Electric Fencing for Foxes
One thing to remember, however, is that an electric fence is not designed to keep birds in, rather to keep foxes out.
The easiest electric fencing option, especially for those with only a small number of birds, is poultry netting. In general, electric netting is ideal, due to its ease of use, movability and low visual impact. Electrified netting is usually available in green or orange and consists of a 1.1m high mesh of polyurethane twine, interwoven with metal filaments through the horizontal strands (all but the bottom line). The electric netting is usually supplied in rolls of 25 m or 50 m with integrated posts.
For larger electric fencing installations, netting can be a very expensive option for keeping foxes away and it may be more cost-effective to use an existing post and rail fence line. In this case, the most effective way set up an electric fence against foxes is to use galvanised wire. You should use 7 - 9 strands of galvanised wire, mounted at different heights, closer together at the bottom and further apart at the top.
Foxes have been known to jump onto a fence and climb over it, such is their tenacity. To prevent this, you should include two 'earth' lines into your electric fox fence (see the grey lines in the fence height diagram). Should a fox decide to climb over your electric fence, when they touch a live and an earth line simultaneously, they will receive a shock.
If you already have a mesh pen, you can also use electric fencing to reinforce the meshing, as well as introducing an electric shock into your fox defences. In this case, the wire mesh should be connected to the earth spike and two offset electrified wire lines fitted to the fence posts. The bottom line is designed to scare the fox away as it investigates the bottom of the fence and the top line is to scare away a climbing animal - in this instance, when the fox touches the electrified line and the wire mesh it will receive the shock.
Unfortunately, the increasing use of electric fences to deter foxes in domestic settings has highlighted possible dangers to some small animals. Hedgehogs and frogs have both been known to have dies from multiple shocks from electric fox fencing. Hedgehogs have a particular problem because they tend to roll into a ball when shocked, other than foxes and other animals, which tend to move away from fence line. To prevent this, you could consider putting a small physical barrier in front of your electric fence or, in extreme cases, disconnecting the bottom fence line.
Contact us at [email protected] if you need any help with electric fencing for foxes.