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Leckie Layers - Free Range Hens at Old Leckie

Have you ever been to Stirlingshire?  It is a beautiful part of Scotland - the 'Gate Way to The North'.  If you haven't been there - you should visit.  And guess what... I know a great farm stay which is beautifully done up and right in the middle of the farm so you can get involved if you want to.

Old Leckie

I was lucky enough to be brought up at Old Leckie. The farm is now run by my brother, Fergus, and his wife Alison Younger (with their three girls).

Fergus and Alison have made a few changes over the last few years since taking over Old Leckie and the farm.  One of the most recent changes has been the introduction of 300 hens!!  Yes 300!  These lovely ladies are called the Leckie Layers - their free range eggs will be sold in the Gargunnock Village Store and also at the farm shop at Blairdrummond (when it opens).

So there are guidelines to be met if you are calling your hens free range... namely the amount of space they have access to outside and various other specifictions - click here to find out more.

So clearly having a sister who runs an electric fencing business has some advantages if you want to install a new electric fencing system to keep all these lovely ladies safe and sound and with in their specified boundary as free range chooks!  Apparently some hens will be adventurous and some will not but they must have access to this space whether they use it or not.

Fergus asked me to come and help (well advise from the sidelines really) on how to put up his netting.  My brother is determined and has his on opinions on the set up but we came to a mutual understanding and below is video evidence of the fence being put up.  There are a couple of things I should mention:

  1. If you are using wooden posts as supports in the corners of your poultry netting you MUST ensure that none of the netting is touching the wooden post - if it does it will short and then the fencing will not be effective.
  2. The second point is that if you roll your netting up at one end because it is too long... you MUST put some plastic under it to ensure grass and foliage doesn't grow up through it as again this will short the fence.

[embed]https://youtu.be/UcUFNPmhFbM[/embed]

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So what did the kit consist of...

  • 1 x mains energiser - Hotline Eagle
  • 1 x earth stake
  • 1 x 25m lead out cable
  • 1 x 4 pack croc clips
  • 4 x 50m premium 50m 1.2m poultry nets
  • 10 x extra strong corner posts
  • 1 x KV10 tester

You can find all of the equipment in our online shop.

What were the key points of putting this kit up...

  • mow the grass where the netting is to sit
  • lay netting out where it is to be put up so you can get an idea of shape and size of area
  • use your feet to guide the double pronged posts so that the netting is taught along the bottom
  • use guy ropes were possible
  • make sure you connect your nets so power transfers by using metal clips at end of tails
  • if you are using wooden corner posts as supports please ensure they are insulated and the netting is not touching the wood
  • if you have a short go around the netting with your KV10 tester and you should be able to find where the power drops off.  With netting this is normally due to a live wire touching the metal foot of the post or touching the ground/foliage
  • make sure your energiser has enough out put to power electric netting - it requires a lot more zap than one line of tape, rope or polywire.

 

Check out the Leckie Layers before they got out into their lovely green space and see the flier also for details of where you can get these lovely eggs:

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leckie layers 1Leckie Layers Prices

Happy hens in their new electric netting enclosure:

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If you are not sure what you need… we would be very happy to help… please just get in touch:

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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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