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Any advice on electric fencing

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jimbeekeeper 

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Hi

I am looking to contain my hens to an area of grass approx 40m x 40m mainly becuase the make such a mess in the rest of the garden digging etc + they have started laying all over the place!
 
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Hi Jim

You can buy proper electric chicken net, very small mesh at the bottom getting bigger as it gets higher. It is, as with all these things quite expensive. It's about 4' high so determined bantams will fly over it. You need to keep the grass short by regularly mowing otherwise longer grass will keep shorting it out and reduce it's effectiveness and keeping the grass short is more trouble than anything, although one lady on the PK forum uses Roundup. Having said that IMO electric netting is more useful for keeping predators out than chickens in, their feathers are an effective insulator and if something spooks them and they get tangled in it and get shocked on bare flesh and be unable to get free as they get more tangled struggling under these circumstances it would kill them. Course you could buy a roll of net and not connect it, for keeping chickens in it would probably be as effective. In fact for three weeks recently I kept my chickens out of an area of my field with non connected netting and it worked well. On the plus side it's highly flexible and fairly easily moved.

Local agricultural suppliers usually stock it and also easily available via ebay and online suppliers.

Frisbee
 

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I noticed today that 3 of my bantams are purching on a small fence 4ft high,only another 2 feet from that and they are free.
I thinks its time I gave them a haircut.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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I dont clip my hens wings, but have thought about it. any tips?

Thanks Frisbee for your advise on electric netting, I think may for what I want like you say just some normal netting is the way to go + cheaper.
 

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Tips: It is the same as cutting a Queens wing,just do the one side.
 

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And remember that supersedure isn't an option, so watch you don't cut a leg off accidentally during the procedure. :nature-smiley-014:
Please excuse my insincerity, but I couldn't resist it.
 

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Thats very funny Hombre.:cheers2:
 
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You could of course use ordinary wire netting, but it needs to be staked, so do you make it a permanent run? If you use sheep wire netting that is also graded from small squares at the bottom to larger ones futher up, most self respecting chickens can get through it :) and it's only about 3' high so even wing clipping will not stop them hopping over it. If you use chicken wire, again it needs to be staked. it's also easily as expensive - if not more so than using electric mesh. Sheep wire (budget) is about ?35 for 50metres, then you'll need stakes and help tensioning to make a half decent job. Chicken wire is about ?70 for 50 metres depending on height + stakes and help. These prices are off the top of my head, I bought a roll of sheep wire about a year ago and a roll of mesh about the same, the mesh was about ?35 but is about 30" wide though so no use at all for your job. I think a 50 metre roll of electric mesh is about ?100, complete with stakes and tensioning pegs although it appears to be more expensive it would be much more versatile. If you fancied a trip down south I have a roll I occasionally use, you could come and have a play with it - even borrow it to try before you buy.

Frisbee
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Thanks for the offer to come and have a play with it :toetap05: but you are a bit far away
 
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There's an interesting (if not long) thread re electric fencing for poultry here

http://forums.thepoultrykeeper.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8629

Which ended up in a successful purchase of said netting and a happy owner and chickens, there are also some good links for suppliers.

Why the :toetap05: when I said you could come and play with mine? You don't know what you might be turning down :rofl::rofl:

Frisbee
 

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my advice is to never have a single run - it will rapidly become "fowl sick" - always divide into two so you can let one run recover - alternate between the two. Classically, you need to bury netting a foot deep, and you'll need 7' height to stand the slightest chance of keeping Charlie fox out, which is why electric fencing is so popular. I'd suggest sheep netting as a minimum, run off a fencer unit that can hurl an elephant across the yard....... (netting tends to "short out" quite a lot as it needs to be down to ground level, so you need a hefty fencer unit). When we had a free-range egg farm we never lost a hen to the foxes using sheep netting, but we did have a mains fencer unit that would power 35 kilometres of line.
Personally, I'd never wing-clip - if the fox gets in, you want the poor birds to have the ability to try to fly out of danger......:)
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Personally, I'd never wing-clip - if the fox gets in, you want the poor birds to have the ability to try to fly out of danger......:)
Thas my thought.

Even from 40+ m away one of the hens usualy spots either our cat of the neighbours and with that all heds are up.

He (our cat) still trys to get them , but they are too quick for him / fly up.

Touch wood no issues with fox, + 12g sorts that out.
 
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