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electric fence problems

Having problems getting a good spark on fence across snow covered cattle lot.  Have it grounded with a steel rod.  Cattle still walking through it.

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4 Replies
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Advisor

Re: electric fence problems

How long is the fence?   Is your fence charger working properly?  There is a big difference in output among the various brands.  I do see several problems though with your setup.   Use a copper or aluminum rod, whatever type wire you have, I'm guessing aluminum, so you have good contact between the wire and rod.  Put a rod as close to the charger as possible.  My 1st rod is actually in the barn directly under the charger hanging on an inside wall.   Use multiple ground rods.  I have 4 counting the inside one.  They are spaced about 20 feet apart starting at the beginning of the fence.  Having an electric fence is one those times directions must be followed to the letter.  In the hot dry days of summer I pour water around the ground rods as you will lose the ground with dry dirt surrounding the rods.  Knock on wood but I'ne never had cattle walk thru in the winter, just in the summer when the ground was lost resulting in loss of voltage.  I usually have between 8-9K volts.  Voltage meters are available at Tractor Supply.  Money well spent.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Very Good Ideas...But I Have a Few More


@nwobcw wrote:

How long is the fence?   Is your fence charger working properly?  There is a big difference in output among the various brands.  I do see several problems though with your setup.   Use a copper or aluminum rod, whatever type wire you have, I'm guessing aluminum, so you have good contact between the wire and rod.  Put a rod as close to the charger as possible.  My 1st rod is actually in the barn directly under the charger hanging on an inside wall.   Use multiple ground rods.  I have 4 counting the inside one.  They are spaced about 20 feet apart starting at the beginning of the fence.  Having an electric fence is one those times directions must be followed to the letter.  In the hot dry days of summer I pour water around the ground rods as you will lose the ground with dry dirt surrounding the rods.  Knock on wood but I'ne never had cattle walk thru in the winter, just in the summer when the ground was lost resulting in loss of voltage.  I usually have between 8-9K volts.  Voltage meters are available at Tractor Supply.  Money well spent.


Those are great ideas, and I have a few more to add....

I usually have a double wire fence, especially in high traffic areas, with one wire being "hot" and the other one being grounded.....eight inches apart.  I have multiple ground rods as well, and attach a wire from the grounded side to the ground wire on the fence.  If some knot head bovine chooses to challenge the wire, they will get the full snap of the fencer between the wires.

I also use something very unusual to hold the fence wires tight.....I use several rubber tarp straps to hook the wires onto, then fasten to the end post.  Even if the toughest deer hits the fence, it just stretches out .... without breaking the wire....., zapping the critter many times until they get off the wire, and remember the lesson, as well.   Usually the insulators come flying off the re-rod posts, but are easy to put back on.... and the wire is still tight, which keeps the cattle where they are supposed to be.  I have used those rubber tarp straps for years and I have heavy deer (horned rats) traffic on our farm.....they are the best at keeping the fence in good order, even when hit by critters.

For a permanent fence, I use high-tensile wire, with the "nose wire" being electrified..... Best fence ever made!

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Contributor

Re: electric fence problems

In really cold weather with dry snow, the ground doesn't conduct to well, so the return circuit is basically an open circuit. Not much you can do if your ground rods meet the requirements specified by the charger manufacturer.

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Advisor

Re: electric fence problems

As in summer when dry ground leads to poor soil to ground rod conductivity, pour hot water around the ground rods.

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