How to Erect a Net
Erecting a net is fairly straight forward and the only requirement is that the horizontal live wires do not touch the ground or come into contact with vegetation. The bottom wire is not live so may come into contact with the ground. Many Electric Poultry netting problems may be solved by simple observation and attention to detail.
1/. Take the roll of netting out and lay it on the ground. Attach the start of the fencing to a wooden post as pictured, using plastic string, cable ties or anything similar but making sure the live net do not come into contact with the post ie, about 1 inch away. This gives you a secure starting point. Collect up the posts in a bundle and walk back with the netting letting the posts come out of the bundle when available as in the picture.
2/. It is important to get the netting tight so it doesn't sag. Secure the corners and start of the fencing with something sturdier like a wooden post or stake. Tread in the tread in stakes into the ground as they come out of the netting pulling the netting tight as you go along. A tent guy rope system is also possible but does not give a secure corner and the posts tend to bend. We find it best if you tread the tread in stake on the inside of this post, then using cable ties or string fasten the tread in stake back to the post (as pictured) to make to corner and start of fencing more rigid.
3/. A very sound idea is to lay a strip of builders damp-proofing or plastic beneath the net (as shown in the photo below.) This prevents grass growing up and touching the twine and makes maintenance a lot easier. It is such a simple solution to a major problem with poultry nets - one other tip for when the grass starts to take off in summer - use a strimmer with a blade on to get right in close to the membrane, once you get used to it, you can just tuck the blade under the DPC and carefully walk along the fence line taking out all the excess grass.
Tips to maximise the efficiency of an electric net;-
1/. Keep the hen house in the centre of the fenced area, not close to the perimeter. This will lower the degree of temptation for the fox, by keeping it as far as possible from the house.
2/. The fence must be pulled tight using the posts at each corner
3/. Check the power in the fence every evening.
4/. The power must be left on at night, as this is generally when the fox will test the fence for a power failure.
5/. No grass or foliage should touch the fence, as this will cause a ‘short’. Lay a strip of builders damp proofing under it.
6/. The fence should be kept away from overhanging trees, hedges, or fences.
Laying a strip of builders damp course benieth the bottom line will reduce the maintenance requirement a lot.
An alternative way of keeping the corners taut is to use a guy rope at each corner as shown in this picture. Ensure that you use non-conductive materials. Plastic string or fishing line is ideal.
Additional lengths of netting may be added together using the connectors attached to the ends of the nets. (See picture below).
Where you want to erect a net on an undulating surface, remove the posts from the net and stretch it out between the corner posts. Position posts in the highest and lowest points of the surface. Re-position the remaining posts along the net to lift the second wire off the ground. If the ground is so undulating that the posts are insufficient to train the net to follow the terrain, in that case remove those posts in the hollows and replace with pegs to pull the net down to the ground. These posts may then be used where best suited. In serious cases it may be necessary to purchase additional posts.
Electric Nets are very resource hungry and not all energisers are capable of running an electric net. Where possible, place the energiser in the centre of the fence so the current flows both ways. The HotShock or Farmer range will give the best combination for fox protection as they run at higher voltages than standard energisers and will better control. Standard energisers will however be successful in their own right. Only connect one energizer per fence. The best place to connect to a net is at the clamp on the ends of the net.
Dismantling a Net.
When dismantling the net, collect up all the stakes together allowing the net to fold down between the posts. These are then used to roll the net onto. Do not try and roll the net up from one end, it will be a mess and take ages to roll up.
Fault Finding on Poultry Nets.
- If the voltage drops below 3000v on the net, you need to turn off the energiser and unhook the net from the energiser.
- Test just the energiser by itself as outlined in this troubleshooting page. If the voltage is 6000v or higher on the energiser then logically the problem is in the net.
- The most common problem is that the lowest 'hot' strand has been caught around one of the metal spikes on the posts and is shorting it out.
- The net must be at least 2" away from anything metal (metal posts, existing fences, spikes on support posts).
- On Poultry Nets, the bottom hot wire can slip off of the plastic portion of the end posts and get caught onto the metal spikes. This will cause a dead short and no energy will be on the fence. Unhook the energizer and slide the hot wire back onto the plastic post.
- Hook energizer back to the net and test.
- Make sure the Energiser has sufficient capacity to run the number of nets attached to it.