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Step By Step Guide To Buying Your Electric Poultry Netting Kit

An 8 step guide to buying your electric poultry netting kit

A fox attack can happen at any time.  We would all love our hens to free range but with Mr Fox and other predators on the prowl that is not always possible.

In the world of electric fencing the solution is a straightforward one – use an electric poultry netting kit!  But, what are the questions you need to ask to get the right kit for you and your hens?

 

Meriel Younger from www.electricfencing.co.uk has first-hand experience of setting up and using electric poultry netting for her hens.  Here is her 8 step guide along with some comments and experiences.

Meriel says - Being a spur of the moment kind of person planning doesn’t come naturally to me.  However, to ensure my hens were safe I was out with the measuring tape, pacing up and down to make sure I had planned their new pen to the nth degree!  So, what did I need to think about to get the perfect pen for my lovely feathered friends and to ensure their safety.  These are the steps that I went through:

1. What power was I going to use?

The power options are mains, battery or solar.  I knew I was going to use mains power as it was not far from the pen.  But when you plug your energiser into the mains you need to transfer the power then to the fence.  So how much lead out cable was I going to need?  I needed a short length of 25m and crocodile clips to connect to the netting.  Enough to get from the energiser to the start of the fence and from the energiser to the earth stake.

Comment: Lead out cable is not required with battery or solar energisers as they sit right next to the fence.  Some solar energisers have low outputs and netting requires a good strong energiser – so it may be worth getting a battery energiser and adding a solar panel instead of getting a solar energiser.

2. On/Off Switch?

I chose not to have an on/off switch for my system as the mains was quite close.  But this is an option if the mains energiser is housed a long way away (lead out cable comes in up to 100m lengths and can be joined – so the power can travel some distance from energiser to fence).  The switch enables you to be able to turn your fencing off at the fence.

Comment: only needed for mains systems as the energiser can be positioned a long way from the fencing.

3. How much netting did I need?

This is a tricky one … I had 6 hens… did I need a 50m net or a 25m net?  Pace pace pace… yep the 25m one was perfect as I knew I could move them backwards and forwards between two areas…keeping them with fresh grass and grit is all important.  Sometimes the amount of space available determines the size of the pen.

Comment: If larger pens are required nets can be easily clipped together.  The only requirement then would be to make sure the energiser can cope with the extra netting.

4. Which netting was I going to choose?

Knowing that foxes are opportunists I figured that I was going high with my netting – 1.2m (4ft) was my preferred option.    The netting needed to have close mesh at the bottom of the netting to keep the chooks in and to ensure protection.  I wanted it to be green with black posts, so it didn’t stand out in my garden too much.  The posts had to have double prongs so that it is easy as possible to install and move.

Comment: Always double check the bottom of the netting is not caught around the metal feet of the posts – if it is - it will short the netting.

5. Earth stake?

Every electric fencing system requires an earth.  So, I needed one of these – a 1m earth stake.

Comment: If your ground is very dry and stony it is a good idea to get a T design earth stake.  It has a larger surface area and helps to make the system work more efficiently.

6. Access to pen?

Electric poultry netting has developed quite a bit over the last few years.  Hotline Electric Fencing developed what they call the ‘hot gate’.  I knew I needed one of these handy gates as they meant I didn’t have to turn my energiser or fence off to access the pen.  My pen is in a loop, so it was easy to fit the gate.  It has an insulated handle and a foot plate (which stops the ground from getting broken up by moving the posts).

Comment: hot gates can be fitted at the end of a fence or as part of a loop.

7. Guy ropes and ground pegs

Most nets come with guy ropes and ground pegs.  But it is essential that you use them.  It is possible to use wooden posts at corners attached to the netting posts by cable ties to give the netting extra stability however I have found that using my guy ropes does the job.  My netting has withstood the ‘beast from the east’ with no extra support other than the guy ropes.  The ground pegs make the netting secure on the bottom line.

Comment: make sure the second line up on the netting is not touching the ground as this will short the system.  Netting clips are a great add on and help lift the netting or some chicken keepers spray along the netting or put dpc under the netting to prevent foliage growth and shorting.

8. Electrifying your netting

If you don’t electrify your netting you may find rats or rabbits nibble at the netting making holes at the bottom.  Getting the netting just right so that it doesn’t short takes a bit of work the first time.  It’s essential that use a fence tester to find any shorts – this little gadget saves so much time!

 

My Mains Electric Poultry Netting Kit

My kit consisted of:

  • mains energiser
  • earth stake
  • 25m lead out cable
  • crocodile clips
  • 25m 1.2m green electric poultry netting
  • hot gate
  • electric fencing tester

Having first-hand knowledge is essential when trying to guide others through their electric poultry netting experience.  Everyone needs something slightly different for their hens but, I hope, that this brief guide gives you a bit more of an idea of what you might need.

We do talk about electric fencing a lot and so if you need help with your set up old or new just get in touch.  Email or call us now....

info@electricfencing.co.uk or 01620 860058

 

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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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