The question – do electric fences work for chickens? The answer is yes, they are an easy and inexpensive way to keep your chickens in the yard. However, there are a few things you should know before installing one. This blog post will explore your options when choosing an electric fence for chickens and help you determine if they’re right for your situation.
Table of Contents
- Do Electric Fences Work for Chickens?
- How Do You Run an Electric Fence Around a Chicken Coop?
- Step 1: Measure Distance From Coop
- Step 2: Angle Fence Post
- Step 3: Wrap Wire on Exterior Part of the Fence Post
- Step 4: Tie Wires Off with Figure Eight Pattern
- Step 5: Keep Wire on a Spool
- Can I Electrify Chicken Wire Fence?
- Which Is More Effective – Electrifying the Chicken Wire Fence or Adding an Electric Fence Hot Wire to the Chicken Enclosure?
- How Do You Electrify a Chicken Fence?
- What Voltage Should a Poultry Electric Fence Be?
- Can a Fox Get Through an Electric Chicken Fence?
- Will an Electric Fence Kill Chickens?
- What Is Electric Poultry Netting?
- Can You Use Solar for Electric Fences for Chickens?
- Is Chicken Wire Conductive?
- Can You Electrify a Galvanized Fence?
- Will Weeds Short Out an Electric Fence?
- Will My Electric Chicken Fence Hurt Other Animals Like Dogs, Cats, Birds, or Squirrels?
Do Electric Fences Work for Chickens?
Electric fences are effective for keeping chickens safe. In order to stay healthy, chickens need to be able to range outside. The only way that they can do so safely is with electric fence wire.
The wire keeps predators from being able to get at the chickens. It also keeps the chickens from moving beyond their boundaries.
Most farmers or chicken owners use two different fences for their chickens. The first is a standard chicken wire fence. This keeps the chickens from touching the electric fence and also restrains them within their ranging zone.
The electric fence goes around the chicken wire fence. It keeps predators from being able to break into the chicken wire and kill the chickens.
How Do You Run an Electric Fence Around a Chicken Coop?
Here are a few steps you can follow to correctly run an electric fence around your chicken coop.
Step 1: Measure Distance From Coop
Take your electric wire and measure it six inches from the coop. This ensures that the predator receives a shock before coming too close to the coop. It also ensures that if the wire isn’t taut, then it won’t knock into the coop and electrify the chicken wire.
You should also measure six inches above the ground. This will make the wire hit most predators. It will strike them against their nose or back of their head.
Step 2: Angle Fence Post
When installing your electric fence, you need to angle your fence posts. Don’t drive your fence post directly into the ground. As time wears on, the post will start to slide towards the coop and bring the wire with it.
Instead, angle it away from the coop.
Step 3: Wrap Wire on Exterior Part of the Fence Post
Instead of wrapping the wire on the interior side of the fence post, that area which is closest to the coop, you need to wrap it around the exterior side of the post. The wire should be on the side furthest from the coop.
This also ensures that the fence post won’t be pulled against the coop.
Step 4: Tie Wires Off with Figure Eight Pattern
When you’re ready to tie the wire off, a strong way to do so is to make figure eights on the fence post. Using the various hooks on the fence post, wrap the wire in a figure-eight pattern to keep the wire from becoming loose. It also stabilizes the fence post.
Step 5: Keep Wire on a Spool
It’s also a good idea to use a spool for your wire. It allows you to quickly wrap more wire as needed and to prevent having to cut the wire. You can hang the spool from a fence post to keep it from grounding on the grass.
Can I Electrify Chicken Wire Fence?
It’s possible if the chicken wire fence isn’t grounded. Unfortunately, most chicken wire fences do touch the ground. That makes it impossible for the fence to hold a charge. The electric fence should also not be attached to a steel pole that’s driven to the ground.
It’s easier to erect a new electric fence around the chicken wire fence.
Which Is More Effective – Electrifying the Chicken Wire Fence or Adding an Electric Fence Hot Wire to the Chicken Enclosure?
It’s more effective to add an electric fence hot wire to the chicken enclosure. Simply electrifying the chicken wire fence could pose a few problems. There’s a chance your chickens could become electrified instead.
There’s also the chance that predators could simply dig under the chicken wire fence to get to the chickens without being electrocuted.
Adding an electric hot wire to the chicken enclosure keeps the chickens safe and keeps predators from digging under the enclosure.
How Do You Electrify a Chicken Fence?
You need a transmitter that can emit a voltage through a certain wire. You can either install that wire around the enclosure with fence posts. Or you can let the wire touch the chicken fence. If it isn’t grounded, then the chicken fence could become electrified.
What Voltage Should a Poultry Electric Fence Be?
The poultry electric fence should have a voltage of 5,000. This is strong enough to warn off predators without causing too much harm to your chickens. At the very least, your chickens have a chance to survive the voltage should they make contact with the fence.
Predators, on the other hand, will experience a punishing shock that will make them think twice about attempting to eat your chickens.
Can a Fox Get Through an Electric Chicken Fence?
If the wire is too high or doesn’t have the proper voltage, a fox may be able to get through an electric chicken fence. They’re notorious burrowers. It’s possible that they may dig under the wire to gain access to the chickens.
Will an Electric Fence Kill Chickens?
An electric fence cannot kill a chicken unless it’s already in poor health. A 5,000-volt fence doesn’t emit a strong enough voltage to kill. The only way a chicken may die if it touches an electric fence is it if becomes entangled in it and receives several shocks at once. It may go into cardiac arrest as a result.
What Is Electric Poultry Netting?
Electric poultry netting is a type of electric fence that’s easy to move around. It’s portable. It’s basically a set of fence posts with wires that run between them to create a net. These wires are electrically charged.
Each fence post has a spiked end that makes driving it into the ground easier. You can easily set the fence up in a few minutes. It’s ideal for chickens because you can move it around your property to give them new areas to forage.
Can You Use Solar for Electric Fences for Chickens?
Many chicken owners use solar electric fences because it’s green energy. The solar electric fence is effective at keeping predators from chickens. With an attached battery, a fence can easily last all night long.
Is Chicken Wire Conductive?
Chicken wire, on its own, is very conductive. Most chicken wire is made of graphene which is highly conductible.
However, because the chicken wire is mostly used in enclosures, they’re grounded. Since they’re grounded, it doesn’t hold an electric charge.
Can You Electrify a Galvanized Fence?
It’s possible to electrify a galvanized fence with a hot wire and fence energizer. Because galvanized fences are hollow, they’re unable to pass a current.
Will Weeds Short Out an Electric Fence?
Yes, weeds can short out an electric fence. When weeds make contact with the fence, it can decrease the voltage and amperage. It will drive up the energy to run the wire. If you’re using a solar electric fence, then it can also drain the battery.
Will My Electric Chicken Fence Hurt Other Animals Like Dogs, Cats, Birds, or Squirrels?
Yes, an electric chicken fence will hurt any animal that makes contact with it. You need to turn the fence off if you don’t want your pet to accidentally run into it and become shocked.
My name is Ken and I’m one of the staff writers at Petloverguy.com. I’ve cared for pets most of my life starting with hamsters, turtles, and snakes. Then moving up to parakeets, guinea pigs, and even ducks.
I currently live with two yorkies and a chihuahua mix.