We have decided to try chickens (and ducks) again after a previous failed attempt due to stray dogs killing them all. I am building a stronger coop this time but also planning to use electric pultry netting to protect them while they are out foraging. The coop will be on skids and I expect to move the netting at least weekly. My main questions is what is the best way to manage the grounding for the charger - it would be quite a pain to have to install (and keep track of) multiple ground rods around the property - does anyone have any tips to make this easier or am I missing any other way to handle the grounding?
I do precisely what you're planning on doing and I can share my thoughts and observations. I have one grounding location with the solarfence energizer right next to it. I purchased two 100ft lengths of wire that goes from the energizer to the fence, where ever it may be about my yard, with those spring loaded battery charger style clamps soldered at each end for easy connect and disconnect. The important factor in the connection wire from energizer to the fence is it should have a 10,000 volt jacket (insulation) on it. Most all wire you buy at the hardware store comes wrapped in a 600 volt jacket. If the 600 volt jacket is laying on the grass going over to the fence, the electric pulse will arc through the jacket to the ground, nullifying any hot zap at the fence. A 10,000 volt jacket prevents this and lets all the pulse energy get to the fence. You *can* use 600 volt jacketed wire, but you must use something to suspend it in the air so it does not touch the ground, and I have found moving a bunch of sticks suspending a wire each time I move my fence is just more work and to be a pain and it is much easier to move the wire about and leave it laying in the grass. I also have a small piece of like 2 inch pvc pipe for the bare copper clamps to rest on where my two 100ft wires connect otherwise those will arc to the ground as well if they get too close. One more thing, my fence kit came with a galvanized 4 foot ground rod. I purchased a 6 foot copper plated ground rod at the hardware store, and used both, with the two connected by a length of bare copper ground wire. I added the copper one because the galvanized rod will slowly corrode, resulting in a poor ground, which means a less hot fence, even though the same pulse energy may be going through the fence. One key to using multiple ground rods effectively is they need to be a minimum off 6 feet apart. I've been using this technique for several years now and it works well for me. If you have more questions, I'm happy to help.
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
One thing a lot of people do is instinctively drive the ground rod straight into the ground. This is very hard to do as it will stop if it encounters a rock. A better method is to drive it at a 45 degree. It is the contact with the ground that is important, not whether it is plumb or not.
"When it is all said and done, and the coffin goes in the ground, it was the farmer who was the richest man of all."
A statement by a wise, ole dairy farmer.
We have a stationary fence charger in the barn, with ground rods situated under the north side drop edge (driven at a 45 degree angle, as Travis suggests). From the charger are a small handful of feeder lines that reach out to different parts of the farm. We use this system primarily for rotationally grazing cattle, where we can hook into whichever feeder line is handiest to electrify our portable fencing, though we have hooked up electronet too on rare occasions.
A similar setup might work well for you. Lay out your feeder lines so they can always be easily accessed by the electronet and go from there. If you design it well, you can also incorporate shut-off switches so that all the feeder lines need not be electrified all the time. And the beauty of electric fencing is that it's easily (and cheaply) redone if you need to fix something or think of a better way later.
no wonder he is so sad, he hasn't seen this tiny ad: