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Author Topic: Electric Fencing  (Read 2290 times)


  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Oxfordshire
    • Millwood Market Gardens
Electric Fencing
« on: March 24, 2015, 01:47:53 pm »
Simply put, what have you found most effective to keep out Mr Fox?
We had 12 chooks killed on Saturday so we need to take more protective measures before we restock again. The 3 surviving hens and 5 ducks we've currently got in some hastily acquired electric netting.

The trouble we have (and the chooks can't be moved elsewhere) is that they they are in our orchard in the bottom area of our field, which has a treelined boundary. We recently fenced all this in, sometimes using the trees as posts, with chickenwire along the bottom and stock fencing along the top which is about 1.8m tall. The bloody fox chewed a hole through the chickenwire and got in that way.

We're kicking ourselves we didn't sort out the electric fencing side of things sooner, but we've had no trouble at all till now. We did have pigs nearby the chickens but they were moved about 3 weeks ago, would these have put the fox off previously?
Any advice appreciated!
Chooks, ducks, pigs, Bertie the tractor & loadsa veg!
Twitter: @marketgardeneyn
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Electric Fencing
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2015, 02:12:51 pm »
I used to think that pigs would deter a fox but I know that not to be the case now.


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Electric Fencing
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2015, 02:40:58 pm »
Electric fencing or netting seems to do a good job, if you can support it well enough to maintain a circuit and it isn't shorting out. Problem arises when the power cuts for some reason- they can sense that and will be straight in. Better solution is high chicken wire fencing protected outside and at the top with electric lines to prevent climbing over or digging under. The fencing makes for a good ground circuit and perhaps in your case the bottom chicken wire needs to be more substantial. That's the option we are taking eventually, when we find a property here worth buying. At the moment we have poultry netting outside the enclosure which isn't energised and we are therefore taking a risk.

We had sheep with the chickens in the UK. Our first fox attacks came shortly after rehoming them.


  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Electric Fencing
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2015, 03:37:00 pm »
The fox comes right near our pigs, at one point leaving dung closer and closer to them as if to challenge them, so I agree with pigs not being a sufficient deterrent, and foxes are so well known to chew through chicken wire that we never even risked it. It's heaving with foxes here: we recorded footage of them on 7 different occasions during just 1 night, of 3 different foxes. Plus we're in the greenbelt so no solid buildings or concrete floors allowed, the ground is uneven, and we had problems with the electric fencing used for the pigs before we started keeping chickens (both people and weather problems). And like Chris says, the electrics only need to be off once and you've had it. Just one person not hooking it up, a load of snow or a branch on the wire and it's no good anymore.

So for the chickens we used heras panels from the start and never had a problem, despite some of our neighbours losing many birds even in broad daylight. I strongly recommend using those panels. We didn't dig them in, we just put a very strong mesh skirt around it of about 50cm and tied it into the panels. We made a door in the mesh of one panel and this door has 2 bolts and a padlock (foxes can work latches). It was so easy and quick to set up and doesn't rot. Painted green it blends in beautifully. The biggest run is about 50m2, and it's a great plus that the run is high enough for us to walk around it - we're both 6ft2!


  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Wye Valley
Re: Electric Fencing
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2015, 05:23:42 pm »
I'm having the same issues, and my current plan is to put in a thick weldmesh type wire fence with a single strand of electric wire on top. I have heard electric netting isn't ideal for ducks as they can get caught in it.


  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Electric Fencing
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2015, 10:09:28 pm »
We have used nets with good success although did have an attack last year which I think may have been down to a low battery so my fault. What I do now is have all my nets together and then put some plastic posts around it all with several strands of polywire about a foot out from the netting and different energiser. This means he has to get through both and they are both probably sparking at different times. Haven't had an issue since. But I am looking at more permanent solutions as nets are a pain with grass growth etc. Looked at Heras panels but didn't consider painting them. Good idea.


  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Oxfordshire
    • Millwood Market Gardens
Re: Electric Fencing
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2015, 08:46:35 am »
Thanks for the ideas guys, think we'll be going for top and bottom electric wires around the perimeter, love the heras panel idea too but we'd need loads of them and want to use existing fencing.

Fortunately its only been our second fox attack in 7 years of doing this, so  :fc: it remains a rarity, especially when we buy more birds in, think we may restock with mostly ducks as local eggs around here seem to be scarce!
Chooks, ducks, pigs, Bertie the tractor & loadsa veg!
Twitter: @marketgardeneyn


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