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InFocus: Check that electric fence

PUBLISHED: 12:43 17 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:48 17 October 2014

Now is the time to check your electric fence

Now is the time to check your electric fence


Autumn and winter maintenance is important, says Meriel Younger of

Autumn is coming... and daylight will be in short supply soon and so more than ever it’s important to keep our livestock safe and keep the predators out.

Five top tips:

1. It may sound strange but the best time to check if there are shorts on your fence is when it is raining. Walk around your fence and listen for a click-click sound. This will tell you where the short is actually taking place. The short could be caused by a cracked insulator or perhaps the netting has started sagging and is touching the ground or the metal prong of a post. Using a tester will also help to locate a short.

2. If the weather has been particularly windy foliage may lodge in an insulator and then touch the fence or perhaps it might lay up against a fence and cause a short. Keep checking your fence regularly.

3. It may be that your animals were contented during the summer months but now that winter is here they are looking for better and more feed. All the more reason to check your fence and make sure it is working as it should. Have young shrubs grown during the summer and are now touching the wire or tape? If branches or even old nettles touch the wire you will get a short.

4. Make sure your fence is well tensioned. In windy areas where the tape, wire or polywire could possibly have rubbed through an insulator you might well find a short taking place when it is wet. If they are earthing out your battery will run down faster.

5. Make sure your insulators are not cracked and broken by frost. If you are in any doubt about an insulator replace it.

Keep your fence well maintained and it will look after your stock.

There are several good online providers who specialise in electric fencing and offer free advice, including (contact: 01620 860 085)


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