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Electric fencing - a useful tool

PUBLISHED: 08:11 28 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:43 28 March 2014

Cattle contained by electric fencing

Cattle contained by electric fencing

JUNE 5, 2013: Jules Moore answers a reader's question about electric fencing on a smallholding.

Jules Moore answers a reader's question about electric fencing on a smallholding

Q – We are about to buy a 2 acre field and want to keep lots of different livestock. Can I use electric fencing to divide it up and what sort is best?
A – Electric fencing is great for dividing fields but don’t ever use it as a boundary as it is not foolproof. You need to be comfortable that, if the fence fails, the perimeter of your property has secure stockproof fencing around it so that they don’t escape. Electric netting is great for pigs and chickens, four strands of electric wire is fine for most sheep, goats and cattle and horses can be kept in with a single strand of electric tape. Animals with horns can have issues with it and pigs seem to sense when it isn’t working and are out before you realise! Mains power can power a larger area and is obviously more reliable, but you need careful planning to put it in the right place. If that isn’t possible, two rechargeable 12v leisure batteries and an energiser are a very useful and flexible freestanding alternative. Add a solar panel and that will save having to change the batteries over – if the sun shines! Do check what fencing capacity they can power, as they vary.

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