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1.1 I am considering an electric netting system for my chickens in the garden. I would start with 50m of poultry netting but may want to extend later. What energiser would you recommend? I don't think solar would be much good as there are many trees shading t

In order to answer your question correctly we need to know two more things:

      • What is the maximum length of netting you might extend to?
      • As you've ruled out Solar, does the energiser need to be battery powered? or is mains an option?

Without knowing the answers to these questions - Our general recommendations are as follows:

For 1-3 Nets (Up to 150m): 

Battery Energiser - P450S Hobby
or Mains Energiser - HLC 80 

For 4-8 Nets (Up to 400m): 

Battery Energiser - P500 Falcon
or Mains Energiser - HLC 120 

For 9 - 25* Nets (Up to 1250m): 

Battery Energiser - P525 Buzzard 
or Mains Energiser - HLM 350 

*We're allowing ourselves a little margin for safety here as the type of net (number of strands) is also more of an important factor once we get over this length. 

The above energisers will prove suitable for most netting applications but for longer lengths please refer to the 'choosing an energiser' sections (within the energiser sections - above left) for more advice or Email us here with your specific netting requirements. We will respond with our recommendations.

1.2 What is the breaking strain of your electrified rope and tape?

Electrified Rope, approximately 750 Kilos and the Tape, approximately 250/300 Kilos.

1.3 How can I check if my electric fence is working properly?

Check your electric fence is working properly by using an appropriate fence tester that gives a volt reading. If you see 3000 to 4000 volts or more everything is working properly.

If you do have a problem, the likelihood is that it will be something to do with your Earth Return System. Please refer to the Hotline Guide to Understanding Modern Electric Fencing and the more detailed sections on 'Earth Return' and 'Testing the Earth Return' for further information.

Incidentally, another method that many of our customer use for 'piece of mind' is to connect a Fence Line Indicator Lamp to their fence. This item is particularly useful at night and provides reassurance that the fence is working and hasn't accidentally been switched off.

1.4 Your Examples in the Guide to Understanding Modern Electric Fencing show Earth Return Systems with at least three earth spikes. How many earth spikes do I really need?

A good Earth Return is critical for your electric fence to work effectively and please remember that around 80% of electric fencing faults can be linked to an insufficient earth system. With any energiser you should acquire at least one spike. In good conditions this will be enough to support an electric fence of up to 1000 metres in length.

Our advice would be to set-up your fence with one earth spike and then test the system. You will most likely need more earth spikes if the fence is longer than 1000M or situated on poor ground i.e. sand, peat, gravel, very dry soil, snow or frozen ground.

1.5 I have a post and rail garden fence approximately 50m long x 50m wide with chicken wire covering the bottom half and a gate in the middle. My dog can now jump the fence and I thought of an electric fence to keep her in. Ideally I'd rather mount the wire/t

Yes, it is not only possible but probably better to install a permanent system making use of your existing fence rather than creating a second separate fence. 

We would recommend that you use 2 lines of either electrified-rope or tape, both of which will be highly visible to your dog. Fix one line to your posts approximately half way up the fence and above the chicken wire, the other line at the top of your fence. If it's practical for you to use them, we would recommend 'stand off' insulators for the top line as this will create an additional barrier, by making the fence seem much bigger from the dogs perspective. 

The products we would recommend to suit your requirements are as follows – Please note that we are recommending a suitable mains powered energiser as this will always be more reliable for a permanent system: 

  • Mains Energiser: HLC40(Must be sited under cover i.e. inside your shed or garage)
  • Tape: >20mm Turbochargeor Supercharge electro-tape. (Turbocharge is more conductive and slightly better quality).
  • To connect the tape to your energiser: C73 Tape Clamp (You could also use our double insulated cable to make up your own lead.
  • For connecting the second (lower) electric line: P73 Tape-Wire Connectors are used to connect the two lines together, carrying power from one line to the other.
  • Insulators: Find these in the "insulators for wooden posts" Section. For the Top Line – P37SL Stand-Off Insulators. For the Lower Line – either P45, P45S or P54 insulators. (The P54 has the advantage of locking the tape in place).
  • Insulators for the Corners and Ends: P99 Tape Insulator / Tensioners.
  • General Purpose Earth Spike
  • Double Insulated Cable: For connecting the earth spike to the energiser, for linking the electric fence under the gate and also (if necessary) for extending the above tape clamp lead.
  • For the gate: P56 or P59 Gate Set plus a length of double insulated cable.
  • Warning Sign: If people are likely to be walking alongside the fence – Law states 1 warning sign for every 100m if alongside pedestrian areas.
  • Fence Tester.

With regard to the Insulators… The ideal would be to have one for each post. To be successful with one on every other post you will need to get the tape really taut so as to stop it coming into contact with the posts. This is where the P99 comes in – The tape has a breaking strain of approx 250/300 Kilos – use the P99 to haul on the tape and get it taut (do this regardless to number of posts). 

With regard to the Gate… If you are going to do the gate straight away, it is advisable to get the insulated cable etc. as per the Hotline Guide to Understanding Modern Electric Fencing advice section. This would also be an ideal place to set up a cut out switch should you install one. 

There are other accessories that may be of interest, but we think this list is long enough already!

1.6 I am interested in your horse fence starter kit (battery) which would be used to divide a field (about 1+ acre?). The electric fence would be from fence post to fence post across the middle of the field i.e. access would be via the gate and then through t

The starter kit/s you are looking at would be ideal for the use you are describing and whichever kit you choose, fitting instructions are included. It may be worth considering one of the two longer systems i.e. the HK250 or HK450 as these will also enable you to create a "boxed area" within the field, keeping the horses away from the muddy edges of the field.

The only additional item that may be worth considering is the P17T gate handle. With the gate handle you will be able to easily incorporate a gate in the electric fencing – use one of the 2 P99 Tape End Tensioners supplied with the kits to connect the gate handle.

Please remember that these kits for temporary fencing applications, designed to be moved around easily, for example while protecting waterlogged grazing areas. If the fence is likely to be left in place for months on end it may be worth looking at a more permanent solution, please let us know if this is the case and we'll make the necessary recommendations.

1.7 Although we plan to put our geese away at night, we need a certain level of day time protection and occasional night time protection from the fox. Does the 12-strand poultry netting provide this sort of protection? Obviously a very determined fox may get

Yes the 12-strand poultry netting is suitable for your requirements. In fact, it is designed more in mind to keep the fox out than the chickens/geese in, (which it should also do quite effectively).

In our experience, most foxes will run away after receiving a shock; however a determined fox may make a number of attempts at getting in at different points in the fence. Interestingly, a fox will not usually make a running jump at the fence, it will typically "stalk" it and either try to sneak through or climb over it. This behavior makes the netting particularly effective.

The alternative would be to create a fence using at least 4 Wires: Wire 1 – approximately 110mm above ground, Wire 2 - 270mm, Wire 3 - 430mm and Wire 4 - 580mm. We personally feel that the netting would be the better option.

Whichever way you choose, we would also recommend using one or more of the fence line indicator lamps. These lamps should provide an additional deterrent as a fox will often stay away from lights.

We would recommend you use a mains powered energiser if at all possible: the HLC120 would be suitable. If mains in not an option, the recommended battery powered energiser for your stated requirement is the P500 Falcon. Please remember that a battery powered system is only as good as your batteries and ensure you have a good 12v/85-100 amp/hour "leisure" battery and possibly a spare, don't use a car battery – it won't last long enough.

Final Notes: As you are based around Guildford and probably in a chalky area it is likely that you will need to create an earth return system as described in our advice section Hotline Guide to Understanding Modern Electric Fencing. If you're not sure about this, start with at least one earth spike attached to your energiser and then test the system to make sure it's adequate.

Also, consider the placement of your pens – if they are to be right next to each other, you can connect them using the Galvanised Pegs in the "Netting Accessories" sub section.
If you want a strip of land between the pens – connect the pens using a length of underground cable as per the section on gates in the advice section - Hotline Guide to Understanding Modern Electric Fencing.

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