting ready to install an electric fence around a future poultry pasture area and am (or was) thinking of getting a Parmac Energizer 5 or Mark 8. Four legged predators to worry about include skunks, possums, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, dogs and cats.....all in abundance. Outside chance it could also include mountain lions, bobcats and last year we had a wild bear show up in a town about 20 miles away. So I"m looking for some real zap and for that, am thinking of an AC unit. Plan to use poultry netting, wire or both.
OK, now for the weird part. The place I'd hoped to install this unit is in an outside location where I already have an AC outlet. However, Parmac insists this has to be installed indoors? Also, I don't have a single outlet with outdoor access, or one in my barn that is NOT protected by a GFCI outlet. They are required by code. The only outlets I have that are not GFCI are inside the house, and I'm not putting the charger there. I heard a rumor so called Parmac and they confirmed that an electric fencer will trip a GFCI when it delivers the shock, so can't be put on one.
So how do you get around the paradox of not being able to use a GFCI when you are almost required by law to use one?
Second part.......will a "box like" enclosure mounted on a fence work for the indoor installation part. Why the "inside" location. Just to protect them from weather?
posted 4 years ago
Also, has anyone tried Robert P's simple one or two wire system for chickens and can confirm it works?
If so, seems simpler and easier than the more common poultry netting.
posted 4 years ago
On the problem of how to wire for a fencer without using a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet, one option that has been suggested for my outdoor post location is to wire two outlets, but make the first one in the series a standard outlet that would be dedicated to the electric fencer. The second, a GFCI for other uses. One thing to remember is regular outlets were used for several decades before GFCI outlets were invented, and not that many folks perished using the regular outlets. In general, GFCIs are a good idea, but the risk of shock without them is generally quite low. In over 25 years of using them, I can't recall a single time when I ever tripped one, except for the two times when a power cord was severed by saws, and in both cases, that also tripped the breaker. In the event the property was ever sold, you would either have to remove it, or swap the two outlets to put them in the right order to put them into compliance with code.
Option B, would be to add an additional circuit inside the barn, also dedicated to the fencer, and put that outlet either up high, or in an otherwise out of the way location, and also dedicate that single outlet to the electric fencer. Downside of that option is one would then have to run a drop line from the fencer inside the barn to the electric fence. That needs to be special highly insulated wire made for this application. That would be a pain.
Option C is to skip the AC unit and buy a solar powered charger for twice the price and half the zap. As long as half the zap is still enough to set a coyotes tail on fire, I might be OK with that. I find it interesting that the instructions for some of the AC units would have you set three....count em three......ground rods of at least 6 feet in length and at 10' intervals and preferably in a wet location. They want a seriously good ground. By comparison, the solar units only use one rod and for some of them, it is only the dinky little rod you drive into the ground to mount the charger on.
Still curious if only one or two metal wires is enough to keep chickens in and varmints out. I have seen a short fence setup that had a foot or so of chicken wire tacked to short wooden stakes made from 2" x 2"'s, with a single hot wire atop that. It was being used to keep critters out of a large garden, and that included deer. The hot wire was set just high enough deer would rub their belly on it stepping over it and once they were zapped by it, would never come back. Raccoons and others had to climb over and as soon as they hit the single wire on top, they were done.
I just used an old cupboard outside by the outlet there. Put shingles on it, filled the cracks and made it as weather proof as possible. It's not 100% great as the plug in is still out in the elements but it's lasted a year now with no issues.
In regards to getting a separate outlet inside the barn, this is what a backgrounding operation I worked at did. I can't remember the type of fencer it was but it packed a punch and covered miles of fencing reliably to keep the cattle in. Never had to worry about the fencer itself as it was in an unused portion of a shop (which eventually became the bathroom actually so you had to be careful there LOL) An underground electric wire was dug in from the shop to the nearest piece of fence where it was then hooked up and voila! Super charged fencer.
Endless Prairies resident.
Currently home of... 8 bovines, 1 equine, 5 feline, 2 canine and numerous poultry.
Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association