Mount Sunapee Homestead

Electric Fences For Pasture Chickens

Chickens and fields…a match made in electric heaven.

 

For those that follow our blog, you may know we’ve had some free-range chicken experiments in the past.  

They’ve been epic fails.  I mean EPIC.

We’ve got good reason to believe that, with a little help from Thomas Edison, this experiment might go differently.

Electric Fences For Pasture ChickensRaising chickens in the backwoods may sound idyllic, but the reality is that it’s fraught with teeth, blood and feathers.  Living close to nature, means that nature doesn’t care if you want to eat eggs for breakfast.  It wants to eat your chickens.  And, nature always wins.

After a series of foxes, weasels and God know’s what else, we’ve decided to give the free range thing a try with a little help from our electric friend!  

Here’s our concerns for this little experiment and how we’re addressing them:

  • A weasel could fit through the fence.  Yes…so we’re still manually opening the coop door in the morning and closing it at night.
  • The birds may fly over the fence.  At 48″ tall, the fence is intimidating enough that the laying ladies don’t seem remotely interested in leaving their enclosure.  Plus, they’re stocked with food and water.
  • Something might go through the fence…like maybe that bear that ate our turkey feed.  We’ve baited the fence with a peanut butter filled can of tuna.  The can is in contact with the fence wire.  The idea is that a bear would sniff the can and zap it’s ultra-sensitive nose.  So far, so good.
  • The experiment might fail.  We’re using old birds.  With 25 chickens laying only a few eggs each 24 hours, the days of these chickens are numbered.  They’re still a little useful as layers, but more useful as proof-positive!

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