Electric Fences for Keeping Free-range Chickens and Pastured Poultry

| 9/15/2009 10:45:18 AM

Tags: chickens, poultry, fencing,

An experienced pasture-raised poultry expert, Robert Plamondon, shares his thoughts on the best methods of keeping free-range chickens.

I have found that the best way of containing free-range chickens and pastured broilers is with electric fences. Electric fencing keeps the chickens in and the predators out.

Predator control is especially important to me, because I have been almost put out of business by predation several times. If it weren't for the techniques described here, I wouldn't have any chickens today.

Electric fences are also much less expensive and easier to set up than alternative methods of confining them.

Here is an introduction to the topic.

  1. Simple one-wire and two-wire electric fences.

  2. Electric Poultry Netting.

  3. Adding hot wires to your existing fences.

  4. Choosing an electric fence energizer.

5/25/2014 5:01:47 PM

How that chicken would stay inside the electric fence? They could fly out. Would they be electriculate if they touch the net? I do not want to invent over $1000 in electric fencing to find out that I need to chase the chickens all day all because they decide to fly out of the electric fence perimeter. Comments please?

11/4/2013 6:50:12 PM

We tried the two wire electric fence for our chickens. It did not work at all and was very traumatic for the chickens and us. 6 of our 8 hens became entangled in the electric wires the first time we used it. Thankfully I was able to turn the power off quickly, but the chickens were very distressed and I was in tears. Think long and hard before using this method with a small flock.

9/30/2009 2:52:53 PM

On our first try with chickens we did a 6 strand electric fence (probably overkill). Part of it ran parallel to a hog wire fence and part was electric fence only. Our "test chicken" (before we let them all out) walked right through the electric only portion twice. We put deer netting inside the electric fence to prevent this. An added benefit is that the snakes that come to see the chickens get caught up in the deer netting and kill themselves. In the last 3 months we've caught 5.

lee johnson_3
9/30/2009 10:28:27 AM

I had the same problem with coyotes, but I got a second dog and now the coyotes don't bother coming into the yard. The dogs are full grown and no coyote is a match or even a pack is a match for two Great Danes.

gary reysa
9/30/2009 8:54:53 AM

Hi, Thanks for the article on electric fences. We don't have chickens, but we do have a dog, and lately we have a pack of coyotes roaming around at night. We are concerned that if we let the dog out at night, that the coyotes will get her. So, after reading your article, I'm wondering if an electric fence would keep coyotes out? We currently have an about 3.5 ft high fence made from the heavy wire (the square pattern stuff). This fence extends right down to the ground, so I don't think that anything large could get under it -- its also well supported by horizontal wood rails top and bottom. I am wondering if stringing a single electric wire a couple inches above the top rail would work to keep the coyotes out? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Gary

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