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Author Topic: electric fence not sure what to do.  (Read 20750 times)

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pigeonpie

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2010, 15:12 »
Thankfully the garden and orchard are stock fenced and then also surrounded by hedges so not so easy for the foxes to jump over although I realise that this would not stop a determined fox.  Before we had the chickens we used to get a fox barking outside our bedroom window most summer nights but since I sent my hubbie out to pee round the garden and fenced off the front so they couldn't get up the drive in to the garden we haven't seen or heard any.  I know it is a risk but the girls are so much happier having so much ground to run over and luckily I spend a fair bit of time working from home and so the dog is often out and about in the garden.  The chicken house is right outside our bedroom window (we're in a bungalow so it really is only 10ft from our bed!) so if the fox decides to strike at night we'll hopefully hear before he even manages to get in.  We have thought about an automatic opener though, perhaps it is something I should invest in or set the hubbie to work on.  We built a secure covered run which is attached to the hen house so that they could have access to that at all times and then we would open the door from that to the electric fenced area when we got up and then let them free range when we wanted them to.  The girls disagreed with this decision though.  They would spend most of their time from waking up to being let out shouting at the top of their voices.  The fact that they had more space than most chickens have to live in, plenty of food and water, lovely scratching and dust bathing areas and were safe from predators didn't seem to impress them.  And the fact that their house and run is so close to our bedroom didn't impress us!!! 


Knight Family

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2010, 08:11 »
Very Very good Posts HF. I was going to leave my run as one big one, however I'm thinking now to split it in the figure of 8.

Need to understand the posts and your gate system, but trying to read a forum post at work with lots of people around may not be the best idea :tongue2:

Graham = 2x Border collie Dogs, 2x Cats, 1x Wife, 2x Kids, 2x Hamsters and now 10x chickens.

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2010, 16:59 »
Just another little tip.  I just installed a new net and noted it wasn't working too well so I checked the bottom electrified strand to ensure it wasn't touching the ground and sure enough I found an insulator post which didn't have the bottom of the post well covered by the plastic insulator and consequently the bottom electricifed strand was wrapped round the metal prong which was pushed into the ground.  This shorts the net to ground making the high voltage pulse ineffective and using a lot of battery power.  Ensure the bottom strand is well cclear of the exposed metal pronge.  Tape up the net on an insulated post using insulation tape if it is sagging at any point so it does touch a metal post or the ground.  Note the very bottom starnd is not live theis is just a tensioning cord,  The next one up is electrified.

HF
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drcarrera

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2010, 14:36 »
We were thinking of getting an electric fence to give our chucks a decent area to roam when we're not around to watch over them free-ranging in the garden, and this thread is really useful!

We were a bit converned about a few things, though :

1) Is a 1m high fence two short? Not just that foxes may hurdle it, but that the chucks could escape over it? Our three-month old bantams can already get on to a 60cm fence quite easily, so it seems quite possible they could scale a metre when they'e fully grown!

2) How do you protect against airborne predators - we have a lot of raptors and crows here and lost a 6 week old chuck to a crow a few weeks ago.

3) My wife's worried the chucks could be injured or permanently traumatised by getting electrocuted!

Chris

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2010, 16:07 »
We were thinking of getting an electric fence to give our chucks a decent area to roam when we're not around to watch over them free-ranging in the garden, and this thread is really useful!

We were a bit converned about a few things, though :

1) Is a 1m high fence two short? Not just that foxes may hurdle it, but that the chucks could escape over it? Our three-month old bantams can already get on to a 60cm fence quite easily, so it seems quite possible they could scale a metre when they'e fully grown!  No it's not high enough however most chx aren't flighty enough to want to fly out.  The max height you can buy and I'd recommend is 1.22m.  Note that this isn't high enough to prevent foxes leaping it however the value of a net is it's deterant power.  Foxes will investigate it first and for that they use their noses.  Once zapped they steer clear for good.  That's why it's important that when you first put it up it works effectively and is left on 24hrs for a while at least.  Some people recommend baiting it with bacon wrapped round.

Remember nets over about a metre have no shock benefit as you need to be touching both the fence AND the ground, or a grounded conductor, at the same time.  Which is why birds can happily perch on high tension overhead cables without getting a shock.  Birds or foxes can't alight on or climb nets because they don't offer any support unlike fences and that seems to deter them too.

Flighty chx, and bantams can be, you can tackle by clipping one wing but make sure you check it's absolutely necessary before you do as a clipped bird also can't escape preditors so well.


2) How do you protect against airborne predators - we have a lot of raptors and crows here and lost a 6 week old chuck to a crow a few weeks ago.  Never known a bird to take a L/F chx though it's theoretically possible.  Chicks are vulnerable though.  I live in the country and we have Kestral, Sparrow Hawks, Buzzards, Red Kite, as well as crows and not even lost a chick and we put them out at 7weeks usually.  Again local conditions might vary.Not having open ground around which allows an easy glide path in helps with raptors.  Some risk is inevitable unless you want to make their run like Alcatraz.  Predator birds are a low risk in my opinion and not worth imprisioning your chx for.

3) My wife's worried the chucks could be injured or permanently traumatised by getting electrocuted! No need to worry on this count.  Again it's good to ensure they get zapped when young.  Make sure you get a net with a close mesh at the bottom.  My bantams are adept at limboing under the net they've learnt that the bottom strand isn't electrified and they put their heads under this and lift it up.  You can stake it down if you're worried.  

I'd recommend the Fox Buster premium net from Electric Nets Direct for a good strong close net though not the cheapest, for bantams it's good.   HF


Chris
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 16:16 by hillfooter »

drcarrera

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2010, 16:26 »
Many thanks for the reply, HF - really useful stuff!  :)

For some reason I'd imagined nets would have alternate live and earth strands so anything touching two adjacent parts would get a shock - didn't realise they relied on a natural earth.

Hopefully our birds are too big for crows now, but they are terrified of them probably because they remember them killing their sister. They're often getting pestered by them in their enclosed run, and we're paranoid about them ourselves, seeing as we'd only left them for about a minute when we lost one last time. Unfortunately they're too observant and quick for me to get one with my air rifle!

We get buzzards a lot as well, but not sure they'd go for a chicken.

Chris
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 16:28 by drcarrera »

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2010, 17:33 »
For some reason I'd imagined nets would have alternate live and earth strands so anything touching two adjacent parts would get a shock - didn't realise they relied on a natural earth.


Chris

"Live" and "earth" is terminology usually applied to 240vac mains terminals and wires.  Just in case anyone reading this assumes you can connect mains electricity to a net please note a net is connected to an Energiser designed to incorporate the regulatory safety standards and made specifically for the purpose.  It is perfectly safe with an energiser though will cause an unpleasant jolt. 

NEVER connect mains to a electric fence or indeed anything which can be touched.  As this would be potentially lethal for any animal including people and in any case would not serve as a replacement for an energiser.

HF

Knight Family

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2010, 15:11 »
Well I've got my electric fence which is great caught Mr Fox twice now!

However over the last 5 months we have have 8 power cuts normally for not very long. Until last night about 10pm we had a 5hr approx power cut, so the electric fence would have been down.

Luckerly for us Mr Fox did not come to us but he did to our friends down the road (All were safe inside thank goodness), but this then adds the question is there any way you can dual power or have a backup of battery if the power goes off??

Any help would be great thanks!

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2010, 17:35 »
Well I've got my electric fence which is great caught Mr Fox twice now!

However over the last 5 months we have have 8 power cuts normally for not very long. Until last night about 10pm we had a 5hr approx power cut, so the electric fence would have been down.

Luckerly for us Mr Fox did not come to us but he did to our friends down the road (All were safe inside thank goodness), but this then adds the question is there any way you can dual power or have a backup of battery if the power goes off??

Any help would be great thanks!

Easy peasy.  Pretty much all energisers are powered off +12V and those that are mains powered have a plug top power supply which generates 12V which is then run to the energiser.  To have a backed up system you need to replace the plug top power supply with a 12v battery which you can keep on perminent charge.  So if the mains goes the battery still retains charge and keeps your fence up.  Once mains returns the charger replenishes the battery charge.  All you need is a 12V battery to power the energiser and a charger to perminently charge the battery.   The battery can be a car one for this application since it's never going to be fully discharged.  (You'd need a leisure battery if it were going to become fully discharged if there were no charger attached).

NOTE THIS CAN ONLT BE DONE FOR A 12V POWERED CHARGER WHICH HAS AN EXTERNAL PSU, USUALLY A PLUG TOP TYPE OR A "RAT IN A SNAKE" TYPE PSU.

I'll post detail on how to do this if you like when I've more time.  In the meantime could you tell me what your energiser make and model is or better still post a link?

HF

Knight Family

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2010, 19:05 »
Thanks HF that was my thinking, but i always thought the battery should not be on charge all the time (but I suppose its not really)!

So just to confirm my Hotline HLC80 Gemini  which is daul charge has the battery powing it via the correct leads. Then a normal car charger topping up the battery.

Yes, I gues its best to have a trickle charger not a fast charger ......

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2010, 01:02 »
Thanks HF that was my thinking, but i always thought the battery should not be on charge all the time (but I suppose its not really)!

So just to confirm my Hotline HLC80 Gemini  which is daul charge has the battery powing it via the correct leads. Then a normal car charger topping up the battery.

Yes, I gues its best to have a trickle charger not a fast charger ......

The HLC80 is just such an energiser as I've described which can be mains or battery powered (it's not unique in this regard despite its sales blurb selling this as a major feature).  It has a plug top 12V psu with a lead which plugs into the energiser and they also supply a replacement lead to use with a battery which can also plug into the energiser.  Using a battery with a charger you  have a choice of how you can run the cables

1     You can site the battery adjacent to the charger indoors (an outhouse or garage for example) and run a cable from the battery to the energiser which is located by the fence.  You can 'extend' the battery lead they provide to do this using old mains cable.  

2    You can site the battery adjacent to the fence and energiser and run a long charger lead to the charger situated in an outhouse.  Again using old mains cable from the charger to the battery

3    You can site the charger, battery and energiser in an out building and run the high voltage cable out to the net.  To do this you'll need a special high tension cable called a 'run out cable'.
This has the advantage that all the active components can be secured and are protected from the weather.  Although the energiser can be outside I prefer to protect it from direct sun, rain and snow (but don't enclose it so condensation can form).  The disadvantage with this arrangement is that it's usually more convenient to be able to switch the power off at the net itself rather than have to enter an outbuilding to do this.

I use method 1 for some of my runs which are close to an outhouse (stable block)

It's best to use a modern charger which will automatically switch to a trickle when the battery is at full terminal voltage.  Effectively what happens is that the charger will effectively supply the energiser current and the battery will charge up to the charger terminal voltage which won't do it any harm.  

A Technical explaination you can ignore unless you're interested
If you have a modern charger which indicates when it switches to trickle (or shows when the battery is fully charged) you will notice it switching back and forth between charging and fully charged (or trickle charge).  The reason being the charger will charge the battery up to its set terminal voltage and them switches to trickle (or shows fully charged).   The trickle current won't be sufficient to supply the energiser and the battery will supply the extra current needed causing its terminal voltage to fall.  When it has fallen sufficient for the charger to detect it needs to switch to full charging again it will switch modes back to charging and the cycle will repeat itself.  The battery will cycle between charging for a short period and them discharging for a short period and so on.  It will never be seriously discharged which is why a car battery will do the job rather than needing a leisure battery.
HF
« Last Edit: July 24, 2010, 01:07 by hillfooter »

jonotaylor

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2010, 11:31 »
I have electric netting for my chickens, but the distance between the supplied posts seems to be too far - the net tends to sag in between the posts.
I just investigated  buying 13 additional purpose-made posts to attach in between the existing posts, but it is going to cost nearly 60.  Does anyone have any experience with alternatives, e.g. would garden canes work, or would they short the circuit when wet?

hillfooter

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2010, 15:11 »
I have electric netting for my chickens, but the distance between the supplied posts seems to be too far - the net tends to sag in between the posts.
I just investigated  buying 13 additional purpose-made posts to attach in between the existing posts, but it is going to cost nearly 60.  Does anyone have any experience with alternatives, e.g. would garden canes work, or would they short the circuit when wet?

You need to lay the net so the side s are dead straight and the corners are anchored to a post as I've suggested.  The net needs to be tensioned tightly between the anchor posts.  Use your foot to stretch the bottom taut as you push in the prong and the guy ropes at the top should be pulled tight and probably also have one or two inbetween the top and bottom to tension the net.  Don't let the net actually touch the wooden anchor post but space it off the last insulated post and tension the insulated post to the wooden anchor post.  It won't sag if it is erected correctly. 

You can buy extra posts if you like or you can make some if you have the right materials laying around going free.  You need metal posts with pronges and an insulator you can make from a plastic pipe such as a water pipe or conduit or a plastic hose at a pinch.  Not insulation tape is not good enough you really need some thick plastic insulation.  Canes are no good both from a mechanical strength perspective or from an insulating perspective.
HF

pigeonpie

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Re: electric fence not sure what to do.
« Reply #43 on: August 13, 2010, 13:39 »
I have electric netting for my chickens, but the distance between the supplied posts seems to be too far - the net tends to sag in between the posts.
I just investigated  buying 13 additional purpose-made posts to attach in between the existing posts, but it is going to cost nearly 60.  Does anyone have any experience with alternatives, e.g. would garden canes work, or would they short the circuit when wet?

We bought some extra poles from the local farm supplies shop.  They are green, about 4 1/2 foot in height and are listed as electric fencing posts for horses.  They cost only a few pounds each.  I suggest you shop around. 



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