Over the past 50 years or so, electric fencing has become the preferred choice for sheep, horse and cattle farmers. Electric fencing not only helps keep your herds contained by teaching them their boundaries, but it can also be an excellent deterrent to predators when used correctly.
However, choosing electric fencing is only the first decision. Deciding which type of fencing is best for your situation relies on many different factors. This article will discuss the benefits of different electric fence types for your pasture.
Conducting Materials by Species
For temporary pastures, fencing is primarily made of mobile mesh networks with a height of 90 cm. The benefits of these temporary fences is that they are quick and easy to set up and help prevent small lambs from slipping through. Not only that but they are also economically affordable. The mesh width should be tighter at the bottom in order to prevent “head-stretching” and the lowest horizontal wire is not electrified because of grounding. In order to improve the functionality of the net, the vertical wires should include conductors in intervals.
In the case of (semi) fixed posts, a pasture fence with four to five rows of electric rope is suitable for sheep pastures. They are also easy to set up and maintain. Wide electric tapes are not suitable for sheep. The reason for this is that in order to get an electric shock, the sheepskin must be in contact with the conductor. Thin ropes and wires penetrate through the dense, insulating fur much better than wide bands.
Stability and visibility are extremely important for horse fencing. For this reason, the electric tape or rope must be at a proper height to increase visibility for the horses.
40 mm fence tape is particularly suitable for semi-permanent fences. Due to their wide width, the tapes are easy to see and represent a high optical barrier for the horse. Often times, 40 mm tapes are combined with 20 mm tapes or an electric fence rope. In this case, the 40 mm band will always constitute the top row, as this is the most visible to the horse.
Electric fence ropes are used in areas in areas with stronger weather situations. Because of their smaller diameter, ropes are less sensitive to high winds and snow. They are also somewhat easier to install, but on the downside they are less visible and do not provide as strong of an optical deterrent for the horses.
Tip: If you work with ropes, install Litzclip Safety Links in a few places. These simple additions, placed in key areas of your fencing, can help keep your horses safe and your fence from major damage in the event of a breakthrough.
10 mm electric tape or rope are both great choices for cow and cattle fencing. Using them in combination is also very effective because cattle electric fencing should include at least two rows. Again, in this case the upper row should be the fence tape since it is more visible to the cattle. Ropes and tape do present a minor risk of injury to cattle if they run into the fence.
Electric Fence Voltages
The resistance of your fencing conductor is extremely important to understand when installing an electric fence. The longer your fence, the lower the electrical resistance of the conductor material should be. This insures that there is adequate current throughout the entire fence line.
The electrical resistance of the conductor material is usually expressed in Ω / m. The smaller Ω / m, the longer the electric fence can be because the conductor is “resisting” less current and allowing it to carry on through the fence.
Conductor material with more than 1 Ω / m can only be used for small to medium fences. If your conductor material has values below 1 Ω / m, your pasture fence can be up to several kilometers long. Please pay attention to the indicated recommended maximum fence length when buying your materials.
Copper is known to carry the highest conductivity, making it extremely efficient. Nirosta wires, however, are more fracture-resistant. The combination of stainless steel and copper or tin wires is therefore ideal. Simple plastic lines with no copper or tin conductors are by no means recommended for external fences due to their lack of conductivity.
TriCOND® is a new conductor material which exhibits 5x higher conductivity when compared to other non-rusting wires of the same thickness. Using TriCOND® conductor material in tapes, wires and ropes leads to 5x longer fences.
Although these materials do have long-life expectancies there may often still be breaks, cracks or other defects in the pasture fence inhibiting the current flow in the fence. In order to repair it quickly and safely, you should always have a few Litzclip® connectors in your pocket. Electric fence connectors from Litzclip have no measurable resistance, therefor the use of Litzclip will not affect the flow of your pasture fence. A quick and reliable fence fix!