‘Lectric Fencing

We’ve only got 3 more days before the cows come up here to Minnesota. It’s time to get at least some of the fence in shape, so the cows will stay in and all.

My dad’s been working for the past few days to finish up the lot fence, and that’s nearly complete.  It’s just the small matter of hooking up the fence to the electric fence energizer.

For anyone who is looking to put up some electric fence, go ahead and download the Missouri NRCS Electric Fencing for Serious Graziers [PDF].  If you live in Missouri, just sign up and attend one of the NRCS Grazing Schools held every year, and they’ll give you a hardcopy, plus a copy of the equally useful Watering Systems for Serious Graziers [also a PDF].

So with excellent refrence material in hand, I went out to see what damage I could do.

First up, the wire coming off of the fence gets a cut-out switch.


That way, if we ever need to work on the fence, we can throw the switch and cut-off the electricity to it, without cutting off power to the other fences.


From there, the wire runs up over the gate (tall enough for the tractor to drive under) and to the roof of the hog barn.

I fixed up this lovely lightning choke from a coil of insulated 14ga leadout wire.


The leadout wire is connected to the charger, but there is another wire that tees off just after the lightning choke.


It ends up here at the lightning arrester before traveling on down to the ground rod.

So there it is, all quick and dirty.
It’s by no means perfect, the 14ga leadout wire will need to be upgraded to 12.5ga eventually, and there is currently only one ground rod. We’re planning on moving the fencer up the hill to the chicken coop once we reconnect the electricity to the building.  There we’ll put in the proper number of ground rods and the proper size leadout wire.

So how’s the quick and dirty fence work?


Well, at 8800 volts on the top wire, it’s working just fine for now. No wonder the pigs sound like they’re dying when they touch the wire, that thing is HOT!

But on down the fence to the second (of three) hot wires, and things aren’t so good.


300 volts is barely a tickle. The bottom wire doesn’t even register, but it’s still under ice and snow in places.
Oh well, we’ve got 3 days to straighten it all out. And then, if my sources are correct, we’ve got an ornery bull who needs to make acquaintances with a screamin’-hot 8800 volt fence.

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  1. He’s actually a pretty friendly bull. Or at least, he likes to follow me pretty closely when I’m feeding the others.

  2. Either way, he needs a good zapping.

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