One of the greatest difficulties that free range poultry farmers face is keeping the birds safe from predators. Electric fencing works well, but like any system, it has its problems. Electric fencing is cheaper and easier to construct than the high netting fences traditionally used and it effectively reduces the need for letting out
the flock early in the morning and putting the birds away at night. In the morning the poultry has instant access to pasture and can remain grazing until the sun
starts to go down.
The usual set up is to have some type of electrified perimeter fence around the pasture with a second and lower fence within the paddock if controlled, block, or strip grazing is the preferred method of pasture management. A first class set up of this sort has been described in The Production & Marketing of the Free Range & Organic Egg, Australian Organic News, Vol 1 No. 6 Feb. l993 and was trialed at the University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury Campus.
This system worked well, with only a few incursions from local dogs or foxes.
A new system of electric fencing has become available and it represents a great advance in both protecting the birds from predators and in managing block grazing.
Electric netting is not new to European or American poultry keepers but it was always felt that this type of system would not be effective in Australia because of our dry conditions with the consequent difficulties of good earthing. Technological advances in electric netting design have overcome these problems and ELECTRANETS STARTERNET, the world's leading multi-operational system, with three modes, works perfectly even in dry times. Electranets are made from inter-twined stainless steel and polyethylene filaments woven into a flexible grid, with semi-rigid compressed fibre verticals every 175mm giving a fencing pattern similar to traditional sheep fencing. The lower horizontal strands are closer spaced than those at the top and connected to a good energiser, of the correct type, the entire grid becomes "live", offering an almost impenetrable pain filled barrier to predators trying to get in, or birds attempting to get out.
This fencing system, combined with good portable housing, allows
poultry to be managed on pasture for wonderful tasting eggs and meat together with the additional benefit of greatly improved pasture fertility.
Electranets Starterner is brought to you by people who use it themselves and
who have found that even with a heavy fox infestation in
the area and the flock situated well away from the house, it has given their
poultry full protection.
Caution should, however, be used as no system is perfect.
Each 50 metre roll of Electranets Starternert comes supplied with fifteen high tensile, double pronged, insulated supaposts, corner strainer peg, repair kit, complete instructions and helpful hints. Fifty metres can be erected in ten minutes and taken down in half that time.
Some useful reading:-
The people at "Allsun Farm" believe and advise
"Fence the herd, mob or flock, not the paddock"