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The 10 Dos And Don'ts Of Electric Poultry Netting

10 Dos And Don’ts Of Electric Poultry Netting

Meriel Younger from www.electricfencing.co.uk has hens and has electric poultry netting to keep them safe.  It is hard to believe that Spring is on it’s way but before we know it the fox cubs will arrive and our most persistent predator will be back to terrorise our hens. These are the 10 dos and don’ts that Meriel has discovered when it comes to poultry netting.

The dos….

  1. Do: Buy electric netting with double pronged posts. Electric netting is often used as a moveable system and that is why we have it for our hens.  We move our hens once a month between two different areas.  This gives them fresh pasture and a clean run.  If you have an electric net with double pronged posts it is so easy to push the posts back into the ground.  After laying the netting out where it is to be installed, place the posts into the ground, getting tension in the netting by pushing the post with your foot and then push into the ground by treading on it.  Single pronged posts have very little purchase and are tricky to push in.
  2. Do: Buy netting at least 1.2m tall. Well I think this is an obvious do.  At 4ft these nets are a fairly safe bet.  Foxes can jump but at this height unless the fox has found a launch pad they will not jump over this netting barrier from standing.
  3. Do: Use the guy ropes provided. I always bang on about guy ropes but they are so important.  Just imagine how your tent would look with out guy ropes?  It’s the same for electric netting.  Our netting has been through many storms including the beast from the east.  It has withstood them all.  I put this down to the guy ropes maintaining tension in the fence.  If you haven’t got enough guy ropes with your netting just make some out of bailer twine.  (Hot Tip: tie the guy rope half way up the post – the posts bend too much if you put them at the top).
  4. Do: Get A Hot Gate System For Access. Ah the Hot Gate.  Now I have got one I wouldn’t be without it!  This system does make life a lot easier.  Accessing our netting enclosure is so simple now.  Unclip the gate handle, lift the post out of the foot plate on the ground and hey presto you are in.  No need to turn off the energiser as the handle is insulated… no marking or breaking up the ground as the moveable gate post has no spike on it.
  5. Do: Get a fence tester. The fence tester is the ‘must have’ of electric fencing.  With out one of these little beauties you are walking in the dark without a torch as it were!  Do you really want to touch your electric fence?  Uuuh mmm no thanks not me!  With a fence tester you can accurately test your electric fence.  You can then tell if there is a short, a problem with the energiser and if the battery is getting low.  And all without getting a zap!

The Don’ts

  1. Don’t: Let the weeds grow up through the netting. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it… keep the weeds and grass off the second horizontal line from the bottom.  If there is too much foliage on this line it will start to take power out of the system.  I spray the bottom section of my netting out regularly during summer months and I also have an energiser that can power 4 x 50m nets (I have on 25m net) to give me extra power so that if there is any shorting it can power through some of it.  Some people mow around the line where the netting sits, others spray, some use dpc under the net.  All will work – it just depends on your set up and ground.
  2. Don’t: Turn the power off to your netting for too long. Keep the netting electrified so that rabbits and rats don’t chew through it.  Repair kits do come with the netting but rabbits and rats can do a lot of damage to a net in a very short space of time.
  3. Don’t: Let the posts short the netting. Having put up a few electric nets in my time one of the most common problems is when the netting accidently gets caught around the metal feet of the posts.  This occurs most often with double pronged netting posts.  The second horizontal line is electrified so if it gets caught under the double pronged post it will short the whole net.  Sometimes it is difficult to see that this has happened but as soon as the problem is solved the power flows nicely back around the netting again.
  4. Don’t: Connect the nets together with the metal clips if the system is in a circuit. Our electric netting is in a circle around our hen house.  The girls have plenty of room and the can scratch about all around their house.  Our netting is clipped together (by little metal clips) to the hot gate and this transfers the zap down the line through the gate and net.  There is another clip on the other side of the hot gate but it is not necessary to connect this one up.  Electric fencing doesn’t need to create a circuit from a power point of view… it can run for 100s of miles in one direction.
  5. Don’t: Let the netting sag. If you find your netting is sagging even after moving the posts around and setting up the guy ropes there is one other little bit of kit you can try.  Netting clips.  Small clips that attach to the netting posts.  They hoist the netting up and attach it to the post preventing it from sagging and allowing more power to go through the net.

Ah… how do you become an expert in electric fencing – learn the basics and then work the rest out by trial and error?  Or you could ask an expert to help you trouble shoot electric fencing problems and/or get help with your first kit.  We would be happy to help.

www.electricfencing.co.uk

info@electricfencing.co.uk

01620 860058

Meriel Younger

About Meriel Younger

Farmers daughter (my mother was the farmer!) with many years experience of farming, equestrian and electric fencing. Living the 'good life' and forever trying to find the perfect work/life balance!

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