How electric fencing works
A power fence is a psychological barrier that keeps farm animals in and wild animals and vermin out – even over long distances.
A pulsed electric current is sent along the fence wire, about one pulse per second, from an energizer which is earthed. When the animal touches the fence it completes the circuit between the fence and the ground and receives a short, sharp but safe shock. The shock is sufficiently memorable that the animal never forgets.
Because the power fence is a psychological barrier, it does not require great strength to be effective. However, it must be well designed and constructed to absorb some pressure from animals, snow and wind. The energizer must have enough power for the length of the fence and for the animals being controlled.
Uses and benefits of electric fences
Animal control is perhaps the most widely recognised reason for electric fencing. Not only does electric fencing keep domestic animals or livestock contained, it has various other important uses, including:
- Keeping wild animals and vermin out
- Separating different groups of animals
- Allowing rationing of crops and pasture
- Fencing animals off from eroding areas, trees, rivers and roads
Another significant reason for using electric fencing is for the effect it has on farm profitability. Electric fencing has revolutionised pasture management techniques and better pasture management means better profitability for farmers. Permanent or portable power fences are used to subdivide pasture to ensure even distribution of manure over grazing areas. In this way, pastures are kept fresh, short and palatable which ultimately leads to increased milk and meat production.
Other key benefits of electric fencing:
- Easily constructed and maintained
- Durable, because of low physical contact
- Light weight and easily transported
- Easily modified
- Less animal hide and pelt damage
- Deterrent to trespassers and predators.
Electric Fence Types
Permanent electric fences are a recommended long term fencing solution. Compared to conventional wooden fencing, Gallagher permanent power fence systems are economical, easy to install and operate, and require less maintenance, due to minimal physical contact with animals.
Permanent offset fences
Permanent offset electric fencing is used to protect existing conventional fencing or extend the life of new fences. Installing offset brackets also reduces damage to animal hides and pelts as it prevents the animals from rubbing against the non-electrified fence.
Portable electric fences provide flexibility in pasture management and are ideal for short-term animal control or rotational grazing. Easily transported, constructed and maintained, portable fences are an effective temporary fencing solution for a range of animals and situations.