Here’s how you can deal with Chicken Control and keep predators at bay effectively!
In recent times the usage of electric poultry netting for chicken control has emerged as a popular means of not only containing your chickens, but also using it for their protection from predators. Since it is widely available these days, it has literally transformed the way many owners now rear poultry. You would be surprised to know that electric poultry netting which is widely used by owners is not so much to contain their chickens (since mostly they leave them to roam around at will), but it is used mainly to refrain predators from attacking them.
One of the biggest reasons for using electric poultry netting is its portability. It allows you to have complete control over the movement of your chickens and you can also decide how long you wish to keep them contained in one area. For instance, you can take a call whether you wish them to remain under your apple tree and eat the fruits that fall down from the tree, or you wish them to be on the lawn and clear up a patch of clover. You can achieve both of these goals of yours using poultry netting. One of my favorite tools for containing chickens is chicken wire or poultry netting. This type of netting is also known as electric mesh netting or electroplastic netting.
Why Electric Poultry Netting?
One of the reasons why I like electric poultry netting is because it is incredibly easy to move. You can easily move it around with just one or two people. In just about 30 – 45 mins flat, you can easily move a section of your poultry netting to a new location and carry out chicken control effectively. Since it does not take much time to move around, you have the advantage of moving it to a new area when you feel your poultry needs fresh forage.
A single poultry netting is around 160 inches long and it can enclose around 1600 square feet if you form it into a square. These nets are quite easy to connect and if you use two nets together you can enclose double the area. If you lay out in a rectangular pattern, it will enclose around 5500 square feet. In my case, I have presently kept around 20 chickens and 20 ducks in the pen, while there is still room for plenty more.
The netting has polywires which are made out of a thin rope with interwoven copper wires. These copper wires run in a horizontal manner and are spaced several inches apart. These copper wires carry the electric charge. Chicken control is much easier using this netting, as you can allow your chickens to gain temporary access to your garden or any other area. You can use this netting to allow the chickens to forage in and feast on the cover crops such as oats, wheat, or alfalfa. This gives you dual benefit. While the chickens get to eat, your garden benefits from their manure.
You can also use the electric poultry netting in your fruit orchard if you have one. The chickens can feast on the caterpillars, which otherwise harms the trees and the fruits and remain in the shade of the tree. If you use a good quality fence charger, the electric poultry netting can effectively help in chicken control.
Electric poultry netting is also quite effective in protecting your chickens from predators. You can also use a solar charger which is compatible with electric netting and can support up to three sections of netting of 160’.
A few disadvantages that you need to be aware of
- Your poultry can fly over it and get hurt or killed. However, if you clip their feathers properly this problem can be solved.
- Secondly, the electric poultry netting cannot contain baby chicks or ducks. They easily squeeze through the openings on the net. However, if you keep them contained in chicken tractors till they are big, it will solve your problem.
- Thirdly, this netting is unable to offer protection from airborne predators such as hawks. You can keep ducks along with your chickens to ward off the hawks. It is also a good idea to pen up your poultry after it gets dark, so that they are protected from owls.
Electric poultry netting is made out of robust materials which are able to withstand the wear and tear caused by predators and other animals. That is why electric poultry netting is especially good for keeping chickens as they need less repairing and also predators are unlikely to force gaps in your fence since they will get a shock.
Types of Electric Poultry Netting.
There are various types of electric poultry netting that you can use for chicken control.
- Electrified mesh netting – You can use this type of electric poultry netting as an effective means to keep away predators and keep your chickens safely inside. However, one drawback of this type of netting is that it is more expensive and the grass needs regular trimming along the fence line to prevent the current getting shorting out.
- Two-wire system – This wire system uses a single wire of around 4-6 inches off the ground and another wire of around 10 inches off the ground. This type of wire system is apt for chickens that are usually kept in large areas.
- Combination – Using a combination, you can add electric wire to your existing fences. In that case, the most significant wire will be the ground wire which is placed around 4-6 inches off the ground with single-strand fences. You can add another wire on the top of the fence to keep away climbing predators. Usually a galvanized steel wire is recommended, especially for the bottom wire.