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Electric Fences for Livestock

If you raise livestock, you know they’re worth their weight in gold – or at least, in food you’ll put on the table for your family. So keeping those critters contained on your land is extremely important. Let’s take a look at electric fences, and at how they keep desired animals in, and undesirables out.

What are electric fences?

Take four or five strands of high tensile wire, add insulators, grounding rods and a fence charger, and you have an electric fence. An electric fence produces a brief, high-voltage pulse approximately once per second – in other words, an electric shock. Depending on how high the voltage is set, any person or animal touching the electric fence will feel it. The shock is a deterrent since most animals wish to avoid pain. Electric fences for this reason are a popular option for lifestock paddocks and containment.

A psychological phenomenon

Again, avoiding shock is a choice. Predators may choose to suffer the shock for a worthwhile prize – your delicious sheep or cow. Unlike the real damage of barbed wire, an electric fence causes fleeting pain without lasting results. This psychological barrier may not be enough to stop very determined animals.

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Types of animals

The type of animal you’re containing will dictate the type of electric fence you’ll need. The fence’s visibility is important when protecting your horse or cattle. Faster moving animals, such as horses, need stronger fencing than slower animals, such as cows or sheep. Pigs, which tend to dig their way out, will need a fence that extends farther down into the ground.


Like anything in life, electric fences have their pros and cons. They’re low-cost, as materials are lighter than other fences, and less labor-intensive to build. Electric fences require little maintenance. They provide an easy way to protect a large field, since you can place the fence posts much farther apart than you can with a welded wire or woven fence.


As mentioned above, the threat of shock might not be enough to deter, say, a rutting buck, a determined wolf or a rabid anything. If you opt for an electric fence, you’ll need to put up large warning signs. Otherwise, you could be liable if a person, or somebody’s pet, gets shocked.
At Buzz Custom Fence, we live, eat and breathe fences 24/7. So if you’re trying to protect your alpacas, goats, cows or horses, call us today. Whether you’re considering an electric, board or pipe fence, we’ll help you deduce the best solution for your situation.