Building a Release Pen

When Building a Release Pen – Collins Nets has got what you need!

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Release Pen

Every Gamekeeper has their own way, but most follow the guidelines set out by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust for release pen construction in one way or another.

You should generally clear a 4 metre or so wide track for your pen perimeter. You should then site the fence in the middle, removing any overhanging branches, inside or out. A release pen should ideally have one third sunny area, one third shrubby ground cover and one third roosting trees.

Release pen fence construction

To construct the fence well you need an overall height of about 7 ft, with about 1 ft buried below ground or turned out and secured down with U pins to stop predators from digging in. A further foot should be turned out at the top to hold back predators that try to jump or climb in.

Until about 10 years ago gamekeepers were using galvanised wire netting in 2 mesh sizes for the perimeter fence. Since then Jumbo semi-rigid black plastic netting has improved in quality. This is ideal for the top part of the pen. It is lighter in weight which makes it much easier to work with, and it is much less visible than galvanised wire. The plastic netting is a high strength mesh structure. This should be ultra violet stabilised, weighing 80 grams per square metre with approximately 50mm holes.

If you go all the way to the ground with the plastic mesh there is too much risk of rats chewing holes. So for the bottom part of the pen you should always use 25mm – 31mm galvanised wire netting.

Straining Wire is usually positioned at the top of the posts and another strand about 2-3ft up depending on where the wire mesh finishes and meets the plastic mesh. The plastic mesh would usually be attached to the straining wire at the top and to the straining wire and galvanised wire at the bottom. To make life easy you can use Pliers and Hog Rings for the job.

You also need to account for the stupidity of the birds that fly out but do not know how to fly back in. This can be done by having re-entry fox grid pop holes every 40-50 metres or so.


Electric fencing

An electric fence outside the pen is considered essential by most gamekeepers. Two strands of electric fence wire about 15 and 30 cm high, and 40 to 50 cm out from the pen seems to deter foxes. To deter mink some keepers will also attach a further strand of electric fence part way up the fence  6-7 inches out on stand-off insulators.

A feeder for every 50 birds is a good minimum. Make sure they are well distributed with one in each corner. Automatic water systems are the most popular choice. However it is common to have a few hand filled drinkers in harder to reach places.

We have been supplying the Game Rearing Industry for over 20 years. As far as release pens are concerned Collins Nets is a one stop shop.

If you are after a bulk order the team will always do their best to provide a competitive quote.

Take a look at the gallery of photographs here of a local Gamekeepers pen:

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