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Author Topic: Electric fence advice  (Read 5564 times)


  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Kent
Electric fence advice
« on: July 05, 2013, 12:33:09 am »
I'd like some advice about electric fencing for keeping sheep in please. I've looked at a couple of place and there seem to be lots of different options! Green tape, white tape, white tape with red edges... I must admit I can't work out what we'd need to buy!

What is the best type to keep sheep in and what kind of posts does it need? It won't be where there are young lambs, I have a field with stock fencing for them, but there are issues with replacing the existing fencing on our rented fields with permanent stock fencing so I'd like to seriously consider electric fencing so that I can remove it later if necessary.

If it helps we keep a small flock (13 total) comprised of Hebrideans, Shetland, Suffolk cross, BWM, Romney and Texel. We also have a couple of alpacas at present.

Any practical advice very gratefully received!


  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Leominster, Herefordshire
    • Facebook
Re: Electric fence advice
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2013, 10:13:32 am »
we use electric fencing for our shetlands as our field is rented too, we use polywire with plastic posts. get the best energiser you can find that gives the biggest shock - ours is a horizon hotshock a50.
we have been lucky and our girls respect it, we used electric net first but find the wire easier to strim under when the grass grows.
we have not had lambs yet and am sure others will advise on the issues of horned sheep.


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Electric fence advice
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2013, 10:20:35 am »
Please be aware that electric netting cannot be used under the welfare code for horned sheep, which would rule out the Hebs and any horned male Shetlands. However horizontal electric wires could still be used.

Frankly we found electric net a pain with sheep getting tangled and it shorting when the grass grew, not high enough to prevent our Shetlands jumping. I think it works better with more stoical heavier breeds even if bigger sheep.

We decided in the end just to work on gradually fencing with stock fence permanent fencing, for peace of mind. Still have most of the land to do but we are slowly progressing!


  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Kent
Re: Electric fence advice
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 11:41:20 am »

Wires rather than netting would be fine, it really isn't an option to replace the existing fencing with stock fencing.

Is there any specific advice regarding wires?


  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Dorset BH21
    • Making Life Exciting Again...
Re: Electric fence advice
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2013, 12:21:52 pm »
You have loads of options in terms of wire and posts.  A lot depends on what you have already.  The most easily removable will be to use plastic posts and polywire.  For top quality, Rappa have some great posts and string and all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to make paying it out and reeling it back in easier.

Being a tight-walleted Scot, I have gone as cheap as possible. I bought cosmetic second and 'short' posts (shorts are where the horizontal bit you stand on to push them into the ground is short or absent).  The posts are cheap quality and do bend a bit if you pull the string too tight round corners, but they're a bargain at the price.  For string I scoured ebay and set up searches, and found a guy selling about 5km of black polywire for peanuts.

In terms of set up, I've found that against hedges or existing fences two strands of wire seems to be enough, but to split a field I need three or four strands.

I also have temporary grazing, but have decided that on my longer term temporary grazing (the bits that come with the house) I'm upgrading to wooden posts and galvanised wire (which came from a post on here).

Whatever you go for, I think it's worth getting it set up properly the first time.  I tried to do it too cheap at first, and now it's taking me almost the same amount of time again to move them into another field - so get plenty of gate handles, gate connectors, lead out wire and switches.



  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Electric fence advice
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2013, 12:32:39 pm »
I would also recommend Rappa, the speed rite energisers are very good (ESP the ones with a led light display showing how much charge is left, saves a lot of hassle working out when batteries need changing) and they sell all the wires etc too, they are used a lot by farmers.


  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: Electric fence advice
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2013, 05:52:44 pm »
We also bought a small solar panel to trickle charge the battery to make it last longer between charges.  This has worked really well but it must be facing maximum sun and not surrounded by long grass.  Batteries are very heavy to carry far !


  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Electric fence advice
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2013, 05:54:23 pm »
For me the biggest problem with electric fencing is that it's a pain to move and does not like corners.  I would always use a fence post at every corner this allows you to tension your fence making it less resistant to sag and windfall. Any shorting due to sag will run your battery down or cost more from your mains.  Then as suggested previously the use of reels to pay the line out can put an end to hours of untangling electric wire.  If running from a battery a line tester will take the pain out of knowing your fence still works.


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  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
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Re: Electric fence advice
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2013, 08:37:14 am »
Try ringing these people  .... great advice and no forced selling  (I just used them)

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Re: Electric fence advice
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2013, 09:12:45 am »
Any shorting due to sag will run your battery down or cost more from your mains. 

Not strictly true - The energiser will push out a set number of pulses at a set number of joules (unless its one of the high spec ones that automatically adjusts power) So it does not matter if the energiser is powering 10Km of fence line or shorting to earth 2 feet from the energiser - the power consumption will remain the same. - Safe Secure shopping for all your livestock equipment and supplies.
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