How to Use Electric Fencing


Three types of energisers are available: 1) mains powered 2) wet battery 3) dry battery. Dry battery energisers are only suitable for temporary fencing and strip grazing.

A range of energisers are available in each category – how do I choose? Basically the more you pay, the more power output you get. This will affect the overall length of fence you can power and how effectively the fence will work with some vegetation in contact with the fence. When vegetation is in contact it will reduce the voltage of the shock felt by an animal contacting the fence. The more vegetation the less the shock, particularly with a low powered energiser.

Temporary Fence Systems

Today the most popular conductor for temporary farm fences is polywire, which is basically similar to a nylon string with strands of stainless steel wire woven into it.

For most applications a fence of 1, 2 or 3 strands of polywire will suffice. Netting is available. Sheep, goats, poultry and rabbit protection.

What is required?

Something to store the polywire on – Rutland produce storage reels which mount onto a metal post at the end of the fence run and have a handle to enable the polywire to be wound up onto the reel.

Fence posts – there are two types you will require: 1) metal posts which won’t bend placed at corners and ends. 2) nylon poly posts to support the polywire set at 10m apart.

*Please see the images section to view pictures of the items discussed above.

Permanent Fencing Systems

Why use permanent electric fencing?

There is no physical damage caused by stock rubbing against the fence.

If you intend to use strip grazing or sub divide fields the power source is always there, no need for battery powered energisers.

If fields are to be used at any time with horses as well as cattle and sheep etc, electric fencing may be more suitable and is less prone to damage.

Fence Format

Decide on the format of the fence and remember to allow for the effects of vegetation growth. On permanent pasture which is grazed regularly, this will not be a major problem on fields which are shut up for forage or are part of the rotation. Electrifying only the top strand above stock fence reduces these problems as long as hedges are cut back behind fences.

What is Required

A timber fence post system of any kind that you would normally use on the farm should be erected first to accept any stock fence being used and the electric wires.

Conductors are normally plain high tensile wire 2.5mm in dia. These are fixed to end and corner straining posts using heavy duty strain insulators. Where the wire is fixed to intermediate posts insulators will be required. Finally, remember the fence wires will need to be bonded to each other electrically at straining posts, also gateways need crossing with an insulated electrical under gate cable.

Spring Gates

These are made from sprung galvanised wire and will extend either to 4m or 6m and may be used as part of either a temporary or permanent electric fence system.


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