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Electric fence and snakes

Posted by aleksandras 7 NC (My Page) on
Tue, May 20, 08 at 7:17

I posted a question on the bluebirding forum, but it seems like the people there don't know anything about fences. I believe this is a better forum for my question. I'm trying to use an electric fence for birdhouse protection. Please, take a look on my post on the bluebirding forum (link bellow), I also have pictures there.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Electric fence and snakes

Idn't it great to have so many experts chime in and tell you what an idiot you are and never really give you a straight answer to your question?

I've learned to be pretty creative with a fence charger when it comes to keeping walking snakes out of gas tanks, toolboxes, sheds, etc. If I had a slithering snake that was climbing a pole I didn't want it to, I'd scratch my head a little and figure out how to make an electric eel out of it. Don't depend on the snake's contact with the ground, may not be strong enough. Just wrapping a wire around what you have may or may not work. If you don't want to test it yourself, con a neighbor kid into tounching it.
I wouldn't try being too creative with anything that works off house current (AC), a solar or battery operated is free game to my experiments though.

nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Have fun,


RE: Electric fence and snakes

"If you don't want to test it yourself, con a neighbor kid into tounching it."

I tested it with an electric fence tester - it was reading around 1500 volts!

RE: Electric fence and snakes

I would think your electric fence idea would work fine. It could be difficult to get the snake properly grounded for the electric fence to work properly, but to cure that just wrap 2 wires around the non-conducting post--one which is hot, a second a couple inches away which is the ground. This way, any snake climbing the pole will span both hot and ground wires while trying to climb and get a shock.

Personally, I don't like snakes and would use a shovel to remove them, but whatever gets you going in the morning.

RE: Electric fence and snakes

Beeonehe, the pipe inside the plastic one is metal and grounded.


RE: Electric fence and snakes

That's fine if it is grounded. However, the plastic pipe is not a conductor, so it insulates the snake from the grounded post. By spiraling the hot wire and the ground wire up the plastic a few inches apart, anything trying to climb will end up contacting both the hot wire and the ground, insuring they get a good treatment. With anything that is climbing, you cannot be completely certain that they have good ground contact when going up the post, so having the ground wire going up the post also insures they get grounded.

I use electric fence to keep the coons and skunks out of the sweet corn (not to mention for grazing livestock). At first, I had a couple hot wires and somehow the coons kept getting through. Then it was suggested that I alternate a hot wire a couple inches above the earth, then a ground wire 4-6 inches above that, followed by another hot wire above that. It worked tremendously. A coon pushing under gets good earth and wire contact. One trying to climb over or through will contact one of the hot wires and the ground wire, so there is no way through. On top of that, if the dirt is dry, the earth doesn't make that good of a ground for the coon (all that fur and all), so having the center ground wire tends to insure the coons try to go between the wires and get zapped. That's why I suggest it with the snake--as it climbs the plastic post, it will contact alternating hot and ground wires and get a good zap.

If the center post is metal, it will be grounded by being pounded into the earth, however it will not provide a ground to the snake until the snake starts climbing above the plastic with the hot wire. At this point, the snake has nearly completed the obstacle course. I'd rather start hitting the critter when it first gets to the post.

RE: Electric fence and snakes

I have an electric fence to keep the raccoons out of my bluebird box. I found a dead black snake on the wire today. Kept my babies safe but I feel bad about the snake

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