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    Tractor Supply Company

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    How to Select an Electric Fence

    Authored by Tractor Supply Company

    Selecting the right fence controller for your electric livestock fence can be confusing. Considerations such as power supply, livestock species and area needing to be fenced are all factors in deciding what type of electric fence charger you need.

    Tractor Supply Co. carries American Farmworks and other industry-leading fencing brands to make sure your livestock is protected.  Find exclusive electric fencing supplies with American Farmworks to complete your fencing project - including energizers, insulators, electric fence wire and tools to get the project done.

    How does an electric fence charger work

    An electric fence charger is the heart of an electric livestock fencing system. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The fence controller is connected to a grounding system as well as the fence wire. This creates an open circuit. The circuit is completed when an animal touches both the fence wire and the ground at the same time. Electricity will pass down the fence wire, through the animal, into the soil, through the ground rods and up to the fence controller.

    This happens instantaneously and the animal receives a non-lethal shock. Electric fences are helpful in keeping your livestock in, and harmful predators out.

    A fence controller will not work effectively without proper grounding. For optimal results, you will need:

    • A grounding system of three galvanized six-foot ground rods
    • Three ground rod clamps
    • Insulated hook-up wire

    Ground rods can be galvanized or copper, six or eight feet in length and need to be spaced 10 feet apart.

    How will you power a fence charger?

    If you have access to a 110-volt outlet, alternating current (AC) power is recommended. It is reliable and requires the least maintenance.

    Depending on what type of power supply you have access to, you may need a battery-powered fencer instead. Different fencers use different battery types, but six-volt and 12-volt are the most common.

    The fencer's battery must be kept charged in order for the fencer to operate. For this reason, some people choose solar panels to power electric fencers.

    What type of animal do you need to fence?

    Consider what type of animals you need to keep fenced, weed conditions and fence length.

    There are a lot of variables that influence what type of electric fence you actually need to use: type, size, and wattage of fence controller, grounding system, length of your fence, and what type of livestock you wish to control. This video helps to explain why these are all important considerations.