The hens have a 50m electric fenced area, shaped as a square of 12.5m on each side making 156 square metres in total. Today we added another 25m net to the setup and doubled their space to 312 square metres.
We have a Hotline poultry electric fence that came in a kit with an energiser that could provide power for up to 4 50m fences so adding a single 25m fence should still give enough voltage to the total fenced area. To add the additional 25m fence was straightforward; the additional fencing joins to the existing net with a strong metal clip to extend the circuit and it was a case of ensuring the new overall shape was rectangular and reconnecting the battery to the energiser to switch the fence back on.
It worked! I then spent a little while straightening the net and ensuring the fence was as taught as possible, using stronger posts in the corners and guy ropes on those corners and testing the fence at various points to make sure everything was connected – using a fence tester and not my hand!
With everything working and the hens’ area now doubled it was time to let them explore their fresh new surroundings. I let them out and it was as if the original fence was still there – they didn’t venture beyond the previous boundary line! However, after a little while the more adventurous girls made their way to the fresh grass and the rest soon followed. Having more space will reduce the density of droppings on the ground they were on, and as they’d converted a lot of grass to bare soil, the new grass will provide more hole digging opportunities!