Electric fencing for poultry (chickens, ducks, geese, etc) is usually based around specifically designed electrified poultry netting. One of the most important things to bear in mind, is that poultry netting is designed to keep predators out, rather than the birds in. Typically, electric poultry fencing is between 1m and 1.2m tall and has 12 horizontal lines; the bottom line is not live. The lower lines are closer together, so that smaller pedators such as mink are also kept at bay.
The easiest way to get started with an electric fence for your poultry, is to use one of the boxed poultry net kits. Each kit contains everything you need to get started, including an energiser, poultry net (in rolls of 16m, 25m or 50m lengths), posts, earth spike and tester and warning sign. It is possible to 'grow' your fence system by simply adding additional rolls of poultry netting, although the amount that you can add depends on how powerful your energiser is, for example the HLC40 energiser can deal with 50-100m, whereas the HLC120 can be fitted to up to 250m of netting. The specification of each energiser includes a guide on how much poultry netting it can be used with.
Setting up electric fencing for poultry is very straightforward (see our step-by-step guide) and can be done in less than an hour. Each roll of poultry netting is fitted with fence posts that puch into the ground and most kits are supplied with four stronger posts for the corners. The deluxe kits are also supplied with the new 'Hot Gate' system, which allows you to safely create an access point, without the need to switch the fence on and off when you enter. For more permanent poultry pens, or where the ground is undulating and more difficult to keep taught, you can use additional netting posts to give the fence greater stability. You should also use guy lines and pegs.
In come cases, it is necessary to protect an existing poultry pen. In these cases, one of the easiest ways is to simply set up an electric poultry fence kit around the perimeter of the pen, with a 6-12" gap between the two. Where this is not desired, then you can fit offset insulators to the existing fence posts and use electrified rope, polywire or galvanised wire to replicate the horizontal lines of the poultry netting. In this case, you should consider fitting 5-10 lines, starting quite close together at the bottom (5cm ideally) and getting gradually further apart as you go up in height. One of the most of important considerations in this type of installation is ensuring that the electric fence line(s) do not touch the wire mesh - doing so will result in short-circuits and poor performance.
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