Questions re: electric fence/dog/chickens??

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by barbarake, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2003
    Upstate SC
    Hi all - I have a small, triangular-shaped piece of woods (100' per side) that I'd like to fence in for my dog and chickens. I currently only have one dog and hope to have 10 - 12 chickens.

    I already have a (future) chicken coop - I assume I need to fence in an area for the chickens. This will be within the larger fenced area so that the dog has access around the chicken pen. Hopefully this will help deter predators at night.

    My dog is a basset hound and is not a jumper. She spends 95% of the time in the house but will have free access to the yard (doggie door). I'll probably also inherit my mother's two greyhounds in the near future - they're not jumpers either.

    I'd like to leave the area wooded. Could I run electric wire around the perimeter but just run it from tree to tree instead of putting in posts?? (Obviously I'd have to use some sort of insulator to attach it to the tree.)

    None of the dogs are particularly bright (truthfully - they've lovable but dumb as dirt). Will they learn to respect an electric fence or does the dog have to be somewhat intelligent to figure it out. (If it requires any intelligence at all, I'm out of luck :) )

    Does the chicken run have to have a top?? I understand people have tops to protect from hawks, owls, etc. - but do they fly in the woods? (I normally see them over pasture or cleared land.) The chickens will be in the coop at night.

    I was thinking of an electric fence with a solar charger - would you recommend something else instead? I'd prefer to avoid posts simply because I'll have to do this myself and I'd prefer not the have to dig dozens of post holes.

    I guess that's it for now. I have to get up some sort of fence for the dog sort of right along - I hope to start moving stuff over within a month or so. The chicken area can wait but I need a dog fence.
  2. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2004
    Texas - midway between Dallas and Tyler
    If you set the fence at the right height so that your dog touches it trying to get out, he'll learn very quickly, stupid or smart.

  3. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
    We have used electric fencing for our various dogs for years. We have had the best success with three strands. The first just a couple of inches above the ground, the top one at dog head height, the other in the middle of those two.

    However, that won't keep chickens in.

    Our basset chases chickens. I don't know if you can keep them together.
  4. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2004
    You will still need a top to keep hawks out. They love woods. They just light in a tree, & wait until they see a chicken & drop down & get it.
  5. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 16, 2003
    Western Washington
    I raise bassets and even though they are dumb, or should I say "selective" they will chase chickens. Bassets were bred in France to chase rabbits, but they don't know the difference between the two. If it's on the ground, they are going to get it... they may not have a clue what to do with it, but they will chase it down. I believe that grayhounds are chasers also... :rolleyes:

    If your going to have a yard set up for chickens, I also recommend that you have a cover of some sort over it to keep hawks and other preditors away.... I use a layer of chicken wire over the top and it works fine. I still have a racoon that is feasting on my layers :mad: , but no hawks or crows.
  6. We use electric fencing around our stocked fish pond. A few years ago we had several geese. One disappeared and a few days later we found the goose dead, with the electric wire in his mouth. The wire wasn't so hot it normally would have killed him, but he must have hit it just right (or wrong) and couldn't turn loose. Our dog can walk under the wire to go swimming, but it keeps the cattle out.
  7. Check out Premiere Fence. Their catalogs are infomative and we've found their customer service people to be helpful in both choosing and methods for installing fences. We use high tensil and temporary fencing for goats.

    No, I don't work for them. I just find them pleasant to do business with.

  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    So Cal Mtns

    I used a solar powered wire at the fence bottom to keep dogs from digging out,it works great!Did about an acre.
  9. My basset does not chase birds. I have the 4 foot electric mesh fence. I keep ducks in with it, but know it would work with my basset hound also because I have 2ft electric mesh fence around the garden that is in her part of the yard and it keeps her out of the garden. (Didn't work for rabbits though!)

    My chickens don't seem to be limited by this fence though - they go back and forth on either side of it without much problem. Now I have open areas to stalls in the barn that they can fly into and out of the fenced area, but I think the 4 ft mesh itself may not contain them without a top. They have been free ranging all day without a problem with hawks and they stay mostly in the forest under thick salal.