A fence is supposed to be a border that is permanently accepted by animals as such. It does not matter whether animals are confined by a pasture fence or kept away from surrounding areas. So that the fence is perceived as an obstacle, electric fences are preferably used. With the help of short, harmless current impulses, which have a deterrent effect on the animal, they learn to respect the fence as a barrier. This increases the safety of pasture while minimizing the risk of an outbreak. In this post, you will learn how a fence works, why it is safe for animals, and what features it should have.
This is how an electric fence works.
In general, we differentiate between electric fencing and mobile electric fences in pasture fences.
However, both types of fence work on the same principle:
With the help of high-quality fencing, a herding tension is created. For this purpose, the fence is provided with wire ropes or bands, which are connected to a pasture fence. The energizer generates harmless high-voltage pulses at regular intervals. The Hutespannung should be at least 2000 volts and at most 10,000 volts. Recommended is a minimum voltage of 3000 volts.
A correct grounding is essential for the functioning of the electric fence. The fact that animals get a short, harmless electric shock when they contact the fence is not just because they touch the electric fence. Only by the contact to the ground, so the grounding, the previously open circuit is closed, and the current pulses flow. Suppose the connection with the fence is interrupted, perhaps because the animal recoils, the current flow also interrupts immediately. The grounding touch thus ensures the hazard-free flow of Hütespannung.
The short electric shock, which the animals feel when they touch the fence, does not cause any injuries and is entirely harmless under animal welfare law.
Depending on the composition of the system, a pasture fence can be individually adapted to the species and landscape. Here, the individual fixed fence products such as the energizer, the steel wire, the piles, insulators, and grazing gates for a safe and sustainable fence system are of crucial importance.
The fence fence
The energizer is the centerpiece of every right electric fence. Due to the deterrent effect of the otherwise harmless current pulses, the Tie re reliably held in a defined area.
The energizer releases current pulses at regular intervals. These are forwarded via a cable to the conductor material. As a result, the entire fence is electrically charged. The surges are usually delivered between 1 and 1.3 seconds. The current pulse itself only has a duration of 0.1 to 0.3 thousandths of a second.
Depending on the growth load on the fence, the fence length, the power source, and the species, the devices differ in performance. For example, blades of grass on the fence lead to loss of tension. To avoid the unwanted leakage of current, a voltage of at least 3 kV is recommended. Renewable blades of grass that come into contact with the fence are destroyed at this tension. For a power back to the unit, at least 2-3 grounding rods are recommended for mains and cordless tools.
The energy source used in the fence energizer is accumulators, which, depending on the model, are self-regulating and can communicate disturbances of their own accord. In principle, a distinction is made in the energizers between wireless models and those with a power supply unit for the socket. Wireless electric fencers are available with a rechargeable battery and integrated solar system.
The conductor material
Depending on which animal species is to be fenced off by a fence, the type of conductor material differs. No matter which form of the ladder is used, whether wire, rope, tape, or a net, they have in common that they consist of current-conducting materials. The wire-traversed conductor allows the current pulse to flow through the animal. Because only by the touch of the fence and the simultaneous grounding to the ground closes the circuit, and the animal feels the current pulse.
The longer the electric fence is, the better the conductivity of the steel wires will work. For 2.5 mm thick wires are even a length of max. 120 km imaginable. Of course, it is also sufficient to consider the voltage dissipation.
The fence posts
Depending on whether it is a mobile electric fence or a stable fixed fence, the fence posts have different characteristics.
In a free pasture fence, the fence posts are usually made of plastic, steel, or fiberglass. They are ideal for small animals, sheep, goats, donkeys, and horses. However, always depending on the given environmental conditions as well as the peculiarities of the respective animals.
Alternatively, there are wooden fences that permanently limit a pasture. Different types of wood are available for the fence, which we will discuss in more detail in a separate article. The piles must be firmly anchored in the ground for fencing. To withstand the weather and the pressure of the animals, it is advisable to bring the posts into the field using a professional ramming service. When assembling, a wire unwinder and wire dispenser help save a lot of time and energy.
The Electricity Filler (A)
The energizer is connected to the conductor material of the electric fence and the earth (B). It generates regular, short high-voltage pulses so that there is a voltage between fence and earth. The circuit is not closed. Only when an animal standing on the ground touches the fence, the circuit is closed, and the current flows through the animal and the earth back to the fence energizer. The animal perceives this current flow as a short electric shock.
The current-carrying conductor material (C)
As a conductor material braided in plastic wires from the current-carrying materials stainless steel, tin-plated copper, or Tricon, how well the material conducts the current depends on the material’s resistance (measured in Ω). For example, there is conductor material that is sufficient for smaller mobile pastures; another conductor material is suitable for electric fences with a length of several kilometers. The plastic material is much easier to handle than conventional wire and reduces the risk of injury to the animals. In most cases, the conductor material is stretched over one another in several rows.
Fence posts and insulators (D and E)
The fence posts give fence stability and guide the conductor material. But for the electric fence to work correctly, electricity must never drain into the ground anywhere on the fence. Otherwise, the tension would be gone, and the animals would no longer receive an electric shock; that is, the electric fence would be useless. That is, in fence posts made of conductive material, such as wood or steel, the conductor material is not attached directly to the fence post but guided by so-called insulators, which isolate the conductor material from the fence post. In plastic fence posts, the conductor material can also be attached directly to the fence post.
The grounding of the Energizer (F)
A clean grounding is essential so that the current can flow unhindered back to the fence energizer when touching the fence. The grounding consists of at least one steel earth rod, which is 1m deep rammed into the moist soil. In strong electric fences, three earth rods are rammed into the ground with a distance of 3m. The earth rods are connected in series and to the earth connection of the energizer. Lack of grounding is a common cause of improperly functioning electric fences.
The pasture fence insulators
Pasture fence insulators have the task that the conductor material does not come into contact with the fence posts, and in this way, the current flows into the ground.
For the best insulation, a high-quality material of the insulators is enormously essential. It is, therefore, essential to check and regularly check that external factors such as the weather do not cause any damage to the isolators. Equipped with different threads, they are available as required in a variety of designs and materials, such as plastic or ceramic.
Why is a pasture fence not dangerous?
As already mentioned, the current impulse of a pasture fence does not last longer than 0.1 to 0.3 thousandths of a second. The present itself is limited to 10 milli-ampere. If an animal gets an electric shock, its muscles contract briefly. When the electric shock is over, relax again.
Only when the current pulse for a long time, for example, 2 seconds, works, the muscles would also cramp strongly. In the worst case, this would affect the heart and lung muscles. However, since the current pulse is short-lived, it is harmless to humans and grazers. Nonetheless, it is important to choose the appropriate amperage depending on the species.
The VDE regulations at the pasture fence
The Association of German Electrical Engineers has listed in VDE 0667 some relevant safety regulations regarding the planning and installation of an electric fence. For example, the use of barbed wire is prohibited because of the risk of injury to humans and animals on the fence would be too large. Proper earthing at the appropriate depth is also crucial for a long-lasting functioning fence.
The grounded electric fence must be at least 10 meters from the houses. Furthermore, the provisions contain important regulations regarding the crossing of public roads and the need for live gates or fence crossings. We at ZAUNQ take over as your fence professional the clarification of all necessary legal matters as well as the consideration of possible danger areas and the nature protection.
The ideal pasture fence – how tall is he?
Depending on the species, the requirements for a pasture fence are very different. Here we have put together a rough guide to the number of electric wires and their optimum height. However, what the electric fence for cattle, horses, or goats looks like in practice depends on other factors. These include the species, size, and sex of the animals, the danger zone in which the pasture is located, or also the vegetation.
|species||Number of wires/bands (recommended)||Optimal height|
|Pasture fence for sheep||4 to 5||90 cm|
|Pasture fence for goats||4 to 5||120 cm|
|Pasture fence for horses||2 to 3||130 cm to 160 cm|
|Pasture fence for cattle||2 to 3||85 cm to 105 cm|
|Pasture fence for poultry||No wires, but a net||80 cm to 120 cm|
The advantages of electric fences
The operation of an electric fence is the following: At the pasture fence is continuously on an electrical voltage. However, the circuit is closed only when the animal comes into contact with the pasture fence.
A permanent pasture fence offers many advantages:
• easy to install
• easy to modify and expand
• minimal risk of injury to humans and animals
• a consistent and sustainable form of grazing animals
• consideration of the needs of animals of all kinds and adaptation to the landscape conditions
You learned in this post that an animal closes a circuit by touching the fence. The circuit must be made entirely of electrically conducting materials so that the current flows through the animal and the electric fence can thus have the desired effect.
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