Setting Up Chicken Electric Fence (Video)

Categories: On The Farm

An electric fence can be the perfect solution to keeping chickens safe from predators such as foxes or badgers.

An energiser is used to generate a high voltage somewhere around once per second. This is somewhere in the region of 5000 to 7000 volts which is sufficient to give predators (or your chickens) a shock when they touch the live wire (usually a galvanised strand of wire, tape or rope with small electric wires woven into it) and make contact with the ground at the same time.

The electrical circuit is completed and they experience a muscle contraction which is unpleasant but does not harm them if they only receive a short shock like this. Why do we need such a high voltage when electric fencing chickens? Well fur and feathers are good insulators so we need the higher voltage in order to jump across the gap, to make sure the animal receives the shock. Both chickens and predators learn fairly quickly that it is unpleasant and will avoid the fence in future.

It is time to set up the electric fence to protect the chickens. Cold weather is here and the predators are looking for food. So far nothing has harmed the chickens in their new home but not for lack of trying.

I found some holes literally ripped into the chicken wire but we are not missing any chickens. This tells me that the predators are out there trying to find a weak spot and a place to enter in and get our birds.

Chicken wire is only there to keep the birds in. It only slows the predators down but it does not stop them at all.

I am running electric fence all around the entire perimeter of the chicken run to protect the birds from harm and attacks.

I used electric fence insulators on the trees where possible to save some money. I used fiberglass and plastic fence posts made for electric fence where I had to.

When I had all the fence posts in place I ran a row of electric fence wire about the bottom of the posts close to the ground. This should stop anything that would crawl under the fence to get in to the chickens.

The next row I ran just a little bit higher up. This stops anything from just walking over the lower row of wire.

Next I will run two or three more rows of electric fence wire to stop larger predators from going over the wire.

I am also considering running some barbed wire to slow down bears which may push through. This will cause them to be slowed by the barbed wire so that the electric fence can do its job and scare them away.

The electric fence runs on pulses. Every few seconds there is a pulse. But if a larger animal like a bear pushes through quickly and breaks the fence wire in between pulses then it is all useless.

That is why I need the thicker barbed wire to slow down larger animals to allow the pause needed to let the fence give a shock.

I have never lost a chicken with a working electric fence in place.

Later I ran a long 6 foot piece of rebar into the ground down to about 18 inches from the top. This gives me a very solid ground to connect the ground wire of the electric fence controller to.

I had Chris help me fasten the solar electric fence controller to the framing of the chicken run gate. This puts it in a convenient place off the ground where we can turn it on and off as needed.

And finally I ran a hot wire from the electric fence controller to the wires I had just run around the perimeter of the chicken run.

After turning on the solar powered electric fence controller I then tested it out using my electric fence tester and got a very nice surprise. The pulses are off the charts of the tester. This means that anything touching the electric fence is in for a nice surprise.

The chickens should be safe now.

from The Do It Yourself World / via Youtube


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