Selecting the Right Electric Fencing for Your Livestock

Mar 13, 2024 | Articles

electric fencing

Electric fencing offers a solution for dynamic management of livestock, whether it be for protection from predators, to keep them from straying, or for strip grazing. When properly installed and maintained, electric fencing exhibits exceptional durability due to the minimised potential for physical interaction with the fence line. If you are looking for a long-term, cost-effective, and versatile option for effective pasture management and livestock containment, we at Chemvet Steel & Fencing offer both JVA and Stafix electric fencing that can be installed as a complete alternative to conventional fencing systems or as a complementary tool for integrated use.


The Basics Working Principle of Electric Fencing

An electric fence system operates by delivering a pulsed electric current along the fence line from a ground energiser. When an animal comes into contact with the fence, it completes the circuit between the ground and energised line, resulting in a brief, high voltage but safe shock. This controlled shock is intended to serve as a deterrent without causing lasting harm to the animal.

For optimal performance, effective electric fencing systems necessitate the coordinated operation of several key components. These include the grounding energiser, which supplies the electrical pulse, a properly designed earthing system to complete the circuit, and the conductive fence line itself.


Importance of Fence Heights and Wire Spacing

The ideal installation height and number of lines for an electric fencing system is dependent upon the type of livestock being contained. We at Chemvet Steel & Fencing recommend considering several factors to ensure effective containment, which include:

  • Size of the Animal – to stop the animal from jumping over the fence, the top wire should be installed at the animal’s shoulder height.
  • Feeding Behaviour – consider how the animal grazes. We would suggest that the wires are placed low enough to prevent them from feeding under the fence line.
  • Intelligence – contrary to belief, some livestock are intelligent enough to know that they must stay away from electric fencing where others will constantly wage a war against it, having forgotten the shock produced by the fence.
  • Activity Level – Highly active and strong reproductive livestock may need to be contained using more wires, serving as a reminder that certain areas are off limits and separating them from potential mates.
  • Coat Length – corrective shocks are less effective when animals have thicker coats. Additional wires may be required to deliver the desired results.


It is vital to the efficacy of the electric fencing that these differences in livestock are considered as what may work for one species may not for another.


Temporary Electric Fencing and Strip Grazing

Strip grazing is a pasture-management technique that facilitates the controlled utilisation and subsequent regrowth of forage. This method involves sectioning off designated areas within the pasture using temporary, lightweight electric fencing that can be readily relocated. Optimal strip grazing practises suggest the simultaneous movement of fencing on both sides of the designated grazing area. This approach effectively creates two distinct zones: a designated gazing strip where livestock can consume grass and a resting area where the livestock can be safely contained, without compromising the ungrazed grass.


Customisable Fencing Solutions

Whether your livestock require fencing, feedlots, or housing, we at Chemvet Steel & Fencing manufacture and supply superior-quality fencing and steel products for the agricultural sector. Our over 40 years’ worth of extensive knowledge and expertise has made us the go-to specialists in the industry, both in South Africa and north of the border. For professional service delivery, great volumes of stock, and customised solutions, contact us.

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