Why do customers purchase Electric Poultry Netting?
Just about everybody I have met who lives on a piece of land would have chickens if it was easy to do, and did not take up too much time. Nobody wants to spend all weekend cleaning and fixing unless they are truly dedicated poultry fanciers. When I am at a Farmers Show discussing backyard poultry keeping with a prospective customer, there are usually two objections.
1. I have a wonderful garden and I don’t want the chickens destroying my vegetable patch, and besides chickens poop everywhere and I don’t want to clean up after them, or
2. We have foxes in the area and my neighbour lost some of her chickens / we have dogs in the backyard / I am at work all day so I would not be able to look after them.
These two objections basically boil down to one sentence – I would have chickens if I can contain their movements and keep them safe from harm. It is for this very reason that electric poultry netting is available.
Initial Concerns about Electric Poultry Netting
Electric Poultry Netting is neither cruel nor dangerous as it provides a short, sharp, harmless shock to the inquisitive nose of the intruder which will both deter predators and keep your chickens where you want them. Normally chickens are smart enough to only touch it once and then keep their distance from the fence. Do not be concerned that children, cats and other household pets will be harmed, as like the fox they get a shock which keeps them away, otherwise there is no injury.
What exactly is Electric Poultry Netting?
The actual netting is made from nylon rope, and strands of metal are woven into the rope during manufacturing. The electric current travels through these metal strands and if an animal gets to close then a small spark will jump from the wire and cause a muscle contraction. It is this contraction that is the shock and advises the animal to stay clear. The bottom strand of the net does not contain any wire as this would cause a short circuit and the net would cease to be effective.
In a similar way, long grass will also cause the netting to short circuit. For this reason electric poultry netting will not be effective if installed where the grass is more than 5cm tall – either mow first or find another spot.
How to use Electric Poultry Netting
Electric Poultry Netting is a really simple solution if you have a large lawn or paddock. It is the preferred method of containing chickens amongst free-range egg producers at the family farm level. As Electric poultry netting is good for temporary fencing you can move your hens around onto fresh pasture from time to time. This has the added advantage that you are spreading the manure load evenly over your property and allowing the grass time to regrow between visits from your flock.
Poultry netting can be expensive however you won’t need insulators or any other type of fence. Out of the box, you can fence an area, add an energiser and away you go.
Which Energiser do I need for Electric Poultry Netting
We have made the decision to only stock Solar powered energisers. The reason for this is not because of environmental concern (although it is a nice bonus).
The cheapest energisers are powered from the mains electricity supply and therefore they need to be wired into your electricity supply which basically means that once installed the whole system stops being mobile – in other words it defeats the purpose of electric mesh in the first place. Added to this is that in most cases you will need an electrician to wire them in.
Battery powered systems are also available, but the problem is that you need to recharge the battery manually every few weeks. Needless to say this becomes a chore that someone will not want to do eventually – especially when the weather makes going outside unpleasant.
The final and best option therefore is to use a Solar powered energiser. This is because set up simply involves taking it from the box and attaching it to the fence. It is a complete plug and play system – the only thing you need to provide is a star picket post (or any old post for that matter) for the energiser to sit on.
When choosing an energiser, remember our electric poultry netting has 11 strands of electrified wire, so a 50m fence contains 550m of wire. Therefore if you are looking to purchase up to 100m of electric poultry netting then the Thunderbird S16B will do the job quite nicely. The Thunderbird S26B will energise up to 200m of electric poultry mesh. If you want to run more than 200m of mesh, it will be best to call us first as we can work out what would be the best option for you.
And if you are curious, a blade of grass held between the thumb and forefinger and touched against the net will give you a (gentle) indication that the fence is working.
Electric Poultry Netting in Kit Form
We are a reseller of Hotline Electric Fencing which we import from England. When you purchase a roll of mesh it comes with everything you need (except the energiser). Hotline has supplied the earth stake, integrated posts, a repair kit, warning signs and and provides other bits and bobs such as insulated high voltage cable that carries the energy from the energiser to the fence.
I’m not sure if there is a requirement under Australian Standards to display a warning sign on your electric poultry netting. I’m always a bit suspicious about the effect of warning signs anyway because whenever I tell someone not to touch something because it is wet, they inevitably end up touching it just to see if I am correct.
Nevertheless, it is a requirement under European Standards to have a warning sign and since our products are made in Europe, your poultry netting will come with a warning sign. If the fence is to be used in an area where people wander past make sure that you place the warning sign in a place where they will see it. If you are powering your poultry netting with one of our solar energisers , the shock that the person will receive is in no way dangerous, but an unexpected shock can cause some people – especially city folk or young children – to get quite upset.
A couple of final points
Electric poultry netting is a very simple way to keep chickens in a given space and protect them from predators. It is a very easy way to maintain free ranging chickens if you are the kind of person who works off the property during the day and you don’t want to lock up your chickens all week.
Consider using electric fencing in combination with a mobile chicken coop. In this way your chickens will be given all the benefits of free ranging, and by moving your chicken coop and electric fencing from time to time, your pastures will be given time to regenerate and any mess will be kept to a minimum.