Electric fence question

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Electric fence question

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    11-10-2011, 01:28 PM
Electric fence question

Hello everyone. New member here. Also new to putting up a pasture. We are putting up about a two to three acre pasture with the electric fence being that rope with the wire weaved into it. I have no idea what I need in an electric fence unit. Also, initially, there will not be electricity run to the horse shed/barn until next spring, so I understand that there are also AC, and DC, and even solar models. Can anyone give me some sound advice?
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    11-10-2011, 02:28 PM
Green Broke
Yes, don't skimp. A cheap crappy charger is $100, a decent one isnt much more.
Look at the joules rating. More is always better. The lower power chargers will ground out as soon as a wet weed touches them. You are correct. Cheapest and best is AC one you can plug in. IS there anywhere the fence comes close to a AC power source ? The DC ones generally arnt as powerful and you will have grounding problems unless you keep the fence line perfectly clean. The SOlar ones a DC (meaning they use a battery) with a solar charger on top. Pretty pricey for what you get. You pay alot of money for a low power charger because you are buying expensive batteries and a solar charger. If You get a DC unit you will be spending more money in the long run because you will get fed up and go to AC as soon as you get power run. If you go to Horse .com and look at fence charges you wiil see the joules rating and also the weeds, you'll see things like "{for use in light weeds" of "use in damp brush" that's what you want. They will call em a 50 mile charger. Yeh sounds like alot. But it isnt. You don't want to go through the hassle of having a couple damp weeds grounding out your charger.
    11-10-2011, 02:55 PM
Thank-you for the info. Nothing is ever easy, is it? I will look, but I don't think I will be close to an AC source until I run an underground next spring. Are any brands better of worse? Do I need to worry about snow this winter? I am in PA, so I will definitely need to account for it.
    11-10-2011, 08:35 PM
Green Broke
Look at the Gallagher chargers. Many consider them to be very high quality. I happen to be one of them.

Ground, ground, ground, ground, ground.

Drive at least 5 6 foot ground rods spaced 10 feet apart and connect them together.

The unit is no better than the grounding system.
    11-10-2011, 08:36 PM
Green Broke
Yeh snow sticking to the wires then going to the ground might ground things, but then I have no idea, water only conduct if it has salt traces. SOem snow belt people may bave to chime in.

With a three acre field and no AC nearby I would use three strands of high tension wire and not even worry about the electric you can add a DC charger to the top strand if you like and let it run best you can. The cable will keep the horses in whether it is electrified or not. One or two zaps early on will suffice for most horses.

High tension cable is dirt cheap, strong safe, a tree can fall on it it just stretches, You cut the tree and it springs back up. You just have to really really really brace the corners. At least 2 foot deep posts in concrete, then angled braces also in concrete. Let posts set up a couple days then you run the cable post to post, with T posts every 20 feet just wacked in the ground. On each run you have this double ended ratchet gadget with a big spring. That ratchets the cable tight like a comealong.
Putting that up will probably be cheaper than the electric cord and it lasts forever. The wire is solid core wire, Picture Barbwire with no barbs.
    11-10-2011, 09:21 PM
Joe -- water does not need to have salt in it to conduct.

Issues with electric fences in snow is that the ground is not good enough. A ground wire strung along the lower half of the fence line will look after that.

AC vs. DC -- I use a DC charger and have never had a issue with not enough charge. I have about 3 acres fenced in and the wire is all over the place. Ie. Not square fields. Lots of underbrush, etc. No problems unless a bear runs through the fence :)
    11-10-2011, 09:31 PM
I've used 110ac,solar and even ran horse fence of of a 12v car battery before(needing recharged periodically).It's not so bad, but as someone put it earlier,if any of them ground out,you have no juice.Most horses with any sense at all will stay behind it.Course most horses with any sense will stay behind kite string if they know it's there.
    11-10-2011, 09:36 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by NorthernMama    
Joe -- water does not need to have salt in it to conduct.

Issues with electric fences in snow is that the ground is not good enough. A ground wire strung along the lower half of the fence line will look after that.

AC vs. DC -- I use a DC charger and have never had a issue with not enough charge. I have about 3 acres fenced in and the wire is all over the place. Ie. Not square fields. Lots of underbrush, etc. No problems unless a bear runs through the fence :)

Might want to recheck your science books Water is not a conductor. Pure water has an extremely high resistance. It is the minerals and salts that ionize in a water solution that cause it to conduct. This is 3rd grade science project stuff here, Infact it was my 3rd grade science project. A battery, some wire a bowl of water and a flashlight bulb, put the wire in the bowl of distilled water, No light. Add some salt light comes on.
Basic electricity here.
I have no idea how much mineral content is in snow though.

"A" DC charger... How many joules ? How much wire? What type of terrain Have you ever actually tested the current in the wire with all this brush you mentioned ? DC chargers that use a deep cycle car battery sized battery can do the job but do you really wanna be hauling 70lb batteries back and forth to recharge them ?

High tension cable will get your job done and deer and bears can't break it.
    11-11-2011, 07:59 AM
"Pure" well water feeding a stock tank will conduct electricity.The heating element in some of our tanks will go bad,crack or rot and cattle will not drink from it til fixed because of the slight zapping they got.Pure is to say nothing has been added by us anyway.
    11-11-2011, 08:20 AM
Green Broke
Once the horses hit it once or twice they'll stay off of it for a few weeks until they forget.

I've got woven wire, with electric along the top and about 15 inches up from the bottom to keep the horses, and kids, off the fence.

I can run it a couple of weeks and then turn it off for a couple of weeks.

The smart horses learn not to touch it.

It also works to make dumb kids, smart. They only touch it once.
catsandhorses likes this.

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