NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Newbie electric fence advice please.  (Read 627 times)


  • Joined Dec 2016
  • Brecknockshire
Newbie electric fence advice please.
« on: July 31, 2018, 09:12:23 am »

Recommendations please for a 12v electric fence kit for hens and possibly sheep and pigs.

Our flock of nine egg laying hens have started to abuse the trust afforded them and are increasing their range beyond the small paddock we have given them and it is only a matter of time before they find the veg patch.

The pen they have is very secure (3mm weldmesh) but a bit small and being used to ranging free they kick off if left in there for any length of time. Not a problem for us but we do have one neighbour who we need to keep on reasonable terms with.

So far we have not had a problem with foxes (they are around and neighbours have lost a few so I want to (a) contain them within the paddock and (b) beef up security and give them a bigger space for when we are not around.

I will be running wires on 4” eyelets along the top of the fence around their paddock to stop them using it in their escapes and may clip wings but I am not keen on this.

I have estimated the cost of building a 12’ x 8’ x 6’ weldmesh pen at around £300 which seems to be roughly what I could get a 50 metre 12v electric fence set up like this with battery (I have a solar panel I could use).

Has anyone got any experience of this type of fence - would it provide the same level of security as a weldmesh cage and is a 1.2 joule unit suitable for use with our small flock of sheep and pigs which we may keep in the future? I may end up building a secure pen for them anyway when funds permit and would like to be able to use the fence kit for other animals.

All a long and rambling way of saying is there a 12v electric fence setup that would work with poultry, sheep and pigs and how much would I have to pay?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Newbie electric fence advice please.
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2018, 10:13:04 am »
OH is the hen lady... ours roam free daytime and cover most of the 3 acre curtilage but despite open gates rarely go into the fields or out of the driveway (70m long). Paradoxically about the only place they don't go is the veggie patch.. that gets destroyed by pheasants, mice, rats and hares and some years by stray sheep. The hens mostly hang around the kitchen door with forays as described into barns, woodsheds, along the ditch while they hunt or wait for treats but they do go as far as 100m radius on some of their wider forays.For your veggie patch you might be better surrounding that with fencing to keep not just the hens out.


  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Newbie electric fence advice please.
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2018, 10:45:12 am »
I have two Hotline Gemini 80's that I've used for chickens and sheep and pigs.  They are dual input too, so if you ever need to use them on the mains you can.  I can recommend the Hotline products, very reliable and you can send them back for repair if you ever need to get them fixed in future years.

Their website has a product selector - your choice of energiser will depend on the length of electric wire you need to energise and they types of animal you need to keep in/out.

We keep our chickens in a closed weldmesh pen (arc shaped), and let them out to roam when we are in, or the dog is about.  I've used chicken electric netting before - but if you value your spare time then don't bother with this, its just a pain to maintain (cutting vegetation around it) and takes ages to move.  A fixed high sided pen is good, with a line of electric around the top to stop foxes climbing over, or angle the top foot of the fence outwards at 45 degrees.  Don't forget to add a no-dig skirt around the perimeter.  And make sure you can net over the top if needed (re: recent bird flu restrictions etc)  Not having to rely on electric to know your hens are safe will allow you to sleep easier!


  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: Newbie electric fence advice please.
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2018, 11:07:23 am »
We bought our whole EF set up (3 line polyrope with a Hotline Gemini 120) for £225 including everything you need to start from scratch for our pig enclosure - excluding the battery as we run ours off the mains.  We fixed our wires to the existing fence posts using isolaters, but we did also need a few stamp-in posts to secure objects in the pen as well.  I Have loads of stuff left over too, for when the fence moves elsewhere. 

The nice thing about the Gemini, is it can run off both mains and 12v, so you have both bases covered. 

I found UK Countrystore to be the most competitive and they were very helpful on the phone. 


  • Joined Dec 2016
  • Brecknockshire
Re: Newbie electric fence advice please.
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 05:42:33 pm »
Thanks for the replies and guidance folks, much appreciated.

I love watching our girls strutting their stuff and scratching around the yard but neighbours a couple of miles away have had theirs taken by foxes in broad daylight so although we have not had a problem in the 18 months we have had our hens, I’m keen to;

(a) restrict their range while we are around (our veg patch is reasonably well fenced but the field they are in borders the garden of the one neighbour we have who will not be amused if they get in) and

(b) make sure they are safe if we go out for the day or (heaven forbid) overnight!

I’m hoping that wires running wire on top of the top rail of the existing fence will discourage them from getting onto it and may deal with (a). If not then replacing the fence (it is on its last legs anyway) with a taller netting and wire fence might do the trick but I was thinking of the electric fence as an idea for dealing with both problems.

I’ll look at the Gemini recommendations but am coming round to the idea that a weldmesh cage may be the safer option and then buy an EF when we need to restrict the sheeps’ grazing or when we get pigs.

Once again, many thanks.



  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Montgomeryshire
    • Gribin Isaf
Re: Newbie electric fence advice please.
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2018, 10:10:39 pm »
We have some electrifield poultry netting from Electric Fencing Direct :

We use it with a solar panel, a 12v battery and a controller.

All seems to work well.


  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: Newbie electric fence advice please.
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2018, 09:31:11 am »
Weldmesh (or similar) will keep the chickens in and electric wire (eg 3 strand) will help to keep the foxes out, but electrified mesh as Gribinslaf's link will do both jobs in one. 


  • Joined Sep 2009
Re: Newbie electric fence advice please.
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 11:46:37 am »
Electric Netting is very effective. This is a trial which will give you an idea


Electric fence advice needed

Started by HappyHippy

Replies: 6
Views: 3131
Last post August 21, 2010, 06:47:43 pm
by humphreymctush
electric fence troubleshooting

Started by ladyK

Replies: 23
Views: 6099
Last post June 11, 2014, 11:24:45 pm
by shotblastuk
Electric fence energiser?

Started by Penninehillbilly

Replies: 4
Views: 1418
Last post May 01, 2016, 01:35:18 am
by Penninehillbilly
Electric fence - transformer

Started by Penninehillbilly

Replies: 7
Views: 1304
Last post August 12, 2017, 11:54:33 pm
by Penninehillbilly
Solar electric fence units?

Started by Baois Glas

Replies: 11
Views: 4041
Last post July 18, 2014, 08:45:13 pm
by midtown

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS