Electric Fence (not for bear)
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,208

    Default Electric Fence (not for bear)

    Hi All,

    I need to put in an electric fence around a large pond. This has nothing to do with bears and bees, but I know lots of you guys have experience with e-fences. My target predator is river otter. Yeah, they are cute until they're snacking on your expensive koi fish. The pond is big for a residential pond, but small by farm standards. It measures about 30 ft long by 28 ft wide. I need an extra 25 feet in length to wrap around a waterfall feature. I have AC power available and have decided on a polywire installation, as it may not be a permanent installation. My big question is what wire configuration would be best for otters? The ground stays moist pretty much year round, and we rarely have prolonged periods of frozen ground, but it does happen. So, should I run a separate ground wire within the fence, or rely on surrounding earth to complete the circuit? Any other pointers welcomed.

    Sorry about the non-bee diversion
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Martin, Tn
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    Personally I'm not a huge fan of polywire but i think it will do in your situation. From what you described, i would just use the earth as my ground. Buy the biggest charger you can afford. Trust me, once you start fencing you'll find something else you want contained in the future. Ask me how i know . Use 3 copper grounding rods 10' apart. For something as small as otters, I would space the wires 3" apart for probably the 1st 4 wires (starting at the bottom). I am by no means a pro at e fence but i do have goats so i do know a little bit about it. Oh, and get a tester! They are not expensive and worth every penny to make sure your hot is actually hot. The "hand" test is not recommended.
    Jason Young

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,000

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    Astro,

    For such a small area, a single temporary ground rod should be fine. It shouldn't take much for what you are trying to keep out, especially this time of year with moist soil. 2-3 strands of polywire spaced 3-4" apart should do the trick. Most small animals seem to want to slip under the fence if possible. I don't imagine otters are good jumpers, but they may surprise you.

    Have you consider something like this? It works well too.
    http://www.kencove.com/fence/electri...FQ8uaQodBIUBSQ
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)


    I LOVE that specific field expertise is available for different uses!
    I recently imposed on a canoe-building forums for specific usage info on bead and barrel router bits, as they are extensively used to hand build canoes.
    I apologized for it being a non-canoe issue, but assured the members that I did think my hives could float...LOL!
    ~M

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    wnc
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    You will have to keep the bottom wire no more than 3 inches off the ground to be certain they don't crawl under. Problem is grass & weeds shorting it out. You need to get a box strong enough to burn thru the vegetation, or spray under fence with roundup 3 times a year.

    Now if you could borrow a rabbit cage with rabbits, put it inside the fence where you can keep a movie trail cam on it, just to watch the house cats!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Asotin County, WA
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    I would forget the fence and trap them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,208

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    Thanks everyone for the help. We've had the pond for 5 years and this is the first otter issue we've had. We live between two creeks, so it was always on my mind, but I thought we were far enough from the water - guess not! We had blue herons, osprey, and now an otter. Our whole family really enjoys the pond and the fish are amazing. Each has their own personality, and everyone gets very attached to them, which makes losing them hard. The pond was originally put in to keep the bees out of the swimming pool (which works very well), but it has grown into much more.

    BTW, I did have a trapper come out and set some traps, but no luck. He was limited as to the kind of traps he could use since we have outdoor cats. I think the otter was scared off for a while due to an encounter it had with my very upset wife. My wife loves her fish!!
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    3,080

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    We tried an electric fence around a garden this year to keep deer out and then got raided by a ground hog. We rigged lower strands to keep the ground hog out, and set up a game camera to see if it was working. The fence was the round fiberglass rods with polytape insulators, so we could adjust the two runs of polytape up and down.

    Results: After several adjustments we managed to keep the ground hog out, but the game camera caught raccoons, a skunk, squirrels, and just about anything else getting by like they were not even there. Having seen river otters at play, I strongly suspect you'd need strands every 3 inches up for 2-3 feet to have a prayer of stopping a river otter.

    There will be some electrical activity in the ground as a result of the electric fence pulses. My guess is that the koi can sense it. They may not like it.

    What about an actual mesh fence?

    Although, frankly, it sounds like your wife may be a pretty good deterrent.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    1,601

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    River otter are smart too. Have friends that had several as pets. Really smart and sort of cunning. Once they figure out a easy source of food, you got problems.

    Wild ones figured out how to open crab traps during low tides and would sit on top of the trap while eating the crabs and by catch fish. The traps had rubber straps with a hook holding them shut. Quick bite and just pulled them open. A family of otters can eat quite a few crabs daily. The shift a to wire locking pin resulted in them chewing through the wire on the side of the crab pots. They also would flip the traps in shallow water almost immediately after the traps were baited. Frozen shad and menhaden were great treats. Just bit through the rubber strap holding the bait door closed and free food. Removal of the entire family was the only method my friend found to stop it.

    Worked with someone that did lots of work keeping predators from raiding for food in certain areas. They had lots of times where foxes and coons would go through 7 and 9 strand electric fences that were 4 inch spacing between strands. Then would exit the area through the fence again. And fences he build were bull strong and hog tight and very HOT.

    A live trap with a can of sardines, then haul it 25 miles away to a river is what I would try. But check with you state wildlife agency first, some areas have harsh fines for trapping without license, and until you know what the law is....better to be safe than sorry. If that doesn't work, the old .22 method as a final response.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, not trying the no treatment anymore

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Vauxhall, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    Hi,

    I farm, have fenced cows long with e-fences and one issue is the hair of the animal you want to keep out: it isolates unless it is wet. Help: barbwire, because the barbs will make the connection.

    Cheers, Joerg
    Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    Quote Originally Posted by HillBilly2 View Post
    You need to get a box strong enough to burn thru the vegetation, or spray under fence with roundup 3 times a year.
    Ummmm....no.
    ~M

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,208

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    Our local koi expert told me that there are only two ways to keep otters out of a pond, a shotgun, or an electric fence. He seemed confident that a fence would work, in fact the fence he sold was way weaker than what I've decided to go with. I sure hope this works. I may need more wires based on the feedback here. BTW, the trapper told me that I have permission to dispose of the otter if he is taking my livestock. I'd rather not do that if possible.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,324

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting...ertrapping.asp

    Box set conibear traps, but you're going to have to lock up the cats. You can also run a tube/conibear where the otter has to get wet to get to the bait should deter cats but that style of trAp doesnt allow for catch and release

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA, USA
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    I used to do a lot of trapping in my teenage years and have caught a few otters. The thing about otters is that they patrol a very large area. Sometimes it may take them several weeks to make their rounds. So if you see fresh otter sign or activity at your pond, it may be 20 or 30 days before they come back through. Very discouraging for a trapper trying to catch a nuisance otter. We trapped some otters for a farmer who was raising catfish and stripers in some ponds. We would catch one every few weeks. Easy to catch when they showed up. Just a long waiting game.
    As for an electric fence, it would need to be within a few inches of the ground to catch an otter on the nose. Otherwise, I would think he would slide right under it?

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Black Forest, Colorado
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    What if you took some hardware fabric or other metal mesh and used it to make a fence, with the bottom partially buried, and hooked that to the e-fence ground. Then, run your hot wires parallel to the ground along the side of the outside of the fence on insulated standoffs? That way, for the otters to get in, they would have to climb the mesh fence, but as they did, they would have to come into contact with the hot wires? No way to "duck under" or jump through.
    Working beeyards at 7700' elevation in Ponderosa pine forest.
    Visit us at Best Raw Honey

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    I don't know how many koi fish you have.
    Maybe to make a fish cage out of metal panels and 55 gal floating barrels like
    the commercial fisheries do. Fancy kois are expensive so maybe to double up on
    the metal wires will do. Make sure the cage is deep enough to not
    freeze the kois to death during the winter time. Perhaps they already have these cages made.
    You want 2 just in case to minimize your risks. Also, don't forget to lock the top panel too and put
    an anchor on so that the wind will not blow it away.


    Wire Mesh Containers:
    Size - 40" x 48" x 36" (30" usable)
    2" x 2" grid pattern.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by beepro; 11-21-2015 at 09:31 PM.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,208

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tejones121 View Post
    I used to do a lot of trapping in my teenage years and have caught a few otters. The thing about otters is that they patrol a very large area. Sometimes it may take them several weeks to make their rounds. So if you see fresh otter sign or activity at your pond, it may be 20 or 30 days before they come back through. Very discouraging for a trapper trying to catch a nuisance otter. We trapped some otters for a farmer who was raising catfish and stripers in some ponds. We would catch one every few weeks. Easy to catch when they showed up. Just a long waiting game.
    As for an electric fence, it would need to be within a few inches of the ground to catch an otter on the nose. Otherwise, I would think he would slide right under it?
    Ahh, a local expert!! Thanks for providing the insight. What I didn't say earlier is that my wife caught the otter in the pond at 2:45 PM and scared it out where it hid under a small foot bridge. While under the bridge she called me (I was at work 35 minutes away), so I called a neighbor who sent their 16 yo son over with a 22 rifle. They lifted the bridge and had a clear shot at the otter, but apparently the gun didn't fire (could have been cold feet). At that point the otter decided to run and that's when my wife started chasing it - not sure what she would have done if it stopped running ?? I sure would have liked to get some video of that That was about 2 weeks ago and we haven't seen it since. However, everything I read says that they WILL be back. My big concern is that it will come back after the temperature drops and the koi become much slower. The otter could easily wipe out our best fish. Previously, most of the big ones survived the encounters, but they decimated the baby koi that were born this spring. We had about a 100 babies about 2 to 3 inches long and all but 20 are gone. The otter also took a large buttery koi - these can't swim as fast as standard koi. Some of the big koi had tail damage where the otter attempted to catch them.

    What kind of traps did you use? The conibear traps are just too risky for our cats. The trapper set several foot hold traps and a live trap. We managed to catch one of the cats in the live trap.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,324

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    This might work, shouldn't catch a cat in this

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bv6y6wO2Snc

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA, USA
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    Ahh, a local expert!! Thanks for providing the insight. What I didn't say earlier is that my wife caught the otter in the pond at 2:45 PM and scared it out where it hid under a small foot bridge. While under the bridge she called me (I was at work 35 minutes away), so I called a neighbor who sent their 16 yo son over with a 22 rifle. They lifted the bridge and had a clear shot at the otter, but apparently the gun didn't fire (could have been cold feet). At that point the otter decided to run and that's when my wife started chasing it - not sure what she would have done if it stopped running ?? I sure would have liked to get some video of that That was about 2 weeks ago and we haven't seen it since. However, everything I read says that they WILL be back. My big concern is that it will come back after the temperature drops and the koi become much slower. The otter could easily wipe out our best fish. Previously, most of the big ones survived the encounters, but they decimated the baby koi that were born this spring. We had about a 100 babies about 2 to 3 inches long and all but 20 are gone. The otter also took a large buttery koi - these can't swim as fast as standard koi. Some of the big koi had tail damage where the otter attempted to catch them.

    What kind of traps did you use? The conibear traps are just too risky for our cats. The trapper set several foot hold traps and a live trap. We managed to catch one of the cats in the live trap.
    Conibears should only be set in the water, and most ponds don't have drains or runs narrow enough to funnel an otter into the trap. But if there is a narrow drain that flows in or out of the pond, that is a great place to put one. Bucket sets with conibears on land are Very risky for non-target animals. In ponds, I would always use #2 or#3 size foot traps rigged on a drowning wire. These are set in the water, about 8 to 12" deep, where the otters are entering/exiting the pond. They usually enter and exit in the same places, making a slide, if they come frequently enough. No bait or lure needed.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    3,080

    Default Re: Electric Fence (not for bear)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tejones121 View Post
    ... most ponds don't have drains or runs narrow enough to funnel an otter into the trap. But if there is a narrow drain that flows in or out of the pond, that is a great place to put one.
    Reminding me of a muskrat I dispatched for my uncle many decades ago. He went into the pond drain culvert, where I'd plugged the other end with rags. I stuffed a strainer in to keep him from getting back into the pond, then unplugged the outlet and waited with my trusty slingshot. When he appeared he got a .38 slug in the forehead from the slingshot. Job done.

    But I also remember that our dachshund loved running thru one of the culverts downstream of the pond drain, so there may be a few pets that might get into a trap on a pond drain.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •