3 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Electric Fence

Electrified fencing represents a safe and affordable means of controlling livestock on your property. Professionals who have been in the farming business for generations generally know how to use electric fences properly. The owners of smaller hobby operations, not so much. The thing about electrified fencing is that it does not work as well as it should if you do not deploy it correctly.

Ohio-based Mytee Products is a company that sells electrified fencing, fencing wire, and energizers. They offer the following three tips for getting the most out of a new electric fence:

1. Learn the Basics of Electricity

Although electric fences are harmless to animals when installed correctly, they can still be dangerous when installed incorrectly. That is true of anything electric. So it behooves property owners to take the time to learn the basics of electricity before even planning a fence project.

Electricity is an extremely dangerous thing when mishandled. What starts as a fairly simple project can quickly get out of hand if basic rules are not understood and followed. The good news is that there is plenty of information property owners can utilize to learn the basics. It wouldn’t hurt to take a continuing education course at a local community college either.

2. Choose Energizers Carefully

An energizer is that piece of equipment that puts the charge in an electric fence. A lot of newbies make the mistake of going with energizers that are inadequate for the size of their fencing. In other words, their fences do not produce enough voltage to be effective.

There are couple of things to consider when choosing energizers. First are the animals you are trying to keep in or out. The larger the animal, the more voltage required. You need enough voltage to provide a decent shock so that animals will learn to stay away. If the shock is two weak, an animal might push right through the fence.

The other thing to consider is location. If you are looking at a wide-open field with plenty of natural vegetation, your fence could lose power as vegetation grows up and makes contact with it. Throw in a little rain and your fence could be rendered completely useless. You need higher voltages in such cases.

3. Animals Need to Be Trained

It is possible to do all the right things when installing and electric fence and still find it is ineffective. This happens most frequently when property owners do not train their animals. Yes, animals have to be trained to stay away from electric fencing. The effectiveness of any fence is directly related to training.

A barbed wire fence controls livestock by acting as a barrier to prevent passage. Electric fences aren’t strong enough to act as barriers. So instead, you want your animals to learn to stay well away. This is accomplished by training them.

How you train livestock? By building a small training fence inside a controlled area. You put the animals on one side of the fence and food on the other. After a few shocks, livestock will decide it’s not worth trying to get through the fence to reach the food. Instead, they will look for a way around.

Properly trained livestock and a properly installed electric fence make for great results. If you are the owner of a smaller, hobby farm on which you intend to install electric fencing, please do your homework first. There is quite a bit to learn if you want to do it right. Get it wrong and you might find your electrified fence is more trouble than it’s worth.

Author Image
Reed Hamilton

Mason Reed Hamilton: Mason, a political analyst, provides insights on U.S. politics, election coverage, and policy analysis.