Last Saturday I packed up and headed off as if I were going to a farmers market. It felt very normal and intuitive even if it's been almost a year since I've been to one. The feeling and experience of the 10 years of doing farmers markets are some of the fondest of my life, and will never leave me.
But I wasn't headed to the Ballarat showgrounds to sell eggs or veggies or even apples. I was going to sell fences. I was there for the Weekly Times Rural Lifestyle Expo, and the trailer was loaded up with portable electric animal netting. It was a very different experience to a farmers market but it was a great day. My line for the day was that I'm not a salesman, I'm a farmer, and although that is true I did find myself doing the sales pitch. But I enjoyed it - I enjoyed starting to talk to one or two people and then slowly getting a crowd of up to 30 sometimes. As more people came I got louder and I think I enjoyed it even more. People were genuinely interested and I was happy to be showing them a product I believe in and use on a daily basis.
The following is the newsletter I am emailing to all the great people I met on the weekend.
I don't have any glossy brochures but I do have years of experience with these particular fences. I have been using them for 10 years now and I can tell you that it I wouldn't want to free range poultry any other way.
At Daylesford Organics we have had up to 2,000 chickens free ranging on 50 acres of very varied landscapes with no permanent fencing whatsoever. We have found the netting to be very portable, flexible and resilient to all that we ask of it in the day to day workings on our farm.
This is not cheap netting made with cheap labour. It is made in a factory in Devon, England that has been manufacturing fencing for over 40 years.
I have worked closely with the manufacturer to produce fencing that suits our conditions. These fences stand up high at 1.2m and have double-pronged steel feet that can be hammered in in very dry conditions and stand up well in the wet.
I have also incorporated 5 extra heavy duty posts in the fence. These posts are 1.22m high and 19mm thick instead of 15mm.
So all in all the fence is 1.22m high and 50m in length. The posts are UV-stabilised black plastic and the net is dark green. The net is manufactured from polyurethane with metal filaments through every horizontal except the bottom line so that it won't short on the ground. For the bottom 300mm the mesh is very close together (75mm x 50mm) for greater predator control and to keep young birds in. There are 14 posts incorporated into the fence: 9 of them are 1.2m high and 15mm thick, and 5 are 1.22m high and 15mm thick.
To charge the net an energiser is connected to the net, and to the ground via an earth stake. This forms an open circuit and when an animal comes into contact with the net and the ground it completes the circuit and gets a shock.
It is very important that the energiser is correctly sized for the fences. This will also vary depending on how many fences you use together. As a general rule you need an energiser with at least a 0.5 stored Joule capacity and preferably 1 stored Joule to be safe. I am happy to talk to you more about the right energiser when you buy the fence.
The fences come packaged in a cardboard box that contains:
50m of fencing
5 x 19mm poles
9 x 15mm poles
a galvanized peg set for securing the bottom line
guy ropes and pegs for corner posts
a repair kit
The cost of each 50mtr fence including the above is $350 inc. GST.
Postage can be arranged for approximately $35 anywhere in Australia.
You can purchase them online at our website with PayPal, or ring or email me to arrange payment and delivery.
If you would like more information or have any questions please don't hesitate to call me on 0411040412.
I also have a few videos of me setting up the fences in the forest and around a greenhouse that you may find interesting.
I look forward to hearing from you.