Keeping a dog out of the chicken pasture

Chickens looking out a hole in the fence

Zareba K9 electric fence chargerSeveral
people warned us that a five foot high fence around our
forest pasture would not be sufficient to
keep the chickens inside.  Other people worried that aerial
predators would swoop down and pick off our birds.  It turns out
that neither problem materialized, but we
did end up having a fencing
issue — Lucy.

We’ve been throwing all
of our food scraps into the forest pasture, and food scraps are our dog
Lucy’s primary failing.  Try as we might, we can’t seem to teach
her that food of any sort is off limits.  She wanders through the
garden picking strawberries, peas, raspberries, and tomatoes, and if we
don’t put the trash safely in the barn we’ll find a ripped open bag
strewn across the yard.  So we shouldn’t have been surprised that
no amount of training was able to get across the message that food
scraps in the chicken pasture were off limits.  A few hours after
I tossed the scraps in, I’d come back and see that Lucy had broken a
hole in the chicken wire and eaten up the scraps, letting the flock out
in the process.

Mark solved this problem
with a
K9 electric fence charger
.  The device was
absolutely perfect for our needs, with a low voltage so I don’t feel so
bad about zapping our beloved pet, and with no need for a grounding
rod.  Mark hooked up the charger on a wire about six inches off
the ground around the perimeter of the pasture, I threw in some scraps,
and we waited to see what happened.  When Lucy’s nose hit the
wire, she jumped backwards so fast it seemed to break the laws of

Lucy and the electric fence

I don’t know for sure,
but I suspect Lucy might have been zapped again later on a second part
of the fence, because now she keeps at least eight feet of distance
between herself and the chicken pasture at all times.  The weeds
have grown up to touch the wire and we haven’t bothered to cut them
back because I’m pretty sure the problem has been solved for good.

Our homemade chicken
another problem — drinking water filled with poop.

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