We recently brought an electric poultry fence in order to be able to move the hens and keep them safe as their run needs some seasonal work and the ground needs resting for a few weeks.
Never having seen electric fencing for poultry let alone source or use one, we had yet another learning curve to climb. Mark and I researched as much as we could and asked friends who have hens and our wonderful friends on our Facebook page for any advice they could give. So suitably educated (or so we thought) I was set the task of buying one.
Not being terribly good at measurements I guesstimated (first mistake!) the size of the bit of garden the hens would be going to and ordered a 50 metre electric poultry fence kit. The kit being the important part otherwise you have to buy all the bits separately.
Very impressively the fence was delivered within 48 hours of ordering. So the next weekend mark and I set off excitedly down the garden to set it up. Saturday was spent clearing the worst of the weeds and grass that would ”trip” the fence. apparently long grass weeds etc cannot be touching the fence or it doesn’t work properly (shorts the circuit).
Sunday, with everything ready we began to undo it from its box and set it up. Mark read the instructions (yes he is the exception to the rule where men are generally concerned!) and we set about putting it up. Well I say we, actually it was me as Mark was too busy filming me for this site and laughing. You see due to my inability with weights and measures as I mentioned earlier I had ordered a 50 metre fence where a 15 metre one would have sufficed!
It was folded very thoughtfully into it’s 6 foot panels. Now this is very practical and stops the fence becoming one giant cats cradle as you try to put it up. The not inconsiderable down side for me was being 5’2 tall and not built like Pluto off Popeye, I struggled a bit laying it out.
However I managed it and was left with approximately the same amount again. It would have gone round twice! Thankfully Mark and I managed to roll it and tie it around a plastic plumbing tube. Hammering a wooden stake into the ground we place the pluming pipe over the stake which prevented the fence from shorting out by touching the ground.
Great! Almost there, so moving the hens house into the new enclosure we herded the hens in.
As Mark was saying how pleased he was to be finished I looked up and with horror realised the fence wouldn’t be as protective from predators as we had thought. I suddenly realised on one side of the fence we had two compost bins and a pile of logs. On another the overhanging structures of my neighbours sheds. Aghh! Any of these structures could be an easy spring-board for a predator to jump into the run. We could have cried . All our hard work and now this! The light was fading and it was almost too dark to see what we were doing but we took the lids off the compost bins and moved the wood pile. At least that side would be more secure. unfortunately there was nothing at that time of night I could do with the sheds so we put the girls to bed and locked them up as safely as we could.
What a weekend but for all its makeshift likeness it is an effective and safe enclosure until we have finished the girls proper run, Phew!