how to electrify a bird feeder

Since then, I’ve made it my personal mission to eliminate food sources because I believe that’s the best way to deter the adorable little killers from settling nearby. I used hardware cloth to create two walls for our compost bin. It wasn’t enough. They started eating the sunflower seeds from our bird feeders. Well played, raccoons.

A group of raccoons broke into our basement one night in the spring. I discovered the grisly murders at 1AM. Chicken leg stumps in pools of blood. Dripping red arcs spattered across our chest freezer. Feathers & raccoon paw tracks everywhere. A scene straight out of CSI: Hobby Farm. I cleaned for the next four hours, much like Pulp Fiction’s Winston Wolf.

In hindsight, method #1 is MUCH easier. Since the feeder hanger is a part of the ground, it doesn’t need to be moved. Instead, place the ground wire behind one of the mounting screws that are already there. Use a few insulators to prevent the short exposed “live” wire from touching the deck railing. Pretty simple & a lot less work.

Bird Feeder MountI went with method #2 because the deck railing wires go flat on the railing & I liked how subtle that looked. The hard part is then the feeder hanger needs to be insulated from the deck & can’t touch the screws. I widened the mounting holes to fit short pieces of rubber (beer) tubing inside, & put the screws back through the tubing. I used a rubber spacer & flat washer on the screw head end, & a plastic spacer of 1/2? PEX water line (which fit nicely over the beer tubing) to hold the feeder hanger away from the deck. Bird Feeder Insulated Mounting ScrewsThen I drilled another hole in the hanger & used a small bolt to attach the live wire. I ran a loop of ground wire on top of the railing with fence staples.

An electrified bird feeder requires a “live” component that is powered by the fence charger in order to function. In order to ensure that there are no raccoons nearby, the live section must be electrically insulated from the ground. Upon the animal’s contact with live

FAQ

Does aluminum foil deter squirrels from bird feeders?

I don’t know whether it’s the shiny surface or the crinkly sound it makes when touched that keeps them off, but it turns out aluminum foil is a great squirrel repellent.

Will an electric fence shock a squirrel?

Do squirrels ever come into contact with electric fences? They can come into contact with them but seldom get shocked. Electric fences need a ground.

Does cayenne pepper keep squirrels away?

Any repellent (granular or liquid) that contains cayenne or capsaicin is very effective against squirrels. You can actually mix crushed red pepper flakes in your birdseed to repel them from bird feeders (birds can’t taste the heat).