The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Zareba K9 electric review

Zereba K9 small fence charger
I think we've finally found a product that will help Lucy figure out that she's not allowed to steal food scraps from the chicken pasture.

Just minutes after the new chick made it back to mamma Lucy went sniffing around the fresh chick trail. It didn't take her long to follow it to the chicken pasture. I just happen to be watching when she got too close to the Zereba K9 lawn and garden electric fence controller. The backward leap she made seemed to break a few laws of doggie physics.

It's easy to set up. Just wrap each end of the perimeter wire onto the wing nut at the bottom. It uses something called direct discharge technology which eliminates the need for a grounding rod. With a maximum range of 1500 feet the K9 electric charger makes an excellent solution to keeping unwanted pets out of sensitive areas. Expect to pay about 25 bucks for the unit and maybe another 20 to 200 depending on how long of a perimeter you're protecting and the quality and quantity of the fence posts used.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I don't have any chickens now, but I may decide to get some in the future just for the eggs. I was wondering about Lucy, did she grow up with chickens and that is why she won't hurt the baby chick or is it because she knows that the baby chick is part of the family. I have dogs and cats and they live together for the most part with out any problems, but I'm not sure what would happen if I get chickens and allow them to free range. Also I was wondering if you would do a talk on natural pest control, like how do you control slugs, white fly, aphids, and other insects. I try to do as much as I can organically, but insects like Japanese Beatles can sometimes take over my orchard and garden.
Comment by zimmy Sat May 22 23:08:27 2010

Good questions! Lucy didn't start out as the stellar dog you see on our blog today. When we got her, she had been chained up 24-7 for months and was slightly out of control. We started training her using Cesar Milan's method, and continue to give her two training walks a day.

When the first chickens arrived on the farm, Lucy thought they were going to be dinner. I explained in this post how we introduced her to the chickens in a way that made her understand they were ours. It's not so much a matter of making sure a dog knows chickens are members of the family as making sure the dog knows the chickens belong to us. You might check out the other posts linked at the bottom of that post for more information on Lucy's training regimen.

I don't have quite as much answer for your insect question. You might be interested in the series I made last year around this time which includes a post about Japanese beetle control.. But I have to admit that my insect control methods are archaic --- if I'm particularly worried, I'll pick them off and feed them to the chickens, but mostly I try to prevent insect infestations before they begin. I plant flowers around the garden that attract beneficial insects that prey on the bad bugs, and I provide my garden with plenty of sun to sidetrack slugs. The only time I see aphids is when I accidentally overfertilize, and whiteflies are only a problem with houseplants so I move my few houseplants outdoors ASAP. We're still struggling with squash vine borers, which I think probably means I'm missing a key step in keeping our squash plants and/or ecosystem healthy. In the end, I think that's the key --- bad bugs seldom become infestations if your garden is part of an ecosystem without gaping holes.

Comment by anna Sun May 23 11:43:58 2010
A friend of mine lost his instructions and was wandering what kind of wire to use altho it says on the unit to use 10 to 17 guage would that be the same wire as used for larger cattle, I have seen that stuff just don't know if it will work
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