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How To Protect An Existing Poultry Pen From Mr Fox

How To Protect An Existing Poultry Pen From Mr Fox

You have your space set aside for your hens.  They have a lovely run and hen house.  It is all fixed in place but you want to be sure that a fox or predator cannot get in.  It is possible to run a few lines of electric fencing around your existing pen so you can maximise your defences and there will be no way for Mr Fox to get near enough to dig under or scrabble over without feeling the wrath of your fence!

Here are a few things to consider:

Energiser and earth stake:

In general, existing poultry pens are not huge and even if you are running two or three lines around the pen the total distance of your fence will not be that extensive.  Therefore, it is not necessary to purchase an energiser with a large output.  One of the smaller energisers would easily do the job.  Mains is always easiest as it is always on or can be put on a timer.  However, solar energisers are very efficient these days and it maybe worth checking out your options there.  The last option is a battery operated system – it is just as effective as the other two options but means more work as you have to charge the batteries regularly.  Every electric fencing system needs an earth stake and the earth stake should be pushed as far as you can get it into the ground.

Line system:

A quick and easy way to add extra protection to an existing fence.

  1. If you have stock fencing surrounding your hens allowing them to free range you may want to consider a set up as in the picture below. On the lower sections of the stock fence it is a good idea to use insulators that stand away from the fence (stand off or off set insulators) as they tend to keep predators at a distance from the enclosure.   The insulators that are lower down need to be checked regularly to make sure they are not touching any foliage (too much foliage on an electric fence will short it).  The higher lines are used to zap the fox as he scrambles up the fencing.
  2. If you have an existing mesh fence pen surrounding your hens and the hens are not allowed to free range here are a few things I would think about to give them the ultimate protection… Is the pen covered either with mesh or a roof over the top (ie totally enclosed)? Are there any launch pads for the fox to jump onto and then jump into the pen? Is the mesh dug into the ground?  It is simple enough to run a few wires around the pen:  screw insulators (both stand off insulators and ordinary length insulators) into the wooden upright posts, run 2 – 4 lines at varying heights around the pen, set up an electric fence gateway over the existing gate way, connect the individual lines with line to line connectors, tension, connect to the energiser and then test to see how much power is running through it.  Your hens are now protected by Fort Knox!


If Mr Fox is climbing the fence and he is not touching the ground he will not get a shock unless your mesh is dug into the ground - so 2 further  lines maybe required: 1 earth and 1 live on the top of the fence will make sure he gets a zap. The earth wire is simply a length of wire – run it along the top of your fence, parallel and close to the live line (just 1 or 2 inches away not touching).  Run the earth line along the fence and then push it down into the ground at one end of the fence and then bury it into the soil (or if convenient connect back to the earth stake).  Or alternatively, make sure the mesh of the fence is buried into the ground and this will act as an earth and you will not need an earth line.

Installing a few extra lines of electric fencing to protect your hens is quick, effective and inexpensive.  It gives you double protection and peace of mind.  But always remember to check your electric fencing regularly – a fence with no zap is no protection!

Check out our ready made poultry enclosure protection kits - Click: Shop Now

If you need to reinforce your poultry’s protective fencing and need some help why not get in touch - we are always happy to help and discuss your needs: or 01620 860058

Electric fence around a existing poultry pen Electric fence around a existing poultry pen

Electric fence around a existing poultry pen

electric fence protection for hens

Electric fence around a existing poultry pen

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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