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Poultry netting newbie questions

 
Jonathan Patrick
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Hi guys, I'm new here. 

I'm about to buy some poultry netting from premier.

Any advice you all can offer about it?  Things you like / don't like about it?  I'm planning to pasture about 15 layers and 2 or 3 milk goats (ideally all together.  Probably buff orpintons and nubians) in some very rocky, clayey areas in northeast Arkansas.  Some areas are flat, but I'll be utilizing a lot of slopes/hills, too.

Are these fences a pain to move around in rocky soil?  How well do they work on hilly ground?  I'm not actually there right now so I can't go stick things in the ground to see exactly for myself.  I won't actually be there until around the end of summer.  On the other hand, I have the money in hand, and if I don't purchase something now, it'll end up being spent on something less than useful, little by little, and I won't have it in hand when the time comes.

Also, seems like I saw somewhere someone did something like cast cement around the spikes, to make the fence more convenient to move?  Was that in this forum that I read this or elsewhere?  If it was here, how did those work out?

Will about a 40 x 40 ft area be a sufficient area for this many animals, assuming I move the fence every day to a week (going to go by my best judgement of how trampled/eaten the vegetation is)?  I'm entirely unexperienced in all this, so some guidelines from anyone experienced in this, particularly in this part of the country would be helpful.

Also, do any of you have any experience with the Fi-shock energizers?  I was thinking about getting their 15 joule model, which should gives me plenty of power to build on, as well as hopefully being strong enough for pigs later on.

That is basically my starting point.  Any advice is appreciated!

 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Rocky, clay soil is no fun (with any kind of fence).  A trick to make setting posts a little easier is to carry a cordless drill with a bit that is slightly smaller diameter than your poles.  Pre-drilling the holes might save breaking a pole or two.
 
                                  
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We bought some from Fast Fence and after a year of attempting to use it on chickens, pigs, and cows, we now call it "hold nothing netting."  I think if you were to use it with adult chickens (heavy breed or with clipped wings) it might work.  But we started with chicks, which turned into pullets, who figured out very quickly they could go right thru the netting.  And did.  As adults they went under it, but I think this is mostly because they had always been able to get around it and were determined to do so.  We gave up and fenced off the yard (five foot high no climb wire with t posts) so that we could have free range chickens with a range that did not include the garden. 

Pigs went under it pretty quickly.  Cows stayed in it until we laid it down to move them from one pen to another - as soon as they realize they can walk over it, they do, even when it's standing up.  Unfortunately we didn't realize this until after the fact, or we'd probably still be able to use it for cows. 

It's a lot of work to move the fence, especially if you're by yourself.  You have to pick up and carry the entire fence at once, pretty much.  It helps greatly to have at least enough fencing for two pens, gives more options.  Plan on spending at least thirty minutes a day moving fence. 

As to the question of space....that really depends.  At least in our pasture, different areas of the pasture are able to support animals for different periods of time.  IT also varies with time of year, generally towards the end of the summer it takes longer for things to grow back after the last grazing, or you have to move animals more quickly because they eat the sparser vegetation down faster. 

Our soil drains water really well, too well actually.  So a big part of problem was that as the soil dried out, the ground for the electric shock went away, which meant by the end of the summer the shock pulses were like a static shock.  That's not enough to hold anyone in or out.  I guess putting the grounding rod in a permanently moist spot could help this? 

Regarding cement fence pole holders.....it's never easy to move something heavy every day.  WHen the fence is staked properly it stays upright just fine.
 
Allison Rooney
Posts: 42
Location: Shields Valley Montana
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I love Premier 1 poultry netting.  It works great for poultry, and only our turkeys can fly over the 48" height.  In order for the fence to be effective at keeping birds in and predators out, it has to contact the ground, so I think your concrete post idea would mean there would be gaps between the fence and the ground. 

You can assist the ground rod at grounding by manually wetting the ground rod--- buckets of water, or a hose.

One sure way to get big animals (goats, sheep, pigs, cattle) to respect the fence is to bait it using strips of aluminum foil and peanut butter, or something else palatable...they will lick the strip and get a much stronger shock because of the conductivity of their saliva-- way stronger than fur in contact with the metal strands.  I have seen rogue dogs get this same lesson via investigating the fence with a wet nose, and have felt it myself when touching the fence with wet hands.

But, you need to keep the grass trimmed below the fence line, or if the grass gets higher than 3", it will short your fence.  Also, I've seen hoar frost build on the fence in certain winter weather patterns, and that shorts it too.

I use the Gallagher S-210 solar charger, and it works fine, and when it broke, I sent it back, and the company fixed it at no charge.

I definitely recommend a second set of fencing, which you can set up adjacent to the first set, and simply herd your animals into when you need to move them.  I chased alot of chickens last year, when we grew our layer flock to 50 birds, and it was exactly like herding cats, except more irritating!

Good luck!
 
Emil Spoerri
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I bought from Kencove as they are the cheapest and offer free shipping on fencing. They sometimes have deals on fences missing a strand.

People always say you have to keep the grass clipped, this thing can go through brush without shorting... It can go through grass without shorting. It is only going to short if it is very wet... but I honestly have never experienced loss of a charge to my netting.

Goats and cows are trained to it. One goat is able to leap over the fence, though rarely does and jumps back in later anyways. The cow tried to push it over with her head but then got zapped in the nose and the other one has never even touched it yet that I have witnessed... If you put it up against a building an animal might find a way to squeeze in between the fence and the building.

If you give them what they want inside the fence and they will stay in. If it is really hot and there is no shade... they might try to break out. If there is nothing left to eat, they may try to get food elsewhere. If you move the fencing to fresh pasture and keep the animals full of food they will probably respect the fence!

It is best to always or almost always keep the fence charged.
 
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