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Electric fence questions

 
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roobarb



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 132
Location: Carmarthenshire
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 15 8:06 am    Post subject: Electric fence questions  Reply with quote    

We're about to get some kid pygmy goats (about 4 months old), and have set up an electric fence around the perimeter of the field. We've tested the fence with an electric fence tester and it is reading 7,000 volts (the tester only goes up to 7,000 volts so it could be greater than this - the energiser has the potential to go up to 10,500 volts). As we understand it 7,000 volts is more then enough to give them and any predators a good shock, but is it too much? If so how would you lower the volts?

And I'm still unclear about the earthing - we have one long earthing rod off the energiser (mains energiser), and given the fence seems to be working okay, I assume one rod is enough. Is there any advantage of adding more earthing rods? Also occassionally I have to unhook the lead-out cable that goes to the earthing rod so that I can mow the grass around it. Does it do any harm to the fence/energiser if it is not earthed temporarily?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32454
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 15 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

if it isnt earthed it wont zap anything but it is good practice to turn it off when working on any part of the system (you will discover why sooner or later if you dont )

7 to 10kv is ideal ,leakage due to rain ,shorts caused by plants ,partially broken wires etc etc all take energy away from the "point of use".

the more important number is the joules per pulse which gives a guide to the length of fence it will energize.

im not expert but i have set up and maintained a few systems.


a few beginner mistake i made include :

getting zapped in a variety of comedy ways,turn it off and on again and get a field detector which is a keyfob sized thing that beeps if you are within a few feet of a electric fence that is on.

building the system so as there are live bits where vegetation will grow (ie out of reach for grazing)enough to cause a short,cardboard mulch will prevent this

be extra careful in the wet ,it hurts more and there are more opportunities to find a random live bit of something .

be kind to your dogs as they might be very unhappy about getting zapped,my half wolf decided the back of the barn was haunted and always went the long way round .

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32454
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 15 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ps

if the weather is very dry a bucket of water over the earth rod soil will keep a good earth connection,this matters as there is a higher resistance at point of use in dry weather.

pps dont worry about 7 or 10kv

ppps MAKE SURE THE RCD WORKS PROPERLY as a mains fault could be very bad

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32454
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 15 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

a couple more ps thoughts

a fence to keep goats in might need to be quite tall ,they jump iirc and a fence to keep predators out should be wide so a lowish line a few feet outside the main fence might help with that .

im not sure about foxes but wandering dogs might be a danger to small goats

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1293
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 15 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Dpack has it right, electric fencing is as much about keeping things out as well as in. Goats eat anything they can, so some distance away from the hedgerow if you want to preserve the hedge. Some buy goats as hedge trimmers and give a rail fence round the field so that they can stand on it to browse the hedge. I don't know if you have to train goats to electric fences or not, but you certainly need to explain it to pigs that if they get a shock they need to back out not go forward!, you train them in a building or with a set of hurdles round the fence before you put them out in a field, so that you have a barrier to stop them going forward and escaping to a hedge which pigs would view as a meal, and very likely freedom!
He is right about wandering dogs too they nee to be kept out and a hungry vixen may well have a go-one lowish strand should suffice!

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8399
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 15 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have used/use electric fencing for sheep, poultry, cattle, horses, pigs & goats. None have given me any trouble bar one, I gave up & went back to the tether.
I'll leave you to guess which one.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8314

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 15 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Having seen how pygmy goats jump and climb, makes sure there is nothing they can use as a spring board to escape.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1293
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 15 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Any of them could escape, Tavascaro, but tethering poultry! whatever next?

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8399
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 15 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

gregotyn wrote:
Any of them could escape, Tavascaro, but tethering poultry! whatever next?
Bodger is the poultry tetherer. His Oxford game cockerels are murderers if they aren't restrained. I've only ever tethered goats.
I tried using the high four foot posts, mains fencer & (IIRC) 4 strands & the two young nubian goatlings that I was 'training' just jumped over.
I gave up after a week.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32454
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 15 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

iirc the use of fibreglass/resin rods (think rescued tent poles)can make a fence a lot taller very easily

ps rappa had good kit when i was fencing

roobarb



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 132
Location: Carmarthenshire
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 15 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for the replies. We've used electric fences previoulsy for pigs (3 lines of tape) and ducks (netting) so have some experience of using electric fencing, so are familiar with all the pitfalls. For the goats we've put up a single strand of electric wire along the top of the existing fence, which sticks out beyond the main fence, so hopefully they will touch that before they jump/climb over to reach the hedge behind.
I now feel happier that you say that 7,000 volts+ is not too much, but it just seems a lot for a small animal to withstand - but I suppose that's the point.

I'm sure I'll have heaps more questions once the goats arrive on Tuesday

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41568
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 15 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

roobarb wrote:

I now feel happier that you say that 7,000 volts+ is not too much, but it just seems a lot for a small animal to withstand - but I suppose that's the point.


The thing is that volts don't matter much. You can get a ludicrously high number of volts by rubbing a balloon on your sweater. Amps is what kills things.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32454
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 15 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

to be very accurate it is joules delivered to tissues or disruption to the cns what kills you

the flavour the energy comes in matters a fair bit (not as much as the amount )but fence energizer units are made to surprise and repel rather than disrupt or cook.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1293
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 15 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I remember sows tethered in the 1950's with their litter being allowed to wander, as they would always come back to the milk bar!

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