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Ask The Expert - Electric Netting FAQ


Here we answer questions that are commonly asked about setting up electric netting.  We hope you find the answers helpful if you are needing to explore the possibility of using electric netting for sheep, rabbits, badgers or hens.

  1. Can I roll the netting up at one end if it is too long?

We always say this… planning is key!  However, if you have purchased a length of netting and it is too large for the area you wish to install it in then it is possible to roll the netting up at one end.  There is a caveat to this statement:  if you are going to roll the netting up at one end you need to put something under the bunched up netting or the grass will grow up through it and short the system.  So we recommend using some heavy duty dpc plastic that will ensure there is no grass or weed growth around the bottom of the netting.  Netting can be rolled up and tied tight with cable ties.

  1. Can I cut the netting to size?

We always err on the side of caution when replying to this question.  Once the netting is cut it is very difficult, not impossible, but very difficult to join it back together again.  The way the net is made means that each horizontal line runs into a tail at each end of the net.  This means that the lines all connect into each other at both ends of the netting – this ensures the power can easily go around all of the horizontal lines of the net.   In effect it decreases the integrety of the net; it makes the netting less stable not having it all connected up.   I suppose the question would be why do you need to cut the netting?  And then if there is no other way to make the netting work for your situation apart from cutting it then go ahead.

  1. How do I repair the netting - I have cut it with a strimmer!

Now this one we hear every summer – the netting is either cut with a strimmer or a mower.  Ooops!  Easily done.  Luckily there are repair kits available that will help you put your netting back together as long as the hole is not too big.  The vertical lines are not electrified but the horizontal lines (apart from the bottom line) are electrified and so these lines would need to be connected back up to each other using ferrules and an extra stretch of polywire.  Once the horizontal lines are connected back to each other the power will flow freely again.  The electric fencing current requires to travel through metal so as long as there is a metal on metal pathway the current will flow.

  1. Can I cut any of the horizontal lines?

As we mentioned cutting the electric nets is not ideal.  However there may be a time when you need to cut the netting to ensure the power is going around the net.  If you cannot get tension into the second line up… ie the first live line .. it is recommended by some manufacturers that you cut this line at both ends.  This means the current will no longer have a path to follow and will not flow through that horizontal line.  If you cut the line carefully it would be possible to use a ferrule and re-join it at a later date.

  1. Can I use wooden support posts?

We always maintain that it is possible to put up an electric fence without wooden support posts.  If you use the guy ropes supplied and perhaps some extra strong netting corner posts your electric netting should maintain its position even in the strongest of storms.  I can stand testament to that as I use electric netting and it is still standing having withstood many storms on the top of an East Lothian hill!  However, there are always situations that may require the use of wooden posts as support posts.  My brother uses them for his system which is very long and contains up to 1000 hens.  Wooden posts can be useful at corners to give the netting tension or if the netting pen is going to be on a hill or steep slope.    The most important thing when using wooden posts is to ensure that the electric netting doesn’t touch the posts; if it does the fence will short out.  So use insulators, wrap the wooden post in DPC, use cable ties or bailer twine to keep the fence tensioned away from the post and make sure the netting doesn’t touch it.

  1. How do I access the electric poultry netting pen?

There are two different types of gateway on the market at the moment for accessing electric poultry netting enclosures – a rigid gate and a hot gate.  Both make accessing the pen easy.  The only trouble is that the gates need to be fitted at the end of a roll of netting because this is where the tails and clips are.  These need to slot into each other to make a secure connection so that the power transfers through.

  1. Does the netting have to be a circuit?

This is a question that is frequently asked about all types of electric fencing.  Simply the answer is no!  Electric fencing can run for 100s of miles in one direction and it doesn’t have to connect back to itself and create a circuit and this is the same for electric netting.  The only circuit that needs to be created with electric fencing is for the power to transfer from the energiser to the fence, from the fence through the animal, from the animal through the ground, through the ground and back to the earth stake… once this circuit is complete the animal will get a zap.  It all takes a matter of seconds.



Electric netting is a quick and easy way to keep animals or poultry safe.  It does require maintenance on a regular basis to keep it working as it should do.

If you have any further questions on setting up electric netting get in touch and we can chat you through what you might need to get you up and running…. 

01620 860058

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Meriel Younger

About Meriel Younger

Farmers daughter (my mother was the farmer!) with many years experience of farming, equestrian and electric fencing. Living the 'good life' and forever trying to find the perfect work/life balance!
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