Electric Fencing and
Fence Maintenance for the Fall/Winter Season
fencing provides an
inexpensive alternative to standard wooden board fencing to contain
animals. While electric animal fences are relatively easy to maintain –
to check for loose boards or dangerous nails sticking out, and no
painting required – some basic maintenance is still necessary to keep
functioning effectively, particularly in preparation for the
when electric fences often experience problems.
To verify that your electric
fence is working effectively you will need to walk the fence line
adequate voltage is passing along your fence wires by testing with a
meter. If power is dropping from your fence it can be due to any of the
Electric Fencing and Adequate Voltage for Livestock
Animals naturally grow
winter coats to help insulate and protect them from the cold winter
This extra layer of insulation not only protects them from the
also provides some protection against the current emitted from an
fence. Therefore, it may be necessary to increase the voltage on your
during winter to ensure that you animals receive enough of a jolt for
to provide the necessary stopping power to contain your animals.
Circuits in Electric Fencing
Any brush or grass that touches
the fence will cause a short circuit, rendering the fence useless.
Consequently, to ensure that your fence remains free from vegetation it
essential to walk the fence line regularly to check vegetation growth,
back branches and overgrown vegetation where necessary. In fall dead
may fall onto the fence wires and will drain power from the fence line
they are removed.
Frozen Ground and Electric Fencing
the winter months, when soil is
dry or frozen, the charge emitted from an electric animal fence may
become weaker and the fence may even stop emitting a charge
soils are more conductive than dry soils, and as frozen soils have a
moisture content it reduces the ability of the charge to make contact
grounding rods to complete the circuit that provides the shock to the
when it touches the fence.
rectify this you can install a ground-wire return
circuit to your fence, which will facilitate better grounding to make
fence more effective during winter. You can do this by installing one
additional wires that do not carry a charge to your fence – install one
down on the fence and one higher up the fence – then connect these
wires to the grounding system of your electric fence circuit.
makes contact with a charged wire and an uncharged wire of your fence,
uncharged wire replaces the frozen soil to serve as the return circuit,
shocking the animal.
Heavy Snowfall and Electric Fencing
also cause problems with an electric
animal fence. Accumulated snow drifts can build up to touch lower fence
wires, which can cause the charge to drain from the fence in the same
vegetation touching the fence, reducing its effectiveness.
If you live in an
area that is prone to heavy snowfalls it may be prudent to install a
switch that will allow you to disconnect the lower wires of your fence
prevent this from occurring. The wires higher up the fence will still
to conduct an electric current to contain your animals securely without
power being drained by the lower snow-covered wires at the base of the
Solar Chargers and Electric Fencing
If you are
using a solar electric
you will need to ensure that the
remain clear of
snow, fallen leaves, or other debris so that they can receive energy
sun to power the fence effectively.
If this is going to be tricky in inclement
weather then it may be wise to invest in an alternative power supply,
such as a
backup battery (and battery charger) that can be charged off-site and
used as a
replacement battery while the other one is being charged.
By checking your fence regularly
to ensure that it is well grounded, that fence wires are free from
branches and snow drifts, and that the fence line is adequately
will have peace of mind knowing that your livestock remain safely
throughout the winter season ahead.
Electric Fence Supplies
is cheap and versatile as a permanent as well as temporary fence they
are well worth considering when looking at the type of fencing you will
need on your homesteads and farms. Make sure that you get
your fencing from a reputable
electric fence supplier.