Getting the best electric fence for cattle can be a great idea, especially when you want to protect your herd from external danger. With an electric fence installed, you'll have peace of mind that your cows are safe within the enclosed at all times.
Whether you want to protect your cattle or other animals from prowling predators, an electric fence for cattle will prevent your animals from escaping and keep away prowling predators.
We've taken the time to research how best you can install the electric fence and the top electric fence chargers you can use to protect your cattle from prowling predators.
- 1 What Is An Electric Fence?
- 2 What is the best type of electric fence for cattle?
- 3 1. Parmak Electric Fence Charger
- 4 2. Briidea 2-Mile Electric Fence Energizer
- 5 3. Patriot PE10 Electric Fence Energizer
- 6 4. Zareba Electric Fence Charger
- 7 5. Cyclops Master Fence Charger - AC
- 8 6. Fi-Shock SS-725CS Electric Fence Charger
- 9 How Do You Build An Electric Fence For Cattle?
- 10 Retrofit Offset Electric Fence Systems
- 11 Portable Electric Fence Line for Cattle
- 12 Don'ts of Electric Fence for Cattle
- 13 What Do You Consider When Getting the Best Electric Fence for Cattle?
- 14 Common Livestock Fencing Mistakes and How to Correct Them
- 15 Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Fences
What Is An Electric Fence?
An electric fence is a barrier you create to keep your animals inside an enclosure and safe from predators. You can also use an electric fence to keep cattle away from gardens and your beautiful landscapes.
A good electric fence will work best with an electric fence charger. An electric fence charger will ensure your security fence stays fully powered and ready to guard your animals. Electric fence chargers also act as a psychological barrier. Your cows will learn not to go near the electric fence after they get shocked.
Now that you know why an electric fence charger is crucial let's look at some of the top electric fence chargers that you should consider getting.
What is the best type of electric fence for cattle?
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1. Parmak Electric Fence Charger
- Solar-Pak - new more powerful solar panel offers increased output for longer life.
- Shocks through wet weeds and brush - for livestock control - small to medium size pastures
- Charges up to 25 miles of fence- 1.4 joules Solar/Battery operate
- Made in USA
This best electric fence for cattle ranges about 25 miles and comes with a 2-year warranty. It weighs around 11.4 pounds and has a changer that produces 1.4 joules of power.
Any predators of stray dogs that try to get into the enclosure will be hit with a strong shock. This is a low-impedance fence wire and is great for small to medium-sized areas.
The charger's efficient solar panel can charge the 6-volt battery. So if you are on a tight budget and are looking for electric fence chargers that will give you good service without breaking the bank, this is the pick for you.
If you live in an area that's prone to having bad weather, this electric fence is a great option. It can handle bad weather like a charm. It is also reliable and very robust. In addition, this electric fence can shock through wet weeds, which makes it great for cattle control.
2. Briidea 2-Mile Electric Fence Energizer
- [Available Controlling Range] Having been designed for use with electric animal fences, the fence...
- [Two Terminals] This fence energizer is standard equipped with two terminals, of which one is fence...
- [Security Protection] With its cable having been listed by UL after a series of strict tests, this...
- [Warning Sings Needed] A warning sign shall be fitted to every point where persons may gain ready...
- [For Controlling Animals] This unit is capable to both defend the domestic animals inside the fence...
The Briidea 2-Mile Electric Fence Energizer will ensure your fence stays fully charged throughout. This 0.1-joule AC-powered charger is specifically made for small spaces of up to eight acres. It delivers up to 5000 volts which is enough to protect the livestock from predators.
It also features a sturdy design that is built to last. However, it needs to be sheltered to protect it from rain. Despite this, this charger can be used to energize different types of fences, including aluminum wire, poly wire, steel wire, and poly tape fences.
Furthermore, this charger features a two-color code and easy to twiddle screw-on terminal knobs, which help you connect the fence wire and ground rods.
This Briidea energizer has undergone strict testing to ensure safety and peace of mind. It also comes with a fire prevention design for more safety. Additionally, Briidea provides a 30-day refund policy on this electric energizer for fences.
3. Patriot PE10 Electric Fence Energizer
- No load voltage = 5,000
- 500 ohm load voltage = 3,200
- 1 year full replacement warranty
- Made in New Zealand
- Main color is black
Our second pick is this electric fence with a one-year warranty and is perfect for small farms. The powerful 0.30-joule AC-powered charge can cover an area of about 10 miles. These electric fence chargers are made specifically to keep small predators away.
Suppose you live in an area that can be attacked by larger animals, better to get another electric fence wire other than this Patriot PE10 Electric Fence Energizer. If you are a beginner in the world of electric fence chargers, this is a great option for you.
First, you can check that your fence charger is working well. The LED indicator always pulses when the energy source is operating well. You also get a broad color-codded control panel.
The low-impedance configuration is another feature that ensures your fence wire gets a steady current. If your property is 40 acres or less, you can use these electric fence chargers with ease.
In addition, you will be able to keep your cattle safe from small predators with this Patriot PE10 Electric Fence Energizer.
4. Zareba Electric Fence Charger
Our third pick is this cattle fencing solution that can cover up to 50 miles properly. This fence charge comes with a 2-year warranty and produces 2 joules of power. This Zareba EAC50M-Z electric fencing is a safe option, especially when you fence a wide area.
Made in the United States, you can expect this Zareba EAC50M-Z electric fencing to serve you well. If you have access to AC power near your livestock, you'll be able to use this electric fencing with ease. The power output of this fence charger is 2 joules, and you can use various types of electric fencing.
Some of the electric fencings you can use include high pulls, poly cord, poly wire, Poly tape, and more. This fence charger is waterproof and can handle all types of weather conditions. But, of course, any predators or livestock that go neat the electric fencing will be health some serious high-voltage shocks.
These Zareba EAC50M-Z electric fence chargers will keep any wildlife or large animals from breaching the perimeter. Some of the features you'll enjoy with these electric fence chargers include a fuseless design, a pulse indicator light, moisture-resistant internal components, and a rugged, weather-resistant case.
You won't worry about any heavy weeds running your Zareba EAC50M-Z electric fence chargers. These low impedance electric fence chargers can power through heavy weeds. If you use poly fencing, this best electric fence for cattle will only power 25 miles. However, if you opt for aluminum or steel electric fencing, this charger can power the entire 50 miles.
5. Cyclops Master Fence Charger - AC
- Strongest Line, Battery and Solar Operated Chargers Built in the USA - 640 acres - 20 miles of...
- Strongest Lightning Protection in the World
- Best Quality Parts Available Worldwide
- Price/Performance - Beats New Zealand Imports
- Built in the U.S.A. / Unsurpassed Animal Holding Power
These electric fence chargers can power 20-mile electric fences without much hassle. This purchase comes with a one-year warranty, and the fence charger produces 20 joules of power. The weight of this charger is about 8 pounds.
Whether using barbed wire or high-tensile wire, you can cover up to 640 acres of farmland with this charger. In addition, you'll get one of the most robust electric fence charges with this purchase. This Cyclops fence charger has a low impedance and a sturdy case.
Your barbed wire or high-tensile wire will be able to keep out harsh predators. Thick weeds and other brush weeds are no match for this charger. The one-year warranty also includes damages caused by lightning. Talk about convenience.
6. Fi-Shock SS-725CS Electric Fence Charger
Our final pick is this Fi-Shock SS-725CS fence charger that comes with a one-year warranty and weighs about a pound. These electrical fences keep your livestock and cattle within the enclosure and predators out. In addition, you'll get a stable supply of 0.04 joules for your 1-mile fence.
These electric fences will keep your animals safe and sound. This fence charger has a low impedance and retains a steady voltage. So even if there are heavy weeds on your barbed wire, you can expect that this fence and charger will not waver.
You can put this fence charger on a post or hang it on a wall. The drawback of this pick is that this fence charger is not waterproof. Therefore you have to put this charger in a weatherproof cover.
This charger gives a continuous AC current to your electric fence. You can plug it into your standard 110-120 V outlet. If you have a farm that covers 5 acres or less, this charger will do you well. Your electric fencing will stay strong and protect your livestock and cattle.
How Do You Build An Electric Fence For Cattle?
Electric fencing system for cattle and dairy cows has become one of the safest, long-lasting and most economical alternatives to dangerous barbed wire fencing.
You have different electric fence options you can choose from, including a permanent electric fence, portable fence systems, or an offset fence that allows electrification to exist fences.
Permanent fences will ensure long life. They are easy to instable and provide effective animal control for a lifetime. If you're looking for a permanent and safe dairy cattle barrier, then a two-wire system will be okay. However, for beef cattle with several calves, then a three-wire system is the best solution.
For a long-lasting or permanent electric fence, you will need;
- High tensile wire- Get the correct length depending on the area you will be enclosing and strands you will be using.
- Fence posts that are planted deep
- A high-quality gate- Ensure you measure the size of the opening before building or buying the gate.
- Underground coated cable to transfer power from one gate to another.
- Energizer/ Charger- A bigger energizer is recommended to ensure that enough voltage will flow through the wire. Two thousand volts is required for summer while 4000 volts for winter.
- Ground rods- A minimum of three ground rods, 6– 8 foot (1.8 – 2.4 meter) long rods.
- Insulator per wire and per post.
- Nails are needed to secure the posts in place.
- Corner strainers per wire and per corner post.
Steps on How to Construct Electric Fencing System
1. Clean and clear the area where the fence and posts will go through. Ensure the fence line is clear from dirt and debris that could interrupt the flow of an electric charge.
2. Install the fence posts. To do this, use a hole digger to dig deep holes for a permanent fence. However, if you're going for a temporary fence line, use small plastic or metal push-in posts.
3. Using an underground gate cable, transfer the power from one gate to another.
4. Fix the high tensile wires to the fence post using an insulator and secure the wires to the fence post using nails. Feed the wires through the insulators at corner posts but never pull the fence wire too tight while installing.
5. Connect the second wire to the energizer, and the remaining wires (top and bottom wire) should be left to be used as grounding wires. The top wire should be about 30 inches, the second wire at 20 inches and the bottom wire at 16 inches in a very low profile fence. The bottom wire should be at least 22 inches from the ground, and the top wire should be 49 inches in high profile fence.
6. Install ground rods and additional earth stakes by connecting the top of each stake with a lead-out cable.
7. Determine the voltage of the fence. To do this, test from the energizer for accurate measurement and ensure a minimum of 3000 volts is running through the electrified wire.
Retrofit Offset Electric Fence Systems
Offset/ retrofit electric fencing is an easy and economical way to install, especially if you have an existing non-electric fence, for example, barb wire, mesh, or wood wire. Ideally, this is a quick way to electrify an existing fence.
In the installation, offset brackets are fitted to the fence using an electrified wire on both or one side of the fence. The wire will discourage an animal from rubbing against or biting the fence line, which extends the life of a good fence.
There are several offsets available that can be used to attach to steel posts or wood composite posts. In addition, there are some that can be mounted directly to the wires of an existing fence.
Portable Electric Fence Line for Cattle
A portable electric fence is an ideal option if you want a temporary and easy-to-move enclosure. It is suitable for dividing fields into multiple paddocks and is ideal for rationed grazing or strip grazing, allowing you to achieve a maximum yield from the grass.
It mainly consists of a poly wire and lightweight, portable posts, which makes it easy to attach the wire to the posts.
When it comes to portable fencing, there are two main options;
a). Solar Option
If you're trying to graze livestock in remote areas where electric power is not available, then solar panels are a great option. Fortunately, if you're already using a solar water pumping system in a remote area, you can easily hook up the energizer to the existing structure.
At high noon, ensure the solar panel is properly installed facing the sun. This will ensure the solar panel charges the battery on high noon, which then powers the wires of the fence.
b). Temporary Fencing
A high tensile wire can be used as portable fencing to provide the user with flexibility in rational grazing systems. For example, you can divide up feed and paddock options on periods of drought.
For this type of fencing and equipment, recommended is a real wire and step-in posts.
Don'ts of Electric Fence for Cattle
- Do not use barb wire on gates.
- Avoid overtightening the wire as it might break.
- Avoid running the electric wire in conjunction with a barb wire.
- Don't use copper wire for the grounding system as it may easily corrode.
- Never use the gate wire to transfer power from one side to the other.
- Avoid low-quality or power-robbing supplies.
What Do You Consider When Getting the Best Electric Fence for Cattle?
1. Type of Electric Fence Chargers
a). AC-Powered (Plug-in)
These electric fence chargers are powered directly from your outlet. You'll need to connect the electric fencing charger to the outlet for it to work and keep your cattle inside the barrier. You'll need an extension cable if your outlet is a distance from the charger.
A good example is our fifth pick which is AC-powered. Ensure that you take precautions if you need to use an extension cable.
b). DC-Powered (Battery)
Our fourth pick is a good example of a battery-powered charger. A great advantage of a battery-powered charger is that you can operate it from anywhere you want. In addition, you won't have to struggle to get cables or seal cable paths.
However, you'll need to charge the charger to avoid it going out constantly, and you don't know. Having some batteries handy that you can change is a great idea.
Getting rechargeable batteries can be a good investment and is a more sustainable option.
Our first pick is a true testament to the solar-powered charger. Your animals will be kept safe, and you won't have to spend so much on electricity thanks to the solar panel. These chargers are similar to the DC-powered chargers.
However, you won't have to replace the batteries since they are connected to solar panels. When the sun comes out, the battery absorbs the energy and converts it to electricity. This electric current is then transmitted to the fencing charger.
You can operate this fencing charger for a whole two weeks without sunlight. These types of chargers for wire fences are portable, lightweight, durable, and easy to use. The acid batteries used also have a long lifespan of around 1000 charging days.
The best electric fence for cattle and other livestock keeps them safe inside the fence and keeps predators like wild animals outside. The power needed to shock any preditor that wants to come in is called a joule.
The number of joules that your fences can handle determines how well they can keep the animals away. Different animals can withstand different levels of shock. You need to adjust your fencing charger to suit the livestock you're working with.
Here's a snippet of how much voltage animals like beef cattle need to get an idea of what we're talking about.
- Cattle: 3-5 joules
- Horses: 3-5 joules
- Predators: 3-8 joules
- Deer and pests: medium power
- Bear: high power
- Boar: a large shock of power
Once you know what you want to keep in and keep out, you'll be able to adjust your Jules accordingly.
3. Low Impedance
You've seen us mention this term a lot while looking at the various fences and charges. What does it mean? Low impedance means that the steady flow of current through your wire causes resistance.
When this happens, the power of the electric current will be more while the heat generated will be less. Therefore, getting a charger with a low impedance is a must if you want to power a large wire.
The area you want your wire to cover will determine the type of charger you get.
The larger the area to be covered by your electric fence for cattle, the more powerful your fence charger needs to be. We've mentioned in the product descriptions how many acres or miles the specific charger can cover.
Ensure that you check this before you decide on which charger to choose.
5. Number of Weeds
When weeds touch your wire, they draw electricity from the fencing, which means more charge will be needed. The more weeds touching your fencing, the more power you'll need. We recommend that you treat the area surrounding your fencing regularly to reduce energy consumption.
If you have many weeds, ensure that you get a fence charger that has low impedance.
6. Ease of Installation
How easy it is to install your wire and fences is a very important factor. You'll get a manual guide with your fences and charger, and you can use this to install your device. Carefully follow the instructions, and you should be good to go.
Nonetheless, some need a bit more than the instruction manual, and you may need to call in for more help. Therefore, you should consider whether you can do it yourself before you settle on the charger to get.
Some factors to consider are whether the case is waterproof or not and if you'll need to use more cables for AC chargers. Also, ensure that you use an insulated ground wire for your safety.
Common Livestock Fencing Mistakes and How to Correct Them
1. Post Spacing is Very Close
Fencers tend to use very many posts from the experience of using a barbed wire. The rule of thumb is one post for every rod length, which is about 16.5 feet. In an electric fencing system, the fence posts should be approximately 50 per mile or 80-100 feet apart.
2. The Ground Rod is Too Close to Each Other
The rule of thumb is three ground rods should be used per joule of energizer output. This means if the fence line uses a six-joule energizer, then you will need 18 feet of ground rods. Typically, this would be three, six-foot ground rods that are spaced 10 feet apart.
Ground rods will also depend on the volume of the soil. For example, if three or more ground rods are placed on the ground 6 inches apart, they will act as one ground rod due to the volume of soil they interact with. This is why more ground rods are needed in dry areas.
A ground rod is essentially the antenna receiving the electrons flowing through the soil then back to the energizer, helping complete the circuit. A galvanized rod is the best ground rod since most livestock fencing companies use a galvanized wire for the energizers.
Unlike copper, galvanized materials are not as expensive, and you also don't have to worry about corrosion.
A 12.5 gauge galvanized wire, galvanized connections, and galvanized ground rods are recommended.
3. Corner Posts are Not Deep Enough
This is the topmost mistake when it comes to livestock fencing, be it when using a high tensile wire, woven wire, or barb wire.
Ideally, the depth of the corner posts in the ground needs to be greater than or equal to the top wire height. The corner post diameter will depend on the fence strength and the top wire.
For a light-duty fence like 1 or 2 high tensile wire pasture subdivision fence, it will only need a 4-5 inch diameter corner post. On the other hand, a 5 to 6 strand high tensile wire fence or 5 strands barbed wire fence will need 6 to 7-inch diameter corner posts.
4. Using the Wrong Energizer
Regardless of how many strands of galvanized wire are used, it is recommended to have one joule of output per mile of fence. This means if there are six miles of fence, then you will need a minimum of a 6-joule energizer.
Remember, the larger the energizer, the smaller the voltage will be since larger energizers are befitting to power through vegetation, wet grass, and short out. As a result, it is recommended to get a low impedance energizer with a low amp fuse.
However, for longer and permanent fences or shorter temporary fences that pass through wet grass, larger energizers that are powered by 12-volt batteries are recommended.
5. Using Steel Posts
Having a steel post anywhere near an electric fence is a huge mistake since you will be relying on the insulator to keep the beef cattle fence from shorting. Preferably, use highly flexible plastic or wood-plastic composite posts. Galvanized materials do not rust.
Remember, no matter how good the insulator is, you will still have a potential risk of dead shorting since something might break or pop off.
Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Fences
1. Is an electric fence good for cattle?
Yes. They keep them safe from predators that would otherwise harm them. A short zap of electricity from a cattle fence won't harm your dairy or beef cattle. However, it might hurt for a moment to ensure the memory lasts long enough to prevent them from returning to the existing fences.
2. How high should an electric fence be for cattle?
Although the fence height varies depending on a number of reasons, it should be at least 48 inches tall. This is to prevent the livestock from climbing over the livestock fencing.
A woven wire fencing should be used with several strands of top wire to prevent the dairy or beef cattle from rubbing or biting the woven wire.
Remember to place the bottom wire at least twelve inches above the ground. If you plan on keeping bulls, the high tensile wire or the fence should be at least 40 inches tall.
3. How many volts does an electric fence for cattle require?
The voltage for a cattle fence depends on whether it is a beef cattle or dairy cattle. Ideally, for dairy cattle, the recommended minimum voltage requirement is 2000v, while for beef cattle, it is between 2000-3000V.
4. What fencing type is best for cattle?
The best cattle fence type uses a high tensile woven wire steel mesh with a fixed knot design. If you're not worried about more maintenance, then this steel mesh and fixed knot fencing is definitely the best place you can start.