If you’re nervous about predators attacking your chickens, you’ve probably considered getting an electric fence to scare those uninvited guests off. Yet, you might be wondering whether or not an electric fence will do more harm than good. Can an electric fence kill a chicken?
An electric fence will not kill a chicken. Electric fences that are used to keep poultry within a certain area emit a quick electric pulse of 5,000 volts when touched. This pulse is enough to scare the chicken away but not even close enough to kill the chicken.
An electric fence is a safe and reliable way to keep your chickens protected from foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and other poultry predators. If you do your due diligence on how to properly utilize an electric fence, then you will decrease your chances of harming your chickens.
In this blog post, we’re going to go into details regarding whether or not an electric fence can kill a chicken, as well as how to get the most out of your electric fence.
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
Many electric fences are made specifically for different purposes. Some fences may be low voltage for more general-purpose use, while others are extremely high voltages.
If you’re concerned about your chickens being harmed by electric fences, we have some great low voltage options for you to choose from.
Here are a couple of great low voltage electric fences that won’t harm your chickens:
1. RentACoop Poultry Netting Electric Fence – Great low voltage fence commonly used for chickens and other animals.
2. Premier PoultryNet Electric Fence – This low voltage fence is great for protecting chickens from predators.
You can pick both of these up at a pretty affordable price on Amazon.
Can a Chicken be Electrocuted?
Chickens cannot be electrocuted by electric fences that are made to be used for poultry. These fences are low voltage and are not enough to electrocute a chicken to death. The shock is meant to simply scare the chicken to teach the chicken to not get close to the fence again, not to electrocute the chicken.
Electric fences utilized for poultry protection emit a quick electric pulse of around 5,000 volts. This is not enough volts to fully electrocute a chicken.
Once the chicken learns the fence is dangerous, the fence becomes more of a psychological barrier instead of a physical barrier. However, the type of electric fence you use will determine whether or not the chicken gets hurt.
Electric fences that are high voltage for example should not be used for chickens, as these will indeed cause harm to the animal.
Will an Electric Fence Hurt Chickens?
Electric fences generally do not hurt chickens if you choose the correct fence. It is important to consider the number of volts the charger generates when choosing your electric fence.
When a chicken is exposed to an electric fence, the fence quickly shocks the chicken to make the chicken retreat. The shock is so low that it does not cause any actual harm to the chicken except a quick scare.
How do I Protect my Chickens With an Electric Fence?
You can protect your chickens with an electric fence by ensuring that you have purchased a fence with the correct charger, height, and given your chickens enough space within the fenced area.
An electric fence charger of 5,000 volts is recommended when it comes to protecting your chickens. This amount of volts will not cause harm to your chickens, only scare them.
It is also recommended to give your chickens a lot of space within the electric fence area. If you give chickens a small space, they will feel more forced to challenge the fence, resulting in more shocks and possibly getting entangled in the fence due to lack of space.
An excellent electric fence for your chickens is the RentACoop Poultry Netting Electric Fence.
It is 48” high and 164’ in length – ample room for roaming and high enough that your chickens won’t attempt to fly over.
Do Electric Poultry Fences Work?
Electric poultry fences are a great and effective way to keep predators out and your chickens away from harm.
When you have an electric fence properly installed around your chickens, predators learn to not go near the fence. It will likely take a couple of shocks for the predators to learn that the fence imposes a risk of danger but once they do, they will stay away.
Using an Electric Fence to Keep Predators Out
If you need to keep predators out, using an electric fence is a practical and effective tactic given that you use the correct type of fencing.
When choosing an electric fence to keep predators out, look for a fence with high-tensile wires with a charger between 5,000 – 6,000 volts.
This will ensure predators such as weasels, raccoons, or fishers will not be able to break through the fence.
Do Electric Fences Work for Chickens?
Electric fences do work for chickens provided that you maintain the area where the fence is installed and properly train your chickens with the fence.
Ensuring the grass around your fence does not get too high will maintain the strength of the shocks emitted. If the grass is constantly touching the wires, the electricity will short out and the fence will be ineffective. Also, keep any plants or bushes from touching the fence.
Chickens must also be trained to live within the fence to ensure their safety.
Curious about whether or not your plants will die if they touch an electric fence? Check out our article about whether or not plants can touch an electric fence.
You might also enjoy our post on Can Plants Touch an Electric Fence?
Can you Train Chickens on an Electric Fence?
Chickens can be trained on an electric fence and putting in the time to train them is necessary. If you do not have the time, the chicken will likely learn on its own.
A great way to train your chickens to learn that the electric fence is something that should be avoided is to throw their feed on the outside of the fence.
Once they experience the shock from the fence as they try to reach their food, they will learn to not touch it. Do these tactics 2 – 4 days in a row to see the best results.
How to Set up Electric Fencing for Chickens
The best way to set up your electric fence is to first lay it on the ground where you would like to have it. Then start tightly placing each steak of the fence into the ground.
When placing the steaks into the ground, ensure that the bottom live wires are not touching any part of the steak. This will cause the fence to lose charge and become ineffective.
Once you have your area enclosed, connect the two ends of the fence with the rope that is provided around the posts. Secure, the charger on a separate post and connect the charger to the fence. Turn the charger on and your fence is active!
You might also enjoy our post on How to Keep Your Neighbors Chickens Out of Your Yard
Can a Fox Jump an Electric Fence to Reach Chickens?
On average, foxes can jump over obstacles 3 feet high. If they were to jump over any higher obstacles, they would first need a platform to launch themselves off of. It is recommended to have your electric fence be between 4 and 6 feet high to keep foxes out.
While foxes can jump over electric fences, their first instinct is to climb, go through, or burrow under the fence. Keeping your fence away from anything that the fox may utilize to conquer the fence, such as logs or tables, is a sure way to keep them out.
Can a Fox get Through an Electric Fence to Reach Chickens?
There’s no way a fox can get through an electric fence without getting shocked considering that the netting is free of any holes and is tight.
A fox can not get through an electric fence without getting shocked. Any time the fox tries to challenge the fence, it will get shocked and likely back off. Ensure that your fence is strong enough for a fox to not knock it over and that no holes have been created.
Installing an electric fence is an effective and easy way to keep your chickens protected from unwanted visitors. Electric fences that are designed specifically for poultry will never harm or kill your chickens but do the complete opposite and keep them as safe as possible.
When choosing your fence, keep in mind that the volts must be between 5,000 and 6,000 volts and also be at least 4 feet high. This amount of electrical emission will only shock your chickens and not harm them.
Installing a fence that is the correct height will keep your chickens from flying over and also keep predators from getting in.