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Author Topic: electric fence not sure what to do.  (Read 20753 times)

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hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2010, 18:07 »
I didn't mention how much power is needed but usually net / energiser suppliers give you a guide on this.  I doubt that you will need more than 0.5 joule power for upto two 50 metre nets but it's always good to go for a more powerful one as this allows expansion and isn't as badlly affected by long grass.

For anyone reading this 50 m nets are more economic than 25 and I always use one 50 metre net arranged into two runs but forming it in a figure of eight (two 7.14 metre squares).  Two confgurations are possible without cutting it. A "spiral' wrapped" one (starting on the mid point of a long side and proceeding CW or anti CW) with only one external access and the other run being accessed from that or a "closed S" formed one with two external access in opposte sides to each run.  Each run has a shared central side so needs 7 sides ) 50m divided by 7 gives approx 7.14 metres per side for each run.  This provides an alternating run system!

Use 6 tree stakes, one for each corner spaced 0.5 metre or so outside the net to support the corners.  These are best laid out first before you deploy the net. Corner net insulated posts need to be guy roped to the stakes using an insulated cord.  Nylon or bailer twine is ideal.  You will need a 15 insulated post net, buy some extra insulated posts if needs be to do this.

 Happy electric netting.
HF
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 10:11 by hillfooter »
Truth through science.


cornishgirl

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2010, 22:07 »
Any chance of a diagram of this - lost me at first twist!

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2010, 23:14 »
Any chance of a diagram of this - lost me at first twist!

Here's a diagram and a photo.
HF
50m nets arranged into  two runs.jpg
Electric net corner.jpg

gsc

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2010, 04:23 »
This is a great thread.

Got my first 4 hens yesterday and set up my first electric fence using 50m sheep netting.

My first question I think is answered - tree stakes at the corner - although the top layers of the net seemed looser than the bottom wire which kind of makes the fence sway a bit.

Second, the metal clips at each end - are they for fasteners?  Plus I had 2 yellow plastic pegs and I have no idea what to do with these.

And finally the voltage tester I bought confuses me greatly.  It says you can test on the energizer as well as the fence but I can't get a reading on the fence, even up at full wack.  The energer reads 1000-2000v depending on the level.  I know it's working well as all three dogs kindly tested it for me  :ohmy: :D

It has 6 levels from 1000v to 10,000v.  This I don't get when the battery is only 12v.  The energizer has 15 settings and is supposed to be a good one.  At least the dogs thought so  ;)

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2010, 10:54 »
The metalclips are a rather crude way of shorting all the strands together so that instead of one big spiral the conductors are jointed to togther at each end, at bit like the wires on your grill pan.  Thus if one wire breaks that strand will still be energized from opposite ends and only if there are two breaks on the same run will a section be isolated and hence not powered.  The tabs on the connectors are for joining two nets together to create a larger enclosure.  You are supposed to be able to insert the male tab in to the female slot at the back of the next net connector.  At the ends of the nets I always wrap the bunched up conductors which are crimped together around the crossing strand of the net at each end (entrance as in the diagram).  I also think it's a good idea to short the strands mid sides by using some copper wire stripped from an old supply (3 inline) mains cable (not a stranded power lead).  Twist the wire around the top strand over 4 inches then take it down to the next conductor twist round at least twice and so on until all the strands are connected.  This improves susceptability to breaks.  Also when repairing a break using poly wire lashed to the net strand with copper wire twisted round it is much better than the useless crimps they give you for repairs.  Position the energiser where ever is most convenient usually on the stake by the entrance gate.    You can clip the energiser to any strand of the net but I recommend you lash a bit of copper wire arround it first and if possible short to all conductors as described above.  Alluminium foil tightly wrapped round a conducting strand over about 4in length also makes a good effective terminal to clip your energiser to.  Problem is if you don't do something similar and you use a crock clip to connect the energiser there's a good chance you might only energise one (or none) of the stainless steel strands in the wire reducuing the net efficiency.

Voltage issue - the meters you buy as testers are very crude and measuring very high voltage pulses accurately requires complex and expensive instruments so the testers are just indications at the best.  Chx are very well insulated by feathers though their combs aren't, so need a higher voltage setting whereas foxes pigs etc are less protected so a lower one should do.  Follow the recommendation of the energiser manufacturer as there's no advantage in using too high a setting which just uses up the battery charge quickly and is susceptable to being shorted by long grass.  Use a weed killer spray to keep the grass down along the net or regularly lawnmower it.  If you use the strimmer make sure the net is moved well back as inevitably the strimmer catches the net and makes a big mess of it.

The yellow plastic pegs are a waste of time.  They are intended for guy ropes so if you lay the net as one long section you can (in theory) use guy cords to tension them.  The insulated poles the net is strung on are usually very bendy so they won't support corners which is why I recommend tree stakes. You can tension the net by ensuring the insulated posts are in a straight line (important) and using two horiziontal guys at each corner to a tree stake driven firmly into the ground.  Make sure the posts are positioned well outside the corner (0.5m) so guys have plenty of scope for tightening so this way you can tension the top strand by pulling out the top corner of the net if needed.  You will need to reposition the insulated posts to ensure there's a post at each corner to tie with a nylon guy to the stake.  Be careful to avoid breaking the voltage carrying stainless steel strands woven in the poly wire when you reposition the posts.  To stop sagging at posts you can tape the vertical insulated strands with pVC tape to the insulated posts.  Never allow the net to touch a wooden stake or you will short it reducing efficiency and increasing battery use.

At the entrances to the runs tie two or three nylon 'laces' to tie the loose post to it's adjacent post on the crossing net.  Spring the untied post aside and step through to enter the run don't bother with fancy gates.

All the best
HF
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 00:33 by hillfooter »

gsc

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2010, 10:58 »
Many thanks for that - you make it all sound so easy :)

cornishgirl

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2010, 21:50 »
Many thanks for this hillfooter, has given me some new ideas!

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2010, 00:49 »
And finally the voltage tester I bought confuses me greatly.  It says you can test on the energizer as well as the fence but I can't get a reading on the fence, even up at full wack.  The energer reads 1000-2000v depending on the level.  I know it's working well as all three dogs kindly tested it for me  :ohmy: :D


The net is made from strands of nylon into which are woven 3 (or for the better nets 5) stainless steel conducting wires.  It's the stainless steel conductors which carry the voltage and the nylon cord is just there to provide mechanical support and strength.  Just putting a small pointed probe on the net you are not sure to be contacting a conducting wire as these are woven in the nylon strands.  To improve your chance of contacting a wire you can tightly wrap a copper wire round the strand over around 4 inches or tightly wrap and twist a strip of alluminium foil round the net and measure on that.  This contact problem is why I suggest twisting copper wire round the net strand and clipping your energiser to that.  Better energisers have a wide clamp to connect to the net which increases the chances of making good contact.

HF

gsc

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2010, 05:53 »
Thanks Hillfooter.  New poultry net will hopefully arrive today and will try a figure of 8 for 2 pens and see how we go.

Must fathom out a sensible way of getting in and out.   ;)

BTW, What is a suitable  setting for poultry.  My energiser goes 1 to 15 suggesting 10-15 for cattle and horses.  I had it on 6 but the girls just popped straight through.  The dogs all got caught and created merry hell so it must be working well enough.

I guess if it works for dogs it will deter a fox and just using the correct netting will keep the hens in?

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2010, 10:04 »
Thanks Hillfooter.  New poultry net will hopefully arrive today and will try a figure of 8 for 2 pens and see how we go.

Must fathom out a sensible way of getting in and out.   ;)

BTW, What is a suitable  setting for poultry.  My energiser goes 1 to 15 suggesting 10-15 for cattle and horses.  I had it on 6 but the girls just popped straight through.  The dogs all got caught and created merry hell so it must be working well enough.

I guess if it works for dogs it will deter a fox and just using the correct netting will keep the hens in?

Start them on the max and once they get used to it you can reduce it.  I'm really surprised they don't suggest a setting.  I'd suggest at the energiser output (open circuit not connected to the net) you will need a voltage of 8000V or loaded when connected to the net or measured on the net of 2500V minimum.  I'd go for a 0.5 joule energiser min., which will cope with two nets, or preferably more powerful.

I noticed that you have ordered netting uitsable for sheep and I wonder if that's a wise decision as it won't be high enough for chx or foxes and also the mesh size will be much too large for chx and if they are going through it (which they shouldn't be able to without a struggle which will certainly ensure they get zapped) then this will be a problem.  Chicken net needs to be 1.05metres minimum and preferably 1.2m with close mesh near ground level increasing vertical spacing as it gets higher to save material & cost.  Also is your energiser spec'd for chickens?  

You can find out more about the voltages you need from the Rutland site which is worth a trawl through.  They produce some top quality electric net gear and have a very comprehensive catalogue with every accessory you might need aimed at the commerical farmer so they aren't the cheapest.  I use their stuff and it's very good.  I also use Forcefield and Fenceman which are suitable for leisure use as are countless others I presume.
 
http://www.rutland-electric-fencing.co.uk/PageSelectingAnEnergiser.aspx

Getting in and out is easy read my last posts above.  Just bend the springy insulated post aside and step through.  If you want to take a barrow through uproot the post they are easy to pull up.

Regards
HF
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 10:10 by hillfooter »

gsc

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2010, 20:17 »
Many thanks - all very useful info - a lifesaver.

pigeonpie

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2010, 11:24 »
Really useful information.  Thanks.
Just wondered if anyone else has had a problem with unsuspecting good guys getting caught up in the fence?  One night we were woken by the most horrendous screams that seemed to be coming from the chicken coop.  We ran outside to find a huge hedgehog had got himself entangled in the wire and screaming his head off as he continued to get shocks.  We quickly switched the fence off and untangled him and put him in a quiet place to recompose himself.  All was quiet so we went back to bed.
The following night we were woken again by more screams and once again found the big fella trapped in exactly the same place.  We now put a barrier across that particular area so he can't get to the fence and so far we've had no more problems. 

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2010, 12:39 »
Usually when we hear screaming from the net it's the mother in law trying to get at the gin bottle we keep in there away from her clutches!. 

Strangely these days hedgehogs are virtually a creature of the urban suburbs.  When we lived in town we had lots of hedgehogs which came to eat the windfalls from our orchard but since moving to the country we never see them.  In 15 years I can hardly remember seeing one whereas they were a noisy daily visitor to our suburban garden.

I don't know if there's an answer to your problem beyong putting up a barrier and a sign "No access for hedgehogs".   I'm sure Beatrix Potter could have solved it!  One idea might be to use a beeper like the one Force Field do for testing a fence.  This is a small key fob device which is self powered and is triggered by the electric field pulsing so doesn't need to be physically connected.  It produces a high pitched beep.  It would need protecting against the elements as it's not weather proof.  Can be useful as a personal warning device too to avoid shocks.  Older people find the hi pitched beep difficult to hear though.

Here's a link which talks about the effectiveness of fences I came across just yesterday. FYI
http://www.agrisellex.co.uk/fox-fencing-trial-3165-0.html

HF
« Last Edit: June 25, 2010, 12:55 by hillfooter »

pigeonpie

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2010, 14:24 »
Ha ha, love the gin bottle idea! 
We live in a small village with our garden opening on to fields so they're definitely not urban hogs.  We have a whole family of hedgehogs who regularly pay us visits.  The dog still hasn't worked out what they are and what they do when she comes across them on her last thing at night trip around the garden!
Putting a barrier across does seem to have worked but I guess time will tell.  We only use the electric fence at night, so that once the girls are tucked up safe and sound in their home they are relatively secure so that we can leave the pop whole open.  The rest of the time they free range (even being known to find the one gap in the fence of the orchard and take themselves off round the village).  In the meantime I'll have a look through the beatrix potter books and see if I can find a handy hint!
One of the funniest things I ever saw with the effectiveness of the electric fence was shortly after we got our ex-batts.  They were still getting used to all the free space so we were keeping them in the electric fenced area.  I had popped out to the village shop.  When I came back I noticed all the girls crowded round the fence staring at something and making little croning noises.  On closer inspection I found a headless pigeon leant against the fence.  I can only assume a cat had caught the pigeon, tried to run off with it, hit the fence and shouted "oh *" dropping the pigeon and running off without it's catch!  The chickens seemed most concerned for this very quiet feathery thing!

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2010, 14:57 »
It's nice to let your chx roam unrestrained but beware.  We only used to keep them in an electrified run at night like you and let them free range the paddocks adjacent to their run during the day with no problems for over two years.  Then one afternoon we had a fox attack.  She obviously had young and was teaching them to hunt.  fortunately we only lost one hen and another lost her tail feathers when the cub grabbed her by the tail.  Thinking it was a  one off we allowed them out again the next day and the fox returned at mid-morning and took another bird.  After this we restricted them to the net and for the last 6 years or so we've had no more problems.

We actually now have automatic pophole openers/ closers which also operate the energiser to save battery life.  I've two versions one is just time controlled and the other is both time and light level controlled both designed and built by me.  They each can operate 4 houses.  It's a simple matter to energise the fence when the door is open and switch it off when closed.  It's even easier to do when you have a mains supply in an out building you can use rather than having to power it from a battery.  Well worth investing in and fun to do too.
HF



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