Electric net fencing

I don’t keep my chickens in a traditional hen house but in 4×8 chicken tractors made of wood and wire. They work great for giving the chickens fresh air and fresh ground, but I decided that my flock didn’t have enough room. I don’t have a lot of room to work with, and I never know when I’ll have to make room for something, so I wasn’t keen on a permanent fence. I wanted something mobile.

I opted for the PoultryNet Plus starter kit from Premier 1. It includes 100 feet of electric net fencing, four extra support posts, a solar fence charger, and a fence tester.

The included manual is written in broken English, which is irritating given the high cost. Thankfully, Premier 1’s YouTube channel is helpful. I followed their videos to set up the charger, which I then plugged in for a while to give it an initial charge-up.

The fencing is easy to set up in theory, but it takes some practice. You have to carefully unroll it and lay it on the ground in the rough shape you want. The trick is not twisting up the fence and arranging it so the end meets the beginning. Easier said than done. My first setup took a couple of hours and the second took an hour. They say you can set it up in 15-30 minutes and maybe I’ll get there.


I was worried that the included posts with double spikes wouldn’t work in my hard ground, but they do okay. Better in some spots than others. If one spot is too rocky, I just move it over an inch or two until I can find one that’s softer. It’s also tricky angling the fence to keep tension on the net. It doesn’t have to be super tight, since it’s electric, but you don’t want it saggy.

Getting in and out is pretty easy. I turn off the energizer, and simply spread the beginning and ending posts apart (they’re super flexible) to step in. At night or when I leave, I tie the posts together with one of the included strings.

At first, I wasn’t sure the fence worked. Chickens would brush up against it, seemingly unbothered. Then two of my birds tested the fence and started flapping and clucking. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. They quickly learned to not test the fence, and none have tried to fly over it.


There are two things I don’t like about this fencing. One is that the grass has to be super short or otherwise the fence grounds out on it. This happened with my first setup, but it didn’t produce any ill effects other than popping sounds and visible sparks at night. When I moved the fence, I mowed the fence area super short, leaving tall grass in the middle for the chickens to eat. If you left it in one spot, you’d have to move a section once a week, mow, and then move it back.

Another is that the solar charger runs off a battery, and that battery only lasts about five years at most. Unfortunately, I don’t know any way around that limitation, other than using a plug-in energizer or stocking up on batteries and hope they last on the shelf.


  • Effective
  • Mobile
  • Works off-grid
  • Works well on uneven ground, like hills and dips


  • Expensive
  • Grass must stay short
  • Set up has a learning curve
  • Easy to tangle
  • Battery must be replaced every few years

  • Comments (4)

    • 6

      What type of battery do they use?? What would a new battery cost??

      What does the fence tester look like?? I think I already have one of those:


      • 4

        Looks like this. The nice thing is you can see how much voltage it’s putting out.


        Battery is sealed lead acid. About $36 to replace, which isn’t bad, but kind of a pain in a SHTF scenario.

      • 5

        My electric scooter uses those batteries as well. I wouldn’t store an extra on the shelf for too long. Worst case scenario you could harvest a car battery from an abandoned car and jerry rig something.

        Would be interesting to see what booby traps you could make with that fencing. Maybe a drop net in a tree that then could be powered on if the bad guy resists too much. (Evil smile…)

      • 3

        I’m pretty sure I could power a ham radio from the battery. I’ll try it someday when I’m feeling saucy.