February 16, 2024

Electric Fence facts for farms and ranches

Gallagher Power fences are an effective and affordable alternative to traditional barbed wire fencing. They are not only cost-efficient but also significantly less labor-intensive to install, potentially saving up to $1,000 per mile. Contrary to popular belief, high tensile power fences are not temporary structures but are just as permanent as barbed wire fences.
In terms of safety, power fences are particularly suitable for horses. An equine power fence serves both as a protective barrier and a training tool, teaching horses to respect all kinds of fences. It is also effective in keeping dogs and other unwanted animals away from horse pastures.
Power fences also prove to be more robust against the force exerted by wildlife such as deer, elk, and antelope, which can easily damage traditional fences. The design and spacing of power fences allow for flexibility, making them resilient enough to withstand wildlife impacts while still effectively controlling livestock.
However, like any other system, power fences can also encounter issues. The most common cause of power fence failures is inadequate grounding, which accounts for 80% of all problems. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your grounding system is flawless for optimal fence performance.
To set up a grounding system for a permanent power fence, Gallagher recommends using at least three, six-foot long, galvanized steel ground rods. These should be spaced at least 10 feet apart and connected with one continuous galvanized wire. It's important to note that copper ground rods are not recommended due to the potential for reaction with galvanized steel, leading to corrosion.
Ensuring the effectiveness of power fences in areas where the soil tends to dry out can be a challenge. In such cases, Gallagher suggests a hot/ground system instead of an all-hot system. This involves alternating hot and ground wires on the fence, ensuring that the ground system reaches out to the animals and does not rely solely on the soil for connection.
When it comes to using high-tensile wire for permanent power fences, two common errors to avoid include using too many line posts and over-tensioning the wire. Remember, power fences act as mental barriers rather than physical ones for animals. Therefore, the spacing between line posts can be greater, and the wires should not be overly tightened.
The choice of energizer for power fences depends on several factors, including the type of animal being controlled, the area to be fenced, the available power source, and whether a permanent or portable system is needed.
Lastly, it is not advisable to hook up a power fence energizer to barbed wire. There is a risk of animals getting entangled and repeatedly shocked, which can cause unnecessary stress.

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