Elec­tric net de­ters foxes

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QMy hus­band wants to make a chicken run us­ing elec­tric net­ting. He reck­ons it will be bet­ter than build­ing a nor­mal run as they’ll get more space, we can move them around to new grass, and they’ll be safe from foxes. I don’t like the idea of the chick­ens be­ing hurt if they touch the fence, and surely a fox could eas­ily jump over it. What do you think?

AAnne 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. When a fox touches an elec­tric fence, the un­pleas­ant but harmless shock swiftly de­liv­ers the mes­sage that chicken is off the menu! Elec­tric fenc­ing won’t harm the chick­ens ei­ther, and they are so well-in­su­lated by their feathers that it ac­tu­ally has to be pow­er­ful enough to con­tain them. Chil­dren and house­hold pets quickly learn not to touch the fence, but small crea­tures can some­times be at risk if they be­come en­tan­gled in the elec­tri­fied net. Dis­con­nect­ing the sec­ond hor­i­zon­tal wire can help pre­vent this. Elec­tric net­ting isn’t suit­able for wa­ter­fowl (they tend to try and walk through it) or horned an­i­mals, but is ideal for chick­ens, al­low­ing them ex­tra room to range and ac­cess to fresh pas­ture.

Chick­ens rang­ing safely be­hind elec­tric net­ting

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