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Electric Fencing - The Basics ... Electric Netting - Tips, Advice & Problem Solving

The Basics - Electric Netting - Tips, Advice & Problem Solving

Problems with your poultry netting?  Is the netting sagging and shorting?  Cannot get enough power through it...? How do I integrate a ‘hotgate’?

We hope these snippets of information in our blog Electric Netting - Tips, Advice and Problem Solving below will help answer these questions above and help you put up your electric netting in record time and also give some tips for trouble shooting too…

No pulse?

One of the most frequently asked questions is… “I’ve put my netting up and I’ve checked it again and again and I cannot find out why there is no power going around my netting.  My energiser is working fine but I’ve tested my fence… no pulse.  What do I do next?”  If the energiser is working ok and there is no power in the netting there is a short somewhere which is draining the power out of the netting or the fence is not earthed properly.  Some things to check on and around your fence:

  1. Sagging – the netting is sagging perhaps due to undulating ground or the netting has not been tensioned properly.
  2. The bottom horizontal line is not electrified but the next line up is – is this electrified line touching the ground, foliage, grass or perhaps it has got caught under the metal prong of a post?
  3. Sometimes the 2nd horizontal line of the netting (which is live) gets caught against/under the metal foot (prongs) of a post. This happens much more regularly that you might think and can be rather difficult to see -  use a torch to check for it - especially in these dark wintry days! The 2 pictures below hopefully make it clearer what you're looking to avoid. This contact of the netting wire against metal prong is all it takes to short out the fence and allow power to drain into the ground making it ineffective /less effective in the battle against predators.

    Green poultry netting shorting on metal prong of post green poultry netting shorting at bottom of plastic post.

    caught at the bottom of the plastic post, the horizontal netting wire has wrapped around the metal prong shorting fence out


  4. Earthing as you probably already know is an essential part of an electric fence.  Please make sure your earth stake is pushed as far as you can get it into the earth. If you have a 1m earth stake please ensure at least 3/4 of it is in the earth. The earth stake needs to be away from foundations and tree routes.  The earth stake – particularly with mains systems – doesn’t need to be right next to your fence.  When the ground is very dry in the summer time water around the earth stake ... your fence will work more effecently.  If there has been snow – please clear this from around your net.  If Mr Fox is standing on a few inches of snow he is not earthed and therefore will not get a shock from the net.
  5. There are metal clips at each end of the netting - these are at the end of the tail.  This metal clip is the optimum place for power to be connected as all the live lines are connected to it via the tail.  However if it is not possible to connect at this point you can connect at any point on the netting and the power will spread throughout the net. The metal clips are also a good way to transfer power from one net to another or from a net to a hot gate.
  6. Energiser – very occasionally you will find you have a fault with your energiser.  It may be that the green light is stuck on or the light stops pulsing.  If this is the case please get in touch.

Tips to help prevent shorting:

  • If you are moving your poultry net on a regular basis please check it as meticulously as you did the first time you put it up … check for shorts and for any of the snags mentioned above.
  • If the ground is undulating or the area you are setting your fence up in is particularly exposed then it is advisable to use extra posts – either more of the posts that are already contained within the netting or the extra strong corner posts.  The heavier duty corner posts are excellent for this - they are slightly taller and a lot stronger than the other posts in the netting.  These corner posts... as in their name .. are great to be used in the corners along with guy ropes.  Posts can be added in at any point in your netting – just weave through the netting, secure with the b-clip at the bottom and tension over the top cap.
  • Get good tension into your net by using guy ropes that are supplied with your kit

    Guy rope creates better tension Good tension created with guy rope

    (white rope in the repair kit)  These can be cut in half and tied half way down the post and secured the other end by the yellow plastic peg.  You can get really good tension into your fence if these ropes are used correctly… don’t put them at the top of the post as the post would then bend too much.

  • When you are putting up your netting initially lay it out first in the rough shape you want to create then go around the net putting the posts in as you go.  Use your foot to guide the posts into the ground – pull the netting as taught as you can and push the post into the ground.  Then onto the next post etc.
  • If you still cannot get the sagging  out of the netting there is an option to cut the first live horizontal line at both ends of the net – this stops the power going through that line.  Or you could put dpc plastic under the fencing  - see photo.

DPC preventing shorting DPC preventing shorting









Why use a hot gate?

The hot gate has been a very popular add on to the poultry nets.  The gate lets you access the enclosure without having to turn the power off.  In the past when you opened the enclosure it was necessary to lift a post out of the ground each time – in winter time this made the ground muddy… the hot gate has a foot plate so that every time you open and close the gate the post cleverly sits back into the foot plate and therefore doesn’t mark and damage the ground.

Installing the hot gate:

The hot gate is really easy to install - the instructions are very clear.  However some of the hot gates are going out with instructions that miss the fact that the handle is not connected to the post in some of the kits.  You need to remove the top cap on the post - this can be really stiff - and then screw in the handle.  In the future we are hoping that the hotgate will come fully assembled and with the correct instructions!!

You will also notice when installing your hot gate that there are two metal pegs to hold down the foot plate.  Please make sure these pegs are pushed into the ground as far as you can get them.  If the netting touches these pegs it will short the fence.

If you do have any questions when putting up your hot gate please let us know.


Lastly... do you have a fence you actually know how much power is going

KV10 fence tester to check power in fence Use a tester to check the power in the fence

through your net?  ...If the answer is no - you may want to invest in a fence tester.  A tester can help you find shorts on a fence and also can help you to determine if your battery needs recharging.  It is a really useful piece of kit.

If this is the first time using electric fencing, you are just not sure what you need or this blog post doesn't answer your questions... please contact us – we would be happy to talk you through what you need.  We love talking electric fencing!!



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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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