As promised, this is the blog post about how we are faring with the electric netting. I will qualify this by stating that it is as described by Premier1 and their staff is very helpful. There are some things to bear in mind when looking to make an investment in this type of portable fencing.
You need the right kind of charger for netting. My understanding is that the fencer we have for electric fence wire will melt the plastic in the netting. We ordered a new fencer that is compatible with the electric netting.
Handling the Fence
I can’t imagine one person trying to move this fence by herself. It arrives all neatly bundled and tied. One person holds the fence while the other person pulls the fencing off the top, one section at a time. The netting is laid it out on the ground while the fence holder follows along. The thin wire that is wound through the plastic looks quite fragile. This is a problem since the netting is easily snagged on twigs and debris; I would be extremely careful about dragging this fence along the ground. Rough handling is its enemy which is why it takes two people to setup, move and take down. Maybe it could be handled by one person if she was feeding it out of a cart.
We had to take the fence down once already to move it to an entirely different spot. The experience was kind of like refolding a road map. Please comment if you know any tricks that make it possible for one person to manage this fence.
We ordered the package with the 5 extra posts that added a lot of stability to the corners. The customer service rep recommended adding some fiber rods to prevent sagging at the bottom of the fence. I couldn’t really envision what she meant by “sagging at the bottom”. My concern was sagging at the top. I soon saw what she meant. The bottom wants to flop over and the live horizontal wire is then laying on the ground shorting out the fence. We added an additional rod in between each built-in post to keep the fence from from sagging.
I’m not certain quite how this is handled if you are only mowing where you want the fence to run. It seems like it would involve some measuring. We decided to set the fence up in a smaller dirt area devoid of vegetation. The hoop will remain stationary and the fence moved around it. Once the hens have scratched and fertilized one 40′ x 40′ area, we will move the fence and plant buckwheat in the area just vacated. Eventually the fence will be moved back to the now grassy area for the chickens to rework. We hope to develop some additional pasture this way.
This is your best friend. It will let you know if your fence is as hot as it should be. I use mine everyday. If it is registering in the weak zone, I look for a saggy place or debris resting on the fence.
The instructional material that came with the netting is not complete. There is more troubleshooting info in the product description on the Premier1 website if you run into difficulties.
I have to say that I really do love this fence. The chickens respect it and have not escaped. I don’t have to wait until dusk and shut them up so predators won’t get them. The fence is a formidable barrier against any marauders. This also means that an inexpensive tarped hoop is adequate shelter until Oct/Nov. If my plan works I should be able to improve an 80′ x 80 ‘ area this season while allowing my chickens to free range.
What Do You Do
How do you handle this type of fencing. I’m curious about mowing the perimeter of the next area the fence will be moved to.
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