Electric Netting for Chickens and Poultry
What is poultry netting?
It’s an electrifiable, prefabricated, portable fence that arrives at your door as a complete roll with the line posts already built into the fence’s mesh. The "mesh" is composed of vertical plastic strings "welded" to electrifiable horizontal strings. They are supported by white plastic posts—which are spaced throughout the netting. Each post has a steel spike at the base that’s inserted into the ground for support. A standard roll (164 ft) inclusive of posts weighs only 23 lbs.
Premier's Net Number System
Example: PoultryNet 12/42/3
- 12 horizontal strands—hence 12
- 42 in. high installed—hence 42
- Verticals every 3 in.—hence 3
Consider a poultry netting kit if you're new to using an electric fence. Why? Because all the parts and pieces necessary are included.
How does netting work?
The horizontals are energized by a fence energizer. When the birds (and predators on the outside) touch it, they receive a shock from the very brief pulse—and learn to avoid it. The close spacing of the verticals and horizontals (2" x 3" at bird height) creates a physical and visual barrier to adult birds (not chicks)—and their 4-footed predators.
Why Premier "knows" netting so well...
- We’ve used it for 43 years.
- We use miles of it for poultry, goats and sheep on our 3 farms.
- We hear what folks like and dislike about netting from our customers daily.
A brief history of netting...
Invented in the 1960s. Premier’s innovations include:
- Black and white nets instead of orange or yellow to increase night visibility to humans and 24-hour visibility to animals.
- Enhanced conductivity in 2003 to reduce effect of weed contact.
- PermaNet® in 2007.
- Stronger line posts in 2010.
- Plus nets (more posts/roll) in 2011.
How proven is it?
It has been widely used in the US and Europe for 40 years. Producers the world over rely on it.
How reliable is it?
Very reliable for adult birds that don’t fly—if it’s adequately electrified (at least 3000 volts). (See our website to learn how to electrify a fence.)
Why is it so popular?
- Because it keeps in adult poultry.
- Because it keeps out 4-footed predators like dogs, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, foxes, opossums and bears.
- It’s much easier and faster than other fences to install, adjust, relocate and remove. Takes less than 10 minutes to install a roll. This can be done alone, but handling tall and long rolls is easier with 2 people.
- It’s flexible. Unlike permanent fences, netting is easy to take around corners and curves—and over dips and hills.
- No tools are needed. Plastic or fiberglass posts are enough support for corners and ends. Only hand-tension is needed—which explains why it adapts easily to curves, hills and corners.
- It endures. A roll will last 7 seasons if used with care. Its chief "enemies" are lawn mowers and ice/heavy snowfalls.
- It arrives via FedEx/SpeeDee/UPS at your door as a complete fence. All line posts (not corner posts) are prefitted into each roll.
What users dislike about it...
- It must be moved to mow fence line when green grass covers the lowest "live" strand. Alternative is to apply a strip of herbicide to brown off or kill weeds.
- Ice and heavy snow can flatten it.
- High wind can lean it over.
- Animals may become entangled in it—and die. Entanglement is very rare (6 to 7 times over 40 years for us), but it does occur and it’s ugly when it does.
Most common mistakes...
- Not electrifying it. Animals escape or become entangled (and may die) which also damages the net.
- Using the wrong energizer for the animals and conditions.
- Allowing it to contact metal/wood.
- Making a simple task difficult by rolling it up like a carpet instead of first folding it by the posts. (Even though we provide pictorial instructions, 70% of returned nets have been rolled up like a carpet!)
Is electric netting safe for my kids to be around?
That depends upon their age. Toddlers should not be allowed access to electrified fence because:
- It’s not easy to explain to them why they should avoid it.
- They are less able to move away.
For older children, make sure they are aware that they will receive a shock if they touch it. It helps to hang warning signs on all electrified fences.
For safer electric fences:
- Make them visible to humans and animals. Visibility is increased by contrast (that’s why many Premier nets are black and white in color).
- Educate. Hang warning signs on all electric fences. Tell children to never touch it. Everyone should avoid head and neck contact.
- Allow space for people and animals to walk easily along or around it.
- Avoid fence energizers higher than 5 joules in output unless they include delayed pulse technology.
Note: Do not use an energizer that is labeled high impedance, continuous current, weed burner or weed chopper. We recommend only low or wide impedance energizers.
Continuous current (high impedance) energizers have a pulse type that is long (in time) but low in energy. Low impedance have pulses that are very short (in time) but higher in energy. The long duration continuous current pulses create a spark that is also long in duration—long enough for it to set fire to grass/weeds/leaves/needles that might touch the fence. In our opinion they should never be used on any fence for this reason. They must not be used on electroplastic fences (can melt the plastic). Low impedance pulses are so short (3/10,000 of a second maximum) in time that heat build up is less likely.
To Reduce Risk and Liability...
Are electric fences a serious safety risk to humans?
Because touching an electric fence is painful and the voltages are high, most assume that the risks from an energized fence must also be high. That’s a myth. Consider that millions of people throughout the world are "exposed" to millions of electric fences every day—yet they are involved in (but are not always the cause of) less than one human death or serious injury per year worldwide. Compare that to the number of annual injuries and deaths that occur from human exposure to tractors, skid loaders, ladders, PTO shafts, balers, mowers, combines, bulls, stallions, rifles, shotguns, knives, etc. This is not to suggest that there is no risk at all. There is, indeed, a small level of risk. And with risk, there is also liability to the fence’s owner.
What NOT to do!
- Never place your head or upper spine near an electrified wire. Accidental head or neck contact can occur when pushing a voltage probe into the soil. Be careful when doing so to avoid head-to-wire contact!
- Never attempt to step over or climb through an energized fence of any kind.
- Never encourage anyone to touch an electric fence.
In 1991 an accidental fatality occurred when a young child’s head contacted an electrified fence while the child was crawling on wet grass. The fence was correctly installed and functioning properly. The energizer was a UL approved unit. As a result, Premier strongly advises against allowing toddlers access to any electrified fences. Also, due to this incident and others, experts now suggest that human contact by an energized wire to the head and neck may be the most dangerous point of contact. We urge all to especially avoid this kind of contact.