Chickens tend to make easy targets for a number of predators. This can be troubling for the typical backyard flock owner, especially those who reside in rural areas. Burdened with the same concern myself, I began my research to find the best electric chicken fence.
So what is the best electric chicken fence? The best electric chicken fence, in my opinion, is the RentACoop Poultry Netting Electric Fence with tri-strand conductive electrical braid wire and anti-sag countermeasure stake rigging.
When it comes to keeping your poultry in their designated yarding and keeping overly adventurous predators out, several electric chicken fence varieties exist on the market today.
Because no two individuals face identical flock management challenges, it is always important to thoroughly explore these options. Read on to hear some key points regarding today’s top market offerings that will allow you to make an informed decision for your flock.
Last update on 2020-05-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Reviews of the Best Electric Chicken Fences
1. RentACoop Poultry Netting Electric Fence
At 164’ x 48” in size, the RentACoop Poultry Netting Electric Fence should be of a substantial enough dimensions to satisfy the needs of most backyard flock owners. Even with these sizeable figures, it is surprisingly mobile and quick to erect.
RentACoop advertises an average installation time of 15-20 minutes on your first attempt, with most individuals being able to place the unit in under 10 minutes on subsequent attempts.
What really sets this unit apart from others on the market is its rather sizeable list of unique features. One such feature that should be of value to many backyard flock owners is the unit’s higher than average number of small weave squares toward its lower segment.
This assists in keeping young chicks from escaping their run through the weave. This unit features six rounds of small square weaving, as opposed to the four rounds that are typical of other units.
Additionally, this electric fence kit comes complete with guy-wire tie-downs and added stakes, of both metallic and plastic construction, for optimized integrity. This should be highly successful in remedying sagging issues that commonly plague many fences on the market.
Sagging is problematic for two reasons: as an electric fence sags, it is allowed to make contact with the earth below, thereby grounding out the fence and causing a loss in efficiency. Sagging also creates low spots in the fence that create ideal spots for chickens to fly over and escape.
- Ease of installation
- Extra runs of small square weaving
- Includes guy-wire tie-downs and stakes to help prevent sagging
- Can be overkill for those in areas of low predator numbers
- Additional anchors require more components to be moved
- One of the heaviest fences on the list
2. Premier 1 Supplies PoultryNet Electric Fence
Premier 1 Supplies is a name that has been around for a number of years in the prefabricated electric fence business. This lengthy tenure has assisted the company in consistently engineering high-end products, and this unit appears to be no exception.
The Premier PoultryNet Electric Fence is 164’ x 48” in size, meaning that most backyard flocks should be allowed adequate run space within this unit. If more space is required, additional lengths of fencing can be attached in a trouble-free manner as to allow full customization of run dimensions and structure shaping.
Perhaps the single biggest draw toward this product is its overall rugged design. Instead of a post spacing of 10-12 feet, as is normal in the bulk of market offerings, this fence features posts that are spaced at a regular interval of 6.8 feet from one another.
This is of value because as post spacing becomes greater, so does the potential for fence sagging. This sagging can be detrimental to both charge conduction as well as chicken detainment.
This unit also features patented FiberTough posts that are advertised as being top of the line in durability. Additionally, each post is equipped with 6” steel double anchor spikes for increased rigidity.
The rugged nature of this fence’s design should, in theory, lead to sustained service life and bode well for keeping even the most strong-willed of predators from ending up on the interior of the chicken run.
- Possibility of increasing size with additional fencing
- Closer post spacing
- Extra rugged design
- Heavier transport weight than some competitors
3. Starkline Electric Poultry Net
The Starkline Electric Poultry Net comes with unit dimensions of 48” x 82’. While this might be small in comparison to many other market offerings, this can potentially be desirable for the correct customer.
If your backyard flock does not number high in headcount, large enclosures can often be overkill. By purchasing a larger enclosure than what is needed, you incur additional costs and bulk.
Another side benefit of purchasing a smaller enclosure such as this one is that with small size comes easier maneuverability. At a weight of only 15 pounds, this unit is easily moveable by even the most petite of flock owners.
This can come as an advantage because chickens benefit from regular range rotation. By rotating the location of your chicken run, fresh vegetation and abundant insects are provided to your flock. Range rotation also reduces the risk of parasites such as worms.
This kit, although small, appears to be rather resilient in construction. This fence comes complete with twelve galvanized steel fence posts. Galvanized steel is naturally durable due to the fact that it resists rusting and corrosion. This equates to fence posts that should weather the worst of storms and stand the test of time. These posts also feature dual stakes for added strength when anchoring.
- Easy maneuverability
- Allows ease of range rotation
- Galvanized fence posts
- Smaller size
4. Kencove Electric Net Fence
The Kencove Electric Net Fence is sized for use with a rather large backyard flock. This fence measures 164 feet in length and 48 inches in height. Both these measurements fall into the higher end of the size of the products in this review, saving money for those looking to expand their flock in the near future.
The materials that have been selected for use in the construction of this unit would lead one to believe that durability was high on the list of concerns for Kencove engineers. The Kencove unit includes 304 stainless steel conductors, semi-rigid vertical stays, and a braided top stand. This equates to what Kencove refers to as “unparalleled strength.”
The manufacturer also cites the unit’s durable construction as being immensely important in surviving numerous run reconfigurations. This is a factor worth considering if range rotation is high on your list of flock management practices.
Kencove also states that their unit features “superior protection from predators”. This is due, in large part, to the fence’s graduated horizontal line spacing, as this limits the potential for predators such as raccoons from reaching through openings in the enclosure in a bid to procure a snack.
- Large size for bigger flocks
- Highly predator resistant
- Size makes movement more difficult
- Heaviest fence on this list at 39 lb
5. Powerfields P-89-W Electric Poultry Fencing
The Powerfields Electric Poultry Fence is the longest unit on this list, measuring an impressive 165 feet. This comes as a definite plus for those who keep a sizeable number of chickens.
Chickens generally thrive when given ample run space, of which eight to ten square feet is a good rule of thumb, and a fence of this size should go a long way to satisfying these needs.
Another advantage of a lengthy fence such as this unit is that the likelihood of requiring additional fence sections is greatly reduced. This saves money in the long run, as even the purchase of one additional length of fence can greatly sway the cost-effectiveness of your backyard flock keeping.
A larger range is better if a lack of mobility does not come into play, especially when one considers the fact that electric fencing segments cannot be purchased in ten or fifteen-foot segments and even the smallest need for expansion will be costly.
Before purchasing this unit, you must first consider the breed of chickens that you intend to confine within its perimeter. This fence has a maximum height of 40”, which is easily escapable by the majority of flighty breeds. If heavier breeds that do not have a penchant for flight are to be kept, this will be of little issue. If an agile lightweight breed is a cornerstone of your flock, wing clipping might become a necessity.
- Large-sized for bigger flocks
- Sheer size reduces the need for additional sections
- Lack of portability due to size
- Lower height
- Wing clipping might be necessary
What Makes a Good Electric Chicken Fence – Buyer’s Guide
A quality electric chicken fence is multifaceted in its points of value. For a fence to be both viable and practical, a handful of factors must be present within its construction.
If any of these elements are missing, the potential for less than desirable results exist. The following are key points of consideration for you to ponder if you are seeking to purchase an electric chicken fence.
Related Article: Best Solar Powered Electric Fence Charger
Acquiring an electric chicken fence is an investment that you hope proves worthwhile. No one appreciates investing their hard-earned money into a product, only to be forced to purchase a replacement in the not so distant future due to product failure.
An electric chicken fence is exposed to several elements that can easily take their toll, should the construction of the unit be sub-par. For a fence to be long-lived, it must survive high winds, attempted breaches by predators, and occasional incidental contact with debris that is blown about in the wind.
These units are also typically built with a level of mobility in mind. This makes the integrity of wiring essential, as the periodic restructuring of a fence can quickly take a toll on poorly wound wiring.
The majority of chicken flock owners seek to rotate their feathered friends’ range on occasion. This is one of the most pertinent reasons for purchasing a fence of this nature, as opposed to constructing a standard, solid-state enclosure.
Even if you feel that range rotation is of little importance, a time might come that requires your chickens to be relocated, including their run. An unexpected move or a flock expansion that requires an increase in space are both common reasons that necessitate the sudden relocation of flocks, making mobility a must.
In the case of an electric chicken fence, a unit that cannot be moved easily, or cannot be moved for fear of unit failure, can at times be of little value. The majority of manufacturers boast sub-fifteen minute installation times. If you are considering an electric chicken fence that does not appear to be capable of such mobility, proceed with caution.
Unlike with cattle or larger stock, an electric fence for chickens has more to do with keeping predators out than it does chickens in. If your electric chicken fence cannot adequately keep predators at bay, in short order, you will be without chickens to protect.
Skunks, weasels, raccoons, opossums, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and roaming dogs are all common culprits when chickens begin disappearing. For this reason, your fence must be capable of resisting intrusion by all of these species, along with any regionally specific predators that are present.
One important characteristic of a predator-proof electric fence is an absence of sagging or fence deformity. A fence that either sags or twists upon itself at its lower quadrant is of little use in warding off predators. Raccoons, opossums, skunks, and weasels will all readily cross beneath a fence that rises even a few inches above the ground. Likewise, coyotes or gray foxes can skillfully leap a fence that sags to low heights.
Although the payload that is ultimately delivered by your unit is controlled by your charger, a fence must be capable of delivering this charge efficiently when disturbed. This has much to do with having low resistive qualities. Resistance is the force that acts to impede the flow of electrical current.
For resistance to remain at minimal levels, a fence must contain wiring that is of sufficient gauge and strand count to carry amperage and voltage as required. These wires must also be of durable enough nature to resist breakage. Even if a fence features wire that is of multi-strand construction, the breakage of a single strand reduces the fence’s conductive qualities.
A fence must also be free of sagging to prevent conductivity issues. As a fence sags, it makes eventual contact with the soil and vegetation below. When this happens, the current contained in the fence begins to ground out.
This prematurely ends the travel of current that should be encompassing the length of the fence, stopping instead such flow at the point of contact with the ground. This leads to little if any charge remaining in the fence, and a drastic reduction in functionality.
My Choice for the Best Electric Chicken Fence
Although all the units reviewed within this list would likely be suitable choices for the majority of backyard flock owners, my opinion is that the RentACoop Poultry Netting is a solid product that deserves the title of the best electric chicken fence. There are a number of factors that have solidified this unit as my top pick.
In comparison to other market offerings on this list, the RentACoop fence has the sheer size to get the job done even on a grand scale, as well as numerous anchoring points and tie-downs to back up its sizeable dimensions and keep it in place as desired.
An abundance of 2-inch horizontal runs also provides an ultimate level of protection in keeping small chicks in and hungry predators out.
When combined with the product’s durable components and high standard of mobility, it is my belief that a product of this nature could help me, as well as countless other chicken owners, immensely in our day-to-day flock management practices.
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Last update on 2020-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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Last update on 2020-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API