How does an electric fence work?
An electric fence provides a psychological barrier that keeps animals in - and wild animals and predators out. A pulse of electric current is sent along the fence wire from an Energizer battery (which is grounded). The pulse is usually about one pulse per second. Animals touching the fence complete the circuit between the fence and the ground. They get a short, sharp but safe shock. The shock is memorable enough to ensure that the animal never forgets the experience and respects electric fences from then on.
Although an electric fence doesn't require great physical strength (because it acts as a psychological barrier) it must still be well designed and constructed to absorb some pressure from animals, snow and wind. Its Energizer needs to have enough power for the length of the fence and for keeping animals inside it.
See electric fencing in action below.
Electric fencing benefits and uses
Power fencing helps achieve better profitability for farmers, revolutionizing pasture management techniques and pasture management. Farmers can subdivide pasture using permanent or portable power fences, which helps to ensure there is even distribution of manure over grazing areas. Pastures managed in this way are kept fresh, short and palatable - that ultimately leads to increased milk and meat production.
Electric fencing is:
- cost effective and affordable: Electric fence is 50% less expensive to build and maintain than barbed wire, according to a 2005 study by Iowa State University on estimated costs for livestock fencing.
- easily constructed
- low maintenance
- lightweight and portable
- durable – due to low physical contact
- easily modified or expanded
- ideal for keeping animals in and predators out.
A Gallagher Power Fence System is the trusted solution for convenient, economical animal control, improved pasture management and more profitable farming,
Find out more about the benefits of electric fencing and how electric fencing can be used for:
Do you need a Permanent, Portable or Offset fence?
Permanent Electric Fences
Permanent electric fences are a recommended long-term fencing solution. Compared to barbed wire, woven wire and rail fence, Gallagher permanent power fence systems are economical, easy to install and operate, and require less maintenance, due to minimal physical contact with animals.
Offset Electric Fences
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
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.
Find out more about the all-in-one portable SmartFence.
Fence design and Energizer selection
Use the Fence Calculator to design your own fence.
See our Gallagher Energizer Selection for more information. Gallagher has 110 Volt, battery or solar powered Energizers.
Electric fencing in action
See Gallagher Power Fences in action on Philip and Elizabeth Smith's sheep breeding property in Richmond, Ontario, Canada (Breezy Ridge Farm Rideaus). They've been been using Gallagher fencing products since 1984 and are very satisfied with the results. Their YouTube videos below feature Gallagher electric fencing and Jack Kyle, Grazing specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs:
For more detailed information, including tips on how to install your electric fence, download the Gallagher Power Fence Manual.
Find out about more about Gallagher electric fencing products, including electric fence components, management tools and Energizers.