Our Electric Chicken Fence – a Felicitous Experiment
Each chicken farmer is faced with the questions: “Which chicken fence is good for me?”, “Should I build an electric chicken fence?”. In order to help you, we want to share our thoughts and experiences on the subject. For making a proper decision about the fence, we have to consider the right environmental conditions as the most important influential factor:
- What kind of chickens is it for? In our case, we are talking about a small chicken flock of six hens. A few wayendottes, welsumers and a mongrel silkie with a punk hairdo. All of them are rather small and nimble chickens. So, they do not have to be flighty.
- How does a terrain look like? The chickens will live on an old horse paddock, next to a landscape conservation area. It is a beautiful and large piece of land. Since we have a mobile chicken coop, we want the outdoor area to change now and again, so that the sod does not suffer too much, and our chickens always have fresh green fodder. In addition, we can also reduce the problems with parasites by means of relocation.
- Problematic areas: - Our terrain also has a few problematic points. Due to its location near the recreation area, many walkers with their dogs go around it. We do not know how dogs and chickens may react to each other. The proximity to the nature reserve ensures that foxes, mustelids and raptors feel at home here. It’s going to be very exciting. There are also advantages as the shady Mirabelle trees and hedges grow here, under which the animals can hide against attacks from the air. The question is whether an electric chicken fence may provide an extra protection.
Electric Chicken Fence – our Requirements in Theory
An electric fence chicken should provide additional protection: that was the idea behind our small experiment. Foxes may, for example, dig pits under a fence and get through inside. An electric chicken fence should counteract this. But how can we reasonably apply such an electric chicken fence in practice? Before getting down to work, we have come up with a few thoughts about our needs. Our electric chicken fence should meet the following criteria:
- Mobility: We would like to conserve our meadow and avoid bald patches. By means of the mobile chicken coop and the mobile fence, every chicken keeper can provide animals with new options for scratching. At the same time, the grass can regenerate. Accordingly, all fixed installable fences have to fall away.
- Protection from predators on the ground: While a normal netty chicken fence can discourage only the dogs from catching hens, these types of fence is not a serious hurdle for a hungry raccoon or a fox to banquet on a fresh chicken. In order to avoid these problems, we would either have to construct a solid fence or use an electric fence. Because we want to be mobile, there remains only an electric chicken fence.
- Protection from predators from the air: With this requirement, we would have to mostly worry about a few birds of prey always flying over the paddock. Either we could spread a net over the terrain, or we would run the risk and hope that the bushes and shrubs could provide enough protection from the flying invaders. Discussions with other keepers showed that there are different experiences. Our communications with the farmer who keeps his hens completely free in the backyard and in the field (he has been doing it for years) made us take a decisive step. He told us with much experience that we have no hawks in our area, but only buzzards and falcons. They appear not to catch the chickens. Which points are more common for him are the above-mentioned problems with foxes and martens. We trust him and refuse from the metal net over out terrain. If something changes here, we will report about it.
- Length and height: Due to the small flock of chickens and as we regularly change the run-out area, a small terrain could be enough for us. In our opinion, just the length of 50 meters is quite sufficient. But how high should the fence be? Actually, we have no Brahmas, but a rather light and lively breed. In this matter, we felt unsafe and therefore, we were looking forward to getting more advice and encouragement of our breeder. He told us that our Welsumers and Wyandottes are very relaxed and would not fly alone over the fence. Only if they were shooed, and then they’ll be back when we offer them a few delicious treats. Hopefully he is right! We trust him and opt for a low fence of 90 centimeters. We would not like it to be eye-catching, so that a green color but not this glaring orange could be great. The pictures in the Internet vary between neon green and dark forest colors. With the electric fences, I see at least a tendency for neon colors. But we would doubt to order this one. What the heck: let’s get into action. Let the experiment with an electric chicken fence begin!
EElectric Chicken Fence: our Choice of Products
Then we followed with practical implementation. If you want to have an electric chicken fence, you cannot simply put the existing wire mesh fence under power. So, we have found a chicken fence fabric with conductive filaments through which the current can flow. We have chosen a small-mesh fence that you can easily order from Amazon.
Green Electric Garden Fence
- The fence of Kerbl is easy to build, and it makes a stable impression. The price-performance ratio is fair;
- It is 50 m long, 112 cm high, small-mesh, 14 posts with double metal tips;
- It is electrified and protects against martens, foxes and dogs.
So, what we needed was a power source. Otherwise, an electric chicken fence would be pointless. We had read a lot about other keepers who were afraid to grill their chickens with the current or get the animals entrapped in the fence. Since we had no permanent power source, our fence was quite short, and we did not need much power, our choice fell on an electric fence system from AKO. We chose it due to product’s performance (1 Joule), the power saving function and especially the protection of the battery from deep discharge. Two power sources are possible for the power supply. You may use a 12 volt battery or 230 volt network supply. We have used it with a little old tractor battery (44Ah). That should be enough for an electric chicken fence.
Our Choice: Weatherproof 1 Joule Combi Device
- Can be operated via the power socket or via a 12V battery;
- It has a shutdown function at a low battery! (helps not to burn a car battery);
- Optimized power consumption through power-saving function;
- Good feedbacks and a 3-year warranty.
Electric Chicken Fence: Installation
The chicken fence appeared to be the one we expected. The green color was fine (not neon green), the rods were sufficiently stable, and the whole fence was not too heavy. You can build it alone.
The fence should be well-built. First, you put it flat and roughly enclose the area. At the very beginning, pay attention to the place where you want to install an electric fence generator. In this way, you can open and close the fence at this location, in order to get in/out of the terrain. At this very point the device and the fence can be connected in the best possible way, since a central contact point is located here. We did not know it for the first time and had a few contact difficulties.
We had an electric fence generator tucked in an old box. We also put a car battery there. Besides, other utensils may be kept inside, which you need for backyard chicken farming needs (gloves, a pencil for marking eggs, feed, a trowel and a bucket). Overall, both the fence and the combi device were easy to handle. The connection is easy. So, I trust my children to come alone to the chickens and disconnect the power. They are 6-14-year-old kids.
Electric Chicken Fence: Conclusion
The chickens are happy. In the first two months they have already pecked at the grass. We are planning to move away soon. The fence was the right choice. Its height, length and mobility characteristics are optimal for us. We missed a few pegs from a tent so that we could stretch it better. It contacts less with the ground and vegetation, and the battery capacity lasts longer. The fixing posts sit with their double fork well in the ground. They bend easily while being pressed upon, but it is not a problem.
The height is fantastic! The chickens have always remained inside, even trying to escape when being hunted by my kids. However, they have always come back, and in the evening they want to get into the coop in any case. What is perfect with the height parameters is that adults can easily step over the fence.
Dogs: Our concerns about the dogs were completely groundless. Actually, the free-running chickens had no problems with the dogs that we have here, and the owners take good care of their animals as they know that we have chickens. A fox and a marten have not yet looked in. I defer to the electric fence as both the “robbers” are definitely going to find us. At night, we leave the fence off as our coop is well-secured.
Hawk: Everything has been quiet so far. We have purposefully planted a few bushes as a cover on the meadow.
Multifunctional Electric Fence Generator
- The electric fence generator from AKO works with 9V, 12V and 230V power supply;
- A battery is included;
- Weatherproof and installation warranty is included;
- Good feedbacks and MADE IN GERMANY.
Chickens: The animals have accustomed quickly to the electric chicken fence and do not stick at trifles with it. They may touch it now and then; however, nothing happens to them. Nothing would even happen with the young animals. In this respect, an electric chicken fence is safe.
Charger: We have worried about the charger for our car battery. It is good for all types of batteries and protected against polarity reversal. My son gets along very well with it. An electric chicken fence with such parameters can be supplied easily supplied with sufficient voltage.
We hope this experience report about our electric chicken fence has helped you. If you have questions about an electric fence chicken, you can put them here or in the forum. More information can be found here: