Electric Poultry Netting (2022)

One of the joys of keeping chickens is to see them wandering around the garden going about their chicken business (or destroying your annual bedding depending on your point of view!), and there is nothing more satisfying than watching a group of stately Orpingtons sailing across your lawn like a determined armada.

They become pets, companions, a source of amusement and a provider of food for our tables, so naturally you want to look after them.

It makes sense then to provide protection for your chickens. You should be aware that by law you must provide your poultry with security from predators and danger; meaning you should not let your birds roam all day to annoy your neighbours and cause traffic chaos, while at night (and during the day) you need to make sure that the fox cannot get to them; remember too that if your pets cause damage to a third-party then you will be liable!

While fencing is the preferred method of containment and will normally provide a satisfactory level of protection, unless it is six-foot high with an angled top and buried to a depth of at least two feet, a determined fox is still going to be able to get into the enclosure.

The solution? Well more and more people are using an electric fence to surround their chickens which, contrary to popular belief, is neither cruel nor dangerous as it provides a short, sharp, harmless shock to the inquisitive nose of the intruder which will both deter predators and keep your chickens where you want them. Options include electrified netting, single strand (usually of cord type) and multi strand (usually triple).

Electric poultry netting protects these Gold Laced Orpingtons from foxes.

(Video) Electric Poultry Netting Explained..How does it work? Is it worth the $$$...Will it hold the Goats?

Do not be concerned that children, cats and other household pets will be harmed, as like the fox they get a shock which keeps them away, otherwise there is no injury. Do keep an eye out for hedgehogs however if you are using electric netting as they will curl into a ball once shocked and invariably curl around the wire. If this is a recurrent problem then you should consider the alternative of running a triple wire around a fenced enclosure, which would be high enough to allow hedgehogs to crawl under while at the same time stopping foxes.

Which setup is best?

If you want to be more certain of security, then an electric fence is definitely the best all round choice for your chickens. The setup can be as complicated or as simple as you wish, and can consist of either single wires or netting, and you will know from your situation which is best.

Nets tend to be the easier option and normally come as kits, whereas the wire strand option tends to need more setup on your part and usually relies on the existence of an internal solid fence. There are many internet based suppliers when it comes to solutions in these respects.

When deciding on your setup consider:

  • The size of the area you want to enclose
  • Whether it is a permanent area
  • Whether you wish to rotate grass
  • How close your setup will be to public areas
  • The number of chickens you have
  • How inconspicuous you want it
  • Ease of entry
  • How exposed the area is
  • Access to mains power
  • Cost
  • Ease of setup
  • The age/size of your chickens
  • Ease of maintenance
  • What you need to keep out/in
  • Whether you have a permanent fence

How does it work?

Power is supplied either from a battery or a mains outlet, and if the latter then you will need to consult a qualified electrician for the installation. As an electric fence (as opposed to electric netting) is normally designed to keep larger livestock within a boundary it is usually of the wire strand type and it will not keep foxes out, so you will need additional precautions such as an internal wire fence. If you use electrified poultry netting then this is normally sufficient.

Most keepers (and indeed poultry farmers) go for the electrified netting option and a basic set up will consist of a net, an energiser, a battery and an earth stake.

The net itself which surrounds your chickens, house and all, will consist of a net of electrified nylon and comes in a variety of lengths to suit your situation. This is ideal to keep larger breeds and hybrids from wandering as well as keeping unwanted visitors out, plus it is moveable should you need to relocate your birds.

(Video) This Will Be EVERYTHING You Need to Know About Electric Poultry Netting

A wire woven into the nylon of the netting passes a small current through the fox to ground, completing the circuit. This causes muscles to contract causing an unpleasant sensation.

The bottom strand is likely to be plastic to prevent shorting, and successive strands of twisted wire get further apart. You can get closer spaced netting to contain smaller growers, and there are several colour options available. Nets come in different heights and lengths, so the options for the home enthusiast are endless!

Once in place the energiser, which converts the battery or mains power (depending on your setup) to a brief high voltage pulse of electricity, is connected to the net with one cable and to the earth stake with another and also to the battery with the two terminal cables.

If you are using a battery, then a leisure battery suitable for caravans is the best option as it is designed to be constantly on as opposed to a car battery which is just used to start the engine.

The final part of the circuit is supplied by the animal itself when it comes into contact with the net where it grounds the pulse through its feet and the shock is felt due to contraction of the muscles rather than the electricity itself.

Depending on the energiser settings, you may be able to increase the frequency of the pulse for training the birds to respect the net, which means that as soon as they touch the electrified wires with their heads, the current is grounded through their feet and the shock results.

As animals are well insulated by fur and feathers a higher voltage is needed in order to give an effective shock. The spark that is produced on contact will cross the air space over the animal’s insulation ensuring contact and the necessary muscle contraction; if the electrical impulse did not spark across this air space to the animal’s skin then the fox would feel nothing!

(Video) Premier 1 Poultry Netting Unbox and Setup

It may be distressing for you at first, and certainly the chickens get a shock from the power, but they usually only touch it once and then keep their distance from the unpleasant experience.

It is advisable when you first turn on your netting to be in attendance as a frightened bird may run forward, trapping herself in the wires, in which case you will need to turn off the energiser and release her.

A really determined bird will run straight through the netting in her bid to escape the electric shock so again you will need to be on hand to catch her and a large landing net used for fishing is ideal to catch escapees as the birds do not judge the extended reach too well and can be caught with a deft swipe and then released back into the run. A great advantage of this is that the chicken is less stressed than if you were to chase her around for ages in a bid to trap her.

Like anything else where chickens are concerned, the upset to their normal routine (i.e. confinement and a shock) is likely to upset their laying and you may also find an increase in sniffles as the birds will be stressed and their resistance to illness reduces. This is normal and the birds will soon return to normal habits.

Tips for setup:

  • A length of rope is useful to mark out your proposed placing before starting.
  • Lay the net out before trying to place it as it is a cumbersome thing to manoeuvre.
  • Mow, or if you have time (7-21 days depending on brand) apply a weed-killer to a 12 in wide strip where the net will sit – weeds etc will cause rapid power drainage and reduce the effectivenessof the net.
  • Velcro tie wraps are ideal to secure the two ends of the net to make a gateway that is easily secured and opened.
  • If the soil is dry, wet the ground before inserting the earth stake to provide better contact.
  • When erecting, two people are best to hold either end to tighten the net while a third inserts the stakes.
  • Invest in a circuit checker to ensure your fence is always at maximum power.
  • If you must, a blade of grass held between the thumb and forefinger and touched against the net will give you a (gentle) indication that the fence is working.
  • Read all of the manufacturer’s installation precautions.
  • If the fence can be touched by visitors to your property, ensure the correct warning signs are on display.
  • Check the net daily for breaks – rabbits will chew through the strands if the power is off.

The triple line:

This option allows an existing fence to be protected, especially if it is less than six feet high or of a weaker construction. Although often referred to as triple, some keepers will have more lines depending on its usage; three would be a minimum.

To set up a triple line, simply set proprietary electric fencing stakes about 5 feet apart and run the electric line around the perimeter three times, spacing the top strand at a height where a fox cannot avoid touching it (about 18-20 ins) and the bottom strand where it will not contact grass yet not allow an animal bigger than a hedgehog to pass under (about 4-6 ins). Place the middle strand about 6 ins above the bottom one.

3 Strands of electic rope used to protect a fence.

(Video) Starkline Poultry Netting Yay or Nay #starklineelectricfencing #padturedpoultry

The line needs to be about 12 ins away from the fence being protected, and you will need to ensure that the three lines are connected to ensure a current through them all.

Single strand setups are normally of a thicker wire which is run through a series of eyelets, offset against the top of your normal fencing and are more often used on higher fences, where the electrification prevents a fox from using the top of the fence to scramble over.

Enjoy your secure chickens!

[callout width=”100%” title=”Haynes Chicken Manual by Laurence Beeken.” style=”green”]
Laurence has written a complete and easy-to-understand reference book,containing no-nonsense advice, tips & facts, as well as plenty of relevant photographs and diagrams.

“I can highly recommend this book and wouldn’t be without it on my book shelf…” Tim Daniels.

Click here or on the image to view it on Amazon.[/callout]

FAQs

Can electric fences be used for chickens? ›

Electric fencing chickens is a very effective way to keep chickens in a given area and protect them from predators. Electric fencing does require maintenance, especially during the summer months when the grass is growing but once installed, an electric fence should give you years of protection.

What voltage should a poultry electric fence be? ›

We recommend you should have a reading of at least 3,000v on your chicken fence to provide an effective deterrent. The higher the joule rating on your energiser the greater level of 'leakage' your system will cope with and still maintain an effective voltage.

How do you install an electric fence for chickens? ›

We start with our new gate where the old gate was because you want them to line up. And then you

Do electric fences deter foxes? ›

To keep foxes out, we recommend electric fencing, in combination with a Foxlight for optimum deterrence. The Foxlight keeps the foxes at bay. If foxes do get close, they are put off by the electric fence.

Can chickens get hurt from electric fence? ›

I had to take the time to respond to this, yes ! an electric fence can and will kill a chicken if it was in contact with the ground when it touched/pecked the wire for whatever reason.

Will electric poultry netting keep predators out? ›

The electric netting does a good job of protecting chickens against predators when used with a good quality fence charger. We use a solar charger that is designed for compatibility with electric net fencing and that is capable of supporting up to three 160′ sections of netting.

What happens if you jump and touch an electric fence? ›

When you touch an electric fence, the electrons see an opportunity to reach the ground (to "fill the space") through you and you get electrocuted because your body resists the current which makes heat.

Does an electric fence use a lot of electricity? ›

The typical Zareba® fence charger uses about 33 watts per day. So, 33 watts multiplied by 31 days is 1,023. Divide that by 1,000 to get 1.023 kilowatt hours per month. The U.S. average cost of a kilowatt hour is 12 cents.

How many joules poultry netting? ›

We recommend using a 0.5 joule unit or larger for up to 3 to 4 rolls of PoultryNet®. The 0.25 joule units will work for 1 to 2 rolls of netting if grass contact is kept to an absolute minimum.

What is the best fence for chickens? ›

Welded wire (or hardware cloth as it's sometimes called) is the safest option for your coop and run. It's impervious to even larger predators such as dogs, coyotes and foxes, but will keep out the smallest of predators including weasels, snakes and mice.

Will electric fence keep predators out of chicken coop? ›

Electric net fencing, secure housing and a few other measures can help protect back yard chickens from most wildlife predation,” he added. Protecting free-ranging chickens is impossible, so Batchelder urges people to keep their birds contained inside electric net fencing and to make sure any wire fencing is secure.

How do you electrify a chicken coop? ›

Electric Fence for Chicken Coop - YouTube

Will a fox jump over an electric fence? ›

Foxes are also excellent jumpers and climbers. They can jump a standard 900 mm fence; so many designs double this height (1800 mm) using more netting or various spacings of electric wires.

Can foxes dig under electric fence? ›

They can dig. They can work out ways to get through most obstacles, and they're determined enough to try. So, you need something that will deter them from even trying in the first place, electric fencing and netting are the perfect option.

Will poultry netting keep foxes out? ›

Anne Perdeaux says: If properly installed and well-maintained electric poultry netting is a really effective way of keeping chickens safe from predators. While foxes are indeed capable of jumping, their natural instinct is first to climb, burrow under or find a way through a barrier.

Do electric fences harm birds? ›

But the fencing also has a deadly, unintended side effect: It frequently kills smaller animals, particularly birds and reptiles that scientists are eager to conserve. Trip wires are often to blame.

Do chickens get shocked? ›

Shock is a medical condition that is an emergency as it can lead to death. The signs of shock in chickens include pallor of the wattles and comb, open mouth breathing, listlessness, rapid heart beat, weak pulse, collapse, and a stunned appearance.

How long does electric poultry netting last? ›

All you need is an energizer and corner posts. A roll of netting will last 10 years if used with care.

Will an electric fence keep goats in? ›

Electric fencing is another option for goat producers. Four strands of electric fence 30 inches high have been proven to effectively hold goats. Some producers have used only 3 strands, but this is less secure. A variety of posts and insulators are available.

Can chicken wire be electrified? ›

Can I electrify chicken wire? As long as no part of the chicken wire touches the ground, or a steel post set in the ground, it can be electrified. Existing chicken wire fences usually have ground contact somewhere, so electrifying those fences won't work.

Why do birds not get electrocuted? ›

Birds are able to sit on electrical power lines because the electrical current essentially ignores the bird's presence and continues to travel through the wire instead of through the bird's body. A bird's body is not a good conductor of electricity.

Can you touch an electric fence with rubber gloves? ›

Myth: Rubber gloves and rubber shoes protect you from electricity. Truth: That's true only if they are 100 percent pure rubber with no holes or tears (the kind that electrical linemen wear).

How do you touch an electric fence without getting shocked? ›

How to Avoid Getting Shocked at Fence Gates ⚡️ High ... - YouTube

What happens if you get shocked by an electric fence? ›

The person or animal will feel a rapid electrical shock, which may range from a small buzz to a very painful jolt. The electricity is discharged in less than one second and is usually DC (direct current). The severity of the shock depends on a number of factors: The voltage of the electricity.

Is electric fence DC or AC? ›

A term used to describe electric fence controllers that pulse electricity at regular intervals through a fence, typically at one-second internals. An output capacitor is used to store direct current (DC) electricity between pulses through a fence.

How many volts should an electric fence be for a dog? ›

That said, most sources recommend a minimum of 4,000 volts for hard-to-control species, and a minimum of 2,000 volts for more docile animals. Anything greater than 8,000 volts is considered more than necessary (some sources say 6,000), and more likely to cause injury.

Can I use electric fence for ducks? ›

The best types of duck fencing to use are welded wire, chicken wire, chainlink, and electric fences.

How does portable electric fence work? ›

How to set Portable Electric Fence - YouTube

How do you set up a Premier 1 electric fence? ›

Setting Up Premier 1 Fencing - Solar Electric Fence Set Up - YouTube

Can you electrify a chicken wire fence? ›

Can I electrify chicken wire? As long as no part of the chicken wire touches the ground, or a steel post set in the ground, it can be electrified. Existing chicken wire fences usually have ground contact somewhere, so electrifying those fences won't work.

Will electric fence keep predators out of chicken coop? ›

Electric net fencing, secure housing and a few other measures can help protect back yard chickens from most wildlife predation,” he added. Protecting free-ranging chickens is impossible, so Batchelder urges people to keep their birds contained inside electric net fencing and to make sure any wire fencing is secure.

Can you electrify a chicken coop? ›

Electrifying Your Chicken Coop - A Case for Predator Deterrence

Can electric fence shock birds? ›

The copper in electrical wires is a great conductor. Birds are not good conductors. That's one reason they don't get shocked when they sit on electrical wires. The energy bypasses the birds and keeps flowing along the wire instead.

Can you use a battery charger to electrify a fence? ›

Insert the batteries or attach the charger to external batteries, depending on the model. Connect the grounding terminal of the charger to the grounding rods with a piece of electric fence wire. Connect the positive terminal of the charger to the electric fence with another piece of wire. Turn on the charger.

How do you make a homemade electric fence? ›

PIO POV: How To Make a Small Electric Fence Enclosure - YouTube

Will electric poultry netting work for goats? ›

Electric fences for chickens and goats can be a lifesaver. Electric fences have long been a great method for keeping different species of animals in (or out) of an area. If you chose to go this route, you need to keep a few things in mind! They only work if they are hooked up properly and require regular maintenance.

What kind of fencing is best for chickens? ›

Welded wire (or hardware cloth as it's sometimes called) is the safest option for your coop and run. It's impervious to even larger predators such as dogs, coyotes and foxes, but will keep out the smallest of predators including weasels, snakes and mice.

How many joules poultry netting? ›

We recommend using a 0.5 joule unit or larger for up to 3 to 4 rolls of PoultryNet®. The 0.25 joule units will work for 1 to 2 rolls of netting if grass contact is kept to an absolute minimum.

Why do birds not get electrocuted on electric fence? ›

When a bird is perched on a single wire, its two feet are at the same electrical potential, so the electrons in the wires have no motivation to travel through the bird's body. No moving electrons means no electric current. Our bird is safe, for the moment anyway…

Do you have to be touching the ground for an electric fence to shock you? ›

If It Isn't Grounded, It Won't Shock

When an animal touches the electrically charged fence wire, the animal feels the electric current as the charge passes through the body. The charge then completes the circuit through the soil via the ground rod and then up the ground wire to the ground terminal charger.

Why do squirrels not get electrocuted on power lines? ›

Electrical Conductors

When squirrels walk on power lines, electricity would not travel from one end of the wire to the other faster by traveling through the squirrel, so the electricity and squirrel both continue on their paths.

Videos

1. WHY WE STOPPED USING THE ELECTRIC POULTRY NETTING | VLOG
(A Good Life Farm)
2. All you need to know about ELECTRIC NETTING
(The Apprentice Farmer)
3. Setting up Moveable Chicken Electric Fence
(Chicken Caravan)
4. How to Install Gallagher Electric Poultry Netting With Solar Energizer
(Hidden Spring Farm)
5. Free Range Poultry! Is this the next best thing? (Electric Netting)
(Lawson Lawn And Farm)
6. Starkline Electric Netting Set-up Instructions: How to set up electric netting
(Starkline Netting)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Last Updated: 09/26/2022

Views: 5793

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Birthday: 1992-08-21

Address: Apt. 237 662 Haag Mills, East Verenaport, MO 57071-5493

Phone: +331850833384

Job: District Real-Estate Architect

Hobby: Skateboarding, Taxidermy, Air sports, Painting, Knife making, Letterboxing, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Saturnina Altenwerth DVM, I am a witty, perfect, combative, beautiful, determined, fancy, determined person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.