We are frequently called upon to answer specific questions from our customers related to specific issues they are facing.
In this new section of our website we will list some of those questions and answers in the hope that you may find these pages a useful source of information. Should you have questions related to our product range, specific fencing applications or other related topics - and have been unable to find answers elsewhere in our web-site, please mail your question to us and we will post the answer on this page ASAP.
- 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 the area.
- What is the breaking strain of your electrified rope and tape?
- How can I check if my electric fence is working properly?
- 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?
- 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/tape on the uprights of my post and rail rather than have an additional fence on the inside, is this possible?
- 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 the electric fence and the horses would be in the back part of the field and therefore would require a way through the electric fence (preferably in from the fence which is very muddy at the edge). Are fitting instructions included? They would be much appreciated. And would this starter kit be the right choice for me?
- 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 over, but does it generally keep the fox away from the birds? Are there any alternative we are over looking? We are looking to have two pens 0f 25m x 25m and one small pen for our breeding flock.
- I found a hedgehog dead at the base of my electric poultry netting fence this morning! Is it common for this to happen and can I make sure it doesn't happen again? I don't want to be killing wildlife in my garden, or anywhere else for that matter!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Unfortunately this does sometimes happen and it's because of the hedgehogs natural behaviour patterns. Most animals when shocked will run away, but hedgehogs of course will roll into a ball to protect themselves. If they happen to be leaning against the netting while doing so, the repeated electric shocks can kill them.
Luckily, this doesn't seem to be a particularly common occurrence, but keeping this behaviour in mind, we would recommend that any customers using netting check the base of their net around its perimeter whenever they're near the fence and gently roll any hedgehogs they find, away from the net. Incidentally, another animal that doesn't naturally run away is the frog, which feigns death and once again, if doing so while it rests against the fence…
With regard to finding a solution; so long as the netting is being used to guard your hens from the fox rather than smaller predators such as stoats or weasels, it is possible to cut the second horizontal strand of netting at the first and last post as per the diagram below. This will make the lowest electrified strand taller than the average hedgehog and won't effect the nets effectiveness against foxes.