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Electric Poultry Netting is a very effective tool in the free range poultry field and is a highly versatile and portable solution to the problem of protecting poultry from predators (foxes, mink or dogs). Many trials have proved the effectiveness and countless people are now using some form of electric fencing to protect their poultry.
Netting is very easy to erect but, like every handy tool there is always one headache that does continually rear its head - grass growth. Netting is habitually placed over grass and as this grows, as all grass will grow, the green grass touches the electric filaments within the net and each blade that touches the fence will draw off a bit of energy and so if there are sufficient the fence will be totally compromised and ineffective.
How to Keep Grass off the Netting
1/. Lift or move the netting and cut the grass short either with a mower or a strimmer. This is reasonably effective but will be a constant and regular operation. Care must be taken not to cut the net lines as the operation is carried out.
2/. Spray the grass with a desiccant herbicide that will kill the grass and prevent it growing. These are obtainable and normally based on Glyphosate mixed with Dicamba. These are effective but normally require a couple of sprays in the year. Many people do not like using chemicals on their fields and lawns. Leaves an ugly brown strip that takes time to re-grow when the netting is moved.
3/. Place a strip of builders damp course under the net. This prevents the grass from growing up into the net and insulates the net from the ground if a wire sags onto the damp proofing. The edges may still need to be strimmed to keep long grass away but the operation is much easier and the net does not have to be moved to complete the operation.
There is a misconception that the electric current will "burn" off encroaching grass and prevent them touching. This is not correct. The vast majority of energisers now manufactured are of the low impedance variety so do not create a spark when shorted out so the grass is not burned off.