Planning for Electric Fences

March 14, 2022

After you’ve decided that an electric fence will be a solution for your property, it’s crucial to do some planning. Electric fences are effective methods of deterrence and containment – when properly planned and maintained. It’s important to make sure that your layout works for your property, you have the components you need, and you know what you need to do to prepare before installing your fence. So, how exactly should you start planning to avoid extra costs or futile efforts? Here are the things that you should be doing to plan your fence.

3 brown horses grazing along electric fence with wood posts

Learn the Laws

Electric fences have regulations and laws to ensure safety. By investigating your local, county, and state fencing laws, you can learn the rules that you must follow – plus, you can find out your legal rights and responsibilities. Contacting your local cooperative extension office is one of the best resources on fencing law information.

Not only do you have to be mindful of the law, but also make sure you’re discussing your electric fence planning with your neighbors. Considering the impact that your fence might have on the surrounding property and landowners is especially important when considering a perimeter or boundary fence. In any case, they must be made aware of your plans for safety and cautionary reasons.

Lay It Out

Before installing the actual fence, sketching out the potential fence area with the distances and buildings noted can help you visualize your plan. Noting buildings and barns that will be near the fence or enclosed by the fence can alter your plan.

In your sketch, map locations of:

  • Buildings, barns, and sheds
  • Cross fences and pens
  • Electric outlets
  • End posts
  • Feed bunks
  • Fence chargers
  • Gates to be added
  • Property borders
  • Shelters and shelterbelts
  • Trees
  • Water lines
  • Wet areas

The more details you include in your fence plan, the easier the installation will be. During this step, keep in mind that the electric fence you’re planning for is unique to you and your situation. Your property will differ from others, so occasionally you might have to take extra liberties to accommodate your land.

Use a Map

Another valuable tool that can help you plan and establish boundaries maps. Aerial photographs of your farm can be a huge help in seeing your property. If you have a large property, these maps can help you put your land into perspective and help you determine where you want your fence to be in the first place.

Not to mention, topographical maps can provide information about the slopes and contours of your land, which can affect the way that you install your fencing in certain areas. Electric fencing for hilly or steep land will require different materials and installation to maintain and work successfully.

wood post with electric wire fencing

Determine Perimeter Length

Before you buy anything for your fence, you need a measurement of how much fence you’ll need. The more accurate your measurements, the more confident you’ll be when you go to buy your supplies. Under-ordering your fencing will create installation delays, whereas over-ordering will just increase your budget unnecessarily.

Choose Components

After determining where you’re going to place your fencing and just how much you need of it, you need to start purchasing the components that work together for your system. The following is a list of things that you’ll need to make sure your fence is fully functioning:

  • Fence Chargers
  • Fence posts
  • Fence wire
  • Fence insulators
  • Gate options

Buy the Tools

Fencing components aren’t the only things that you need to put together and maintain your electric fence. Fencing tools and equipment are needed for installation, which varies from standard farm tools to specialized items. Some are made specifically for fence installations, while others are used to maintain the fence over years.

The tools that you need are:

Customize Your Fence

Be sure to review the wire options needed for the type of fence that you are building and the purpose for which you are installing it. Customizing your fence for these purposes will alter your plan and require different methods of installation, components, and plans. Whether you are fencing for livestock or a deterrent, they should ultimately be altered to your unique circumstances and needs.

Livestock fencing will require electrified wire at the animal’s shoulder height, which causes the animal to hit the fence with its nose, making it back up. The height and spacing of the wires will be determined by the size and type of animals you are going to contain.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Come on down to your local Wilco Farm Store and chat with our knowledgeable and friendly staff!

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