My electric predator guard setup

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Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Someone asked me to post a picture of my electric predator guard set up. Here’s the two styles that I have. The first two pictures show the style that I used to start with. It's 3/4" pvc conduit, with 1/2" pvc conduit spacers glued to the side of each piece of 3/4. One at the top, middle and bottom. I'm not sure that every piece has one in the middle. I guess the picture that I can't see while typing this will answer that. LOL The hose clamps are stainless steel. The electric fence wire is galvanized. In the 2nd picture you can see how I ran the direct bury electric fence wire up through the 1/2" spacers to hold it in place, then attached it at the top.

Image
Last edited by Brad Biddle on Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Image
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

This is the last one I installed and I like it better. The gourd rack pole is a 2" ID SCH 40 galvanized pipe. 2 3/8" OD. I took a piece of 2 1/2" pvc conduit, split it lengthwise and put in on the pole. I held the two halves together temporarily with electrical tape. I then took a piece of 3" pvc conduit the same length, split it in half and put it over the 2 1/2" conduit. I alternated the cuts in the two pieces of conduit at a 90 degree angle. I used the two pieces to keep there from being any chance of the fence grounding to the pole. As you can see it's all held together and the wire is held on with hose clamps.

Image
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Rodger Drye
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

Hey Brad,

I think I like that third type the best likewise. You did a very Good job on all of them and I’m sure they will all work properly.! Should get the attention to most anything that touches it .!! :shock: :!:

Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Rodger Drye wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:41 am
Hey Brad,

I think I like that third type the best likewise. You did a very Good job on all of them and I’m sure they will all work properly.! Should get the attention to most anything that touches it .!! :shock: :!:

Rodger
They're hooked to a 10 joule charger. If I had a video of the neighbors dog that peed on one of them about 10 years ago, it would be a viral YouTube sensation. :lol:

The two new racks will have square poles. I'll have to come up with something else on those.... I'm thinking pvc fence post, slipped over the pole before it's installed, as an insulator
Last edited by Brad Biddle on Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2896
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

When I first started I shy'ed away from electric predator guards because my kids were young and we always had a lot of my young nieces and nephews around and I didn't want to risk one of them messing around with it. Now they are old enough to know better so I am looking at my options, prices, etc. Thanks for the write up.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

flyin-lowe wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:38 am
When I first started I shy'ed away from electric predator guards because my kids were young and we always had a lot of my young nieces and nephews around and I didn't want to risk one of them messing around with it. Now they are old enough to know better so I am looking at my options, prices, etc. Thanks for the write up.
You're mighty welcome. The most important thing is the charger. Don't skimp on it. Get one rated for cattle, not pets and get the highest joule output you can. Mine runs cattle fencing too, so it's probably overkill for predator guards with the 10 joule output, but snake scales aren't a real good conductor of electricity so it takes a good bit of pop to get them.

I grew up around electric fences. It didn't take but once to learn not to touch them.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2896
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Is yours solar powered or some other way?
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

No sir. It's AC. A solar powered charger, with enough oomph for me to feel comfortable using it as a predator guard would cost several $100. We have one in our back pasture that I'd feel comfortable with. This is it: https://www.statelinetack.com/item/parm ... #LongDescr
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Rodger Drye
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

Brad,

I have a Stock Master electric fence charger. I’ve had it for years and it still works as good today as it did when I first installed it. I do not use the charger on my PM poles. I wrap the bottoms of my Poles with 3/4” Bird Netting. I have 13 Grandchildren and just decided not to go with Electric for right now.
You do have some Great ideas on setting one up.!

Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Rodger Drye wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:36 pm
Brad,

I have a Stock Master electric fence charger. I’ve had it for years and it still works as good today as it did when I first installed it. I do not use the charger on my PM poles. I wrap the bottoms of my Poles with 3/4” Bird Netting. I have 13 Grandchildren and just decided not to go with Electric for right now.
You do have some Great ideas on setting one up.!

Rodger
Thanks Rodger. I can certainly understand the apprehension around the kids. It won't do any real damage to them, but it will certainly leave a lasting impression on them.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
TerryW
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

Good job, Brad, and good job explaining what you do.

Just as an attempt to complete the description of it all: In the bottom picture, for the critter to be shocked it will be shocked at ground level when it begins the climb or at the top of the pvc (if it somehow gets past ground level) and contacts the galvanized gourd rack support pipe while touching the wire that is wound around the pvc? The first method looks very effective too.

Coming from your charger, which I guess is located away from the gourd racks near an existing 120 volt plugin, I suppose you bury an insulated wire, one end connected to the charger and the buried wire is laid to all the wound wires at each gourd rack? One charger serves all gourd racks and martin houses and your shock wire for your cow pasture?

Also, back near the charger, I suppose you have a second wire which is the ground wire running from the charger to a buried rod pounded into the ground?
Lewis
Posts: 240
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

Brad, I use the same system as your first photo on two square poles. I use a Parmak Super energrizer 6.6 joules. I connect a insulated wire to my fence wire and run it down a post and then underground to the martin poles. I use removable predator guards above the electric for when lightning knocks out fence charger. I keep 2 chargers and have the damaged one repaired by Jeffers Livestock supply Dothan ,Alabama for a reasonable fee.
I think any varmits around my place have tested the fence and leave it alone.

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

TerryW wrote: Good job, Brad, and good job explaining what you do.

Just as an attempt to complete the description of it all: In the bottom picture, for the critter to be shocked it will be shocked at ground level when it begins the climb or at the top of the pvc (if it somehow gets past ground level) and contacts the galvanized gourd rack support pipe while touching the wire that is wound around the pvc? The first method looks very effective too.
Yessir. Whether they get shocked at ground level, or at the top when they touch the metal pole, as soon as the animal completes the circuit, they're shocked.
TerryW wrote: Coming from your charger, which I guess is located away from the gourd racks near an existing 120 volt plugin, I suppose you bury an insulated wire, one end connected to the charger and the buried wire is laid to all the wound wires at each gourd rack? One charger serves all gourd racks and martin houses and your shock wire for your cow pasture?
That's correct. The charger is in the barn, about 500 yards away. From the barn, to the fence, there is an insulated wire, buried in conduit, from the barn to the fence. Yes the one charger serves the fence on the front 2/3 of the farm, and the soon to be 7 gourd racks. I have an electric fence tester that I think goes up to 7500 volts. It lights up every light on it when I check it at my gourd racks. I hooked the gourd racks to the one strand of hot wire that runs around the inside of all our fencing. It's a direct bury wire made specifically for electric fences. I think in one of the pictures you can see it in the background. It's got a very heavy and thick black plastic coating on it.
TerryW wrote: Also, back near the charger, I suppose you have a second wire which is the ground wire running from the charger to a buried rod pounded into the ground?
That is correct. Just below the charger, and on the exterior of the barn, there is an 8' ground rod driven down with about 3" sticking out of the ground. If your ground is rocky enough that you can't drive it straight down, drive it at an angle. The best ground rod system for an electric fence is a cattle panel buried far enough below the topsoil to get down to the clay. That's not how ours is and would be overkill for a Martin pole, but....

We also have a 2nd electric fence wire run around the whole fence, but it's mounted directly to the metal T posts with no insulators. That wire runs back to the ground lug on the charger. That way, even during a drought where an earth ground doesn't work well, if a cow touches the hot and ground wire on the fence, they get lit up. That would be the best way to do a gourd rack, but there isn't any easy way to do that.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Lewis wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:22 am
Brad, I use the same system as your first photo on two square poles. I use a Parmak Super energrizer 6.6 joules. I connect a insulated wire to my fence wire and run it down a post and then underground to the martin poles. I use removable predator guards above the electric for when lightning knocks out fence charger. I keep 2 chargers and have the damaged one repaired by Jeffers Livestock supply Dothan ,Alabama for a reasonable fee.
I think any varmits around my place have tested the fence and leave it alone.

Lewis
It's worked very well for me for a long, long time. The only documented ground predator issues that I've had was last year when a snake got the eggs out of three gourds, all on one arm of one rack. I found snake skin in all 3 gourds. My dad had unhooked the part of the fence that runs behind my house, that the gourd racks are hooked to. I bought a light that hooks to the fence that only works if the fence is off, so that won't happen again. This is the one that I use. I'm not saying it's the best one out there, it's just the one that I got. It does work well. https://www.amazon.com/Speedrite-ST0303 ... 135&sr=8-4

After losing those eggs to a snake, I can say that the electric fence guard must be incredibly effective, because after I got the fence back on, I had no more issues. A snake finding an easy meal wouldn't have stopped on his own.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
TerryW
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

What a great thread, Brad!
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

TerryW wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:54 pm
What a great thread, Brad!
Thanks Terry. Maybe it will help someone along the way.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Whippy
Posts: 574
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - ?

I plan to put up gourd racks on my ranch next year and this thread has provided me much needed information to protect the Martins should they accept the new gourds. I'll get straight to punch and put up owl guards as well.

So thanks for the thread.

Coolwhips
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Lewis wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:22 am
Brad, I use the same system as your first photo on two square poles. I use a Parmak Super energrizer 6.6 joules. I connect a insulated wire to my fence wire and run it down a post and then underground to the martin poles. I use removable predator guards above the electric for when lightning knocks out fence charger. I keep 2 chargers and have the damaged one repaired by Jeffers Livestock supply Dothan ,Alabama for a reasonable fee.
I think any varmits around my place have tested the fence and leave it alone.

Lewis
Sounds like you’re set up is really nice Lewis. We have an extra charger too.

Whippy, glad it helped.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Black Jack
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: NC

I have a question? What is to stop a bird from cleaning its beak on one of the wires at the bottom or coming in contact with voltage? I know i set out a electric fence wire around the perimeter of my small garden years ago to keep out the rabbits using a charger of your voltage. The wire was about six inches off the ground. Sad to say this but a female cardinal attempted to clean her beak and was burnt and died. The wire came down and i would never again use a means of shock to deter predators. I an curious as what would stop this from happening on your set up?

Regards
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