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You are watching: Does an electric fence have to make a complete loop

I am truly clueless when it comes to electric fences and I was wanting to install one around the bottom edge of my chicken fencing to keep out predators. My situation is that I have fencing that is only on 3 sides of my chicken area and my barn is the other wall. Does the electric fence have to go all the way around my area and tie back into my charger or can I just terminate it at the end of my fencing? If I have to continue the electric wire all the way to the charger I will have problems with doing so along the barn wall. Thanks for your help...I hope I made sense.Matt G
Naw, a closed loop is NOT necessary. The part I love best about electric fences is when I"ve been away for a short spell and come home to find the bears have gotten into them. Usually I find a place where it looks like Mr. Bruin has hit the brakes, pulled an abrupt U"ie, and then pealed out for parts unknown. Makes me grin for hours, it does.beakiller
I prefer my fences to not be a loop. Then I know which way the juice is coming and can set them up to unhook different sections or keep my "gates" from being hot in my hand.I hate the way my husband laughs at me when I get zapped
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Jena
The hot wire of an electric fence begins at the charger and can end anywhere. It has to be connected to posts with insulators.It works when an animal standing on the ground contacts it and completes the circuit to earth (ground).A hot wire running along your fence about six inches off the ground might zap *****, possums and other predators, but it would require a lot of maintenance to keep grass, weeds, etc., from contacting it and completing a circuit.You might be better off getting 1" x 2" welded wire and laying it flat on the ground outside and along your chicken fence so that it extends partly under it.Grass will grow through it and you can mow right over it.Wire the bottom of the chicken fence to it and animals will not be able to dig under.


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Couple of tips on the fence ...Doesn"t need to be a continous loop like others have said, the "loop" is completed when something touches the fence and the current runs through them, through the earth, to the ground.You want to put your ground somewhere *wet* -- because I"m in the desert where it rains once or twice in the winter and half a dozen times in the summer, my ground is sunk under a faucet outside that is deliberately left to drip a bit. The earth the critter"s touching doesn"t need to be wet, but the ground needs to be in very damp earth to work properly. It"s also possible to sink it into your septic tank leach field if you need a "wet spot" for it. Use a LONG ground, several feet long.The ground will have to be copper, but everything else should be aluminum because the fence wires are aluminum and you"ll get corrosion if you mix copper and aluminum. WHat this means is that, yes, you should spring for the expensive insulated aluminum wires for burying the fence if you"ve got to go under a gate or doorway. I"ve had a grass fire started by an arc from an electric fence ... if you"ve got long dry grass, use the fence with extreme caution. (In my case, it rained just a little, the fence arced, and started a fire that fortunately burned out in a few feet.) Don"t bet on the fence stopping large hairy dogs -- I had a chow get over my fence (4" of no-climb plus 2 strands of neg and pos electric on top). My guess is that he was so hairy he had sufficient insulation to avoid being zapped. He ALSO pulled a sturdy coop door off my hen house and killed a guinea and tore up a chicken.Electric is great for discouraging digging, however ... a determined large dog can get through anything short of chain link or heavy-gauge no climb (welded wire will NOT stop a determined dog that knows to grab it and pull -- the welds will pop). So a combination of heavy fencing and electric is best if you really want to be secure.You can add some extra oomph to your fence by running two strands, one positive and one wired to the ground, about 2" apart. Any animal that contacts both of those is in for a shock ... Leva