Buy an electric fence is the cheapest, fastest, most flexible way to keep your livestock in and wild animals out. But it requires a bit more maintenance than a wooden or barbed wire fence because you have to regularly walk the line, service your charger, check the insulators for looseness and repair broken posts. But if you do those things, it’s the best way to get a heavy-duty animal barrier up and running for pennies a foot.
The heart of any electric fence is the unit called an energizer or a charger, which converts battery or solar power into the pulses of electricity that run down the wire. Those pulses are so short they’re harmless to people and pets, but enough to catch the attention of any animals and other pests.
Shockingly Easy: A Guide to Buying the Right Electric Fence for Your Needs
Once you’ve found a high-quality energizer to match the size of your plot or pasture, you need to add a power conductor, fence posts, insulators and grounding equipment. The type of conductor you choose depends on the kind of animal you’re trying to contain. For instance, there’s a different type of conductor for horses versus chickens.
You need to make sure all of the insulators are positioned correctly and you’ve added a good number of grounding rods. You need a minimum of three 6-8-foot grounding rods per energizer, and they should be spaced 2 meters apart. It’s also important to install a lightning arrestor between the charger and the fencer (turned off, of course) to stop megavolts from frying your energizer or blowing a fuse in your house or barn.