More from: Energizer

Fence Installation: Getting It Right More Important than Speed

A father and son from New Zealand recently competed in a fence installation contest that resulted in the younger competitor beating the older. Apparently, the competition is an annual event at the National Agricultural Fieldays in Hamilton, New Zealand. And while speed may be important to winning the Golden Pliers competition, getting it right is more important in a real-world setting.

Here at Mytee Products, we sell a complete inventory of fencing materials including energizers and wire rope. We are careful to encourage customers who visit our Ohio showroom to take their time and do things right. Getting it right is more important than speed when you are installing a fence designed to keep your cattle in.

The Student Becomes the Master

Getting back to the New Zealand competition for just a minute, 47-year-old Shane Bouskill apparently decided to retire from competition after being beaten by his son Tony. The younger Bouskill, just 28 years old, won the competition in grand fashion. He brought an end to his father’s four-year reign as champion.

Tony’s father was already planning to retire even before this year’s competition got underway. But he convinced his father to give it one more shot. Shane Bouskill ultimately finished fourth. The two teamed up in a separate pairs competition which they won for the second straight year.

A day after the competition, Tony was back to work installing fences for customers. He said he’s not sure if his father will retire only from competition or from fence building entirely. In either case, father and son do very well for themselves building fences for farmers, cattle ranchers, and anyone else who needs them.

Building a Fence the Right Way

Fence building competitions aside, there are right and wrong ways to install electrified fencing. A property owner going electrified rather than barbed wire has a few considerations to think of. For example, the chosen energizer for any given fence has to be proportional to the amount of fence being powered. Attempting to power too much line with an inadequate energizer results in ineffective fencing.

Other things to consider include:

” The Number of Posts – Electrified fences do not require as many posts as barbed wire because the tension on the wire rope is not nearly as high. But that does not mean property owners can skimp. They still need the right number of posts correctly positioned in the ground.

” System Grounding – Electrified fencing needs to be properly grounded in order to function. It is not uncommon for inexperienced property owners to damage their systems due to improper grounding.

” Number of Lines – Electrified fencing doesn’t require as many lines as its barbed wire counterpart. Still, a fence cannot have any big gaps between lines if it’s going to be as effective as possible. Three to four lines is generally recommended.

” Backup Power – The one downside to electrified fencing is that electricity can be knocked out in a storm. It is wise to design a fence with backup power in mind. Whether that means a solar-powered energizer, battery backup, or running a generator during power outages is less important than actually coming up with a workable solution.

It is great that the Bouskills can install electrified fencing in record time. But once the annual competition in New Zealand is over, father and son go back to work with a focus on doing things right. If you have to choose between speed and a by-the-book installation, always go with the latter. Getting it right is always more important than doing it quickly.

 


Things to Know When Planning Your Electrified Fence

The addition of fencing material and energizers to our inventory has afforded us the opportunity to work with new farmers and hobbyists setting up operations for the first time. We get to talk with them about planning their fencing properly, and what constitutes an effective electrified fence. And yes, we have the opportunity to help them avoid some of the more common fencing mistakes.

Planning out an electrified fence is not difficult in principle. But to do it right, you have to understand the principles of electrified fencing. An electric fence is substantially different from a barbed wire fence – in both function and purpose. You will not get the best results following barbed wire principles.

The fencing principles described below are complements of Beef Magazine and contributing author Alaina Burt. They are part a great article describing electrified fencing mistakes as explained by industry experts.

Corner Post Depth

The corner posts of any fence system take most of the stress given that they support wires pulling in two directions. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not driving corner posts deeply enough. The general rule is to measure the distance between the ground and the height of the top wire, then drive posts in to a depth equal to or greater than that measurement.

If the highest wire is going to be 3 feet off the ground, you need 3 feet of post driven into the ground. You need enough post to offset the tension of the wires pulling in both directions. A post that is not driven deeply enough is one that will eventually pull out.

Post Spacing

The general rule for barbed wire fences is to place a post every 16 feet or so. Though this distance is quite short, a lot of posts are needed to support the barbed wire. Electric fencing doesn’t need nearly as much support. Rather than 16 feet apart, posts for electrified fencing should be closer to 80 feet. You could go as far as 100 feet to save money on posts. Space them as little as 50 feet apart if you are not comfortable with greater distances.

Why does all this matter? Because wood does not conduct electricity. Every post in an electrified fencing system represents a choke point if it interferes with electrical conductivity.

Matching Energizers

An effective electrified fence applies just the right amount of voltage based on the total length of the system. Regardless of the number of wires in the system, the rule for containing cattle and horses is 1 joule per mile of fencing. For smaller animals, it is okay to use energizers with outputs of 0.05 joules per mile of fencing.

This is one particular area in which it’s impossible to give rock-solid advice. Property owners have to consider the animals they are trying to contain in order to determine the correct voltage. We offer enough choices in energizers to meet the needs of most smaller systems.

Grounding the Fence

One last thing to consider is how you will ground the fence. Normally, grounding rods are installed at a rate of 3 feet for every joule of output. The experts recommend against placing all the grounding rods very near the energizer. Instead, they say it’s better to space grounding rods evenly apart. This is because soil conditions can affect how well grounding rods work.

Once you understand the principles of electrified fencing, planning and installing new fence is pretty routine. Here at Mytee Products, we have what you need to build your own fence for cattle or small animals.


Electrified Fencing Tips for Cattle Farmers

Mytee Products sells a variety of products for agricultural operations including fence energizers and fence wire, tape, and braid. Though we are not experts in agriculture, we do know that choosing the right components for an electric fence ultimately determines its effectiveness. We also know there are both right and wrong ways to use the fencing materials we sell.

Experienced cattle farmers already know how to use electrified fencing properly. Anyone new to the cattle game will have to learn on the job. Thankfully, there is no shortage of online resources that farmers can use to figure out what they are doing with their fencing. We can offer a few tips as well.

 

Plan All Your Fencing

The first step in constructing effective fencing is to plan everything. Do not make the mistake of buying your fencing supplies first, then trying to plan around what you purchased. Creating a plan first allows you to come to Mytee Products knowing exactly what you need to make your plan a reality.

Your plan should account for where your fencing will be built, whether it will be permanent or temporary, whether it will be electrified or not, and the total amount of square footage fencing will entail. The total length of any given fence influences electrification.

Choose the Right Voltage

Electrified fences with inadequate voltage will not do much to deter cattle from grazing too closely. Furthermore, the length of the fence will affect voltage. That’s why Mytee Products sells a variety of energizers. The farmer needs energizers that will provide adequate voltage for the entire length of the fence in question. In some cases, multiple energizers are necessary.

Learn Proper Installation Techniques

It is all well and good to properly plan and purchase the right supplies for electrified fencing. Where most cattle farmers fall down is in installation. For example, proper grounding is critical to both fence operation and safety. The farmer should fully understand the fundamentals of fence construction before the project begins.

The farmer who is uncomfortable about attempting a DIY fencing project should not take any chances. A better option is to work with a colleague who already has experience with electrified fences. Where that is impossible, paying for professional installation is worth the cost.

Carry out Routine Maintenance

Last but not least is carrying out routine maintenance on electrified fences. Like anything else, fences are subject to all sorts of harmful things including bad weather, farming equipment, and even large animals that might not be bothered by the fencing.

Energizers should be inspected and tested on a regular basis. After exceptionally bad weather, energizers might even have to be looked at for possible repair. You do not know if you don’t check. We recommend patrolling fence lines and testing energizers at least every few weeks.

Another big part of routine maintenance is fixing breaks. Remember that electrified fencing only works if the circuit that carries power through the fence remains unbroken. Any breaks in a fence line need to be fixed right away. Cattle farmers should also be looking for wear or tear that could lead to a break in the future.

Electrified fencing is a great tool for controlling cattle. When fencing is properly installed and maintained, it actually trains cattle to stay away in much the same way invisible fencing can keep dogs from going outside a specific perimeter. If you are looking to install electrified fencing for your cattle operation, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to answer questions about our energizers and other electrified fencing supplies.


Solar Powered Energizers Might Be Right for Your Fencing

Are you a cattle rancher or dairy farmer with miles of electrified fence? If so, how do you power your fencing? We have a way for you to electrify fences without the need for external power sources. The answer is found in solar powered energizers that use the natural power of nature to keep your cattle in and critters out.

Before you dismiss solar powered energizers as a fanciful idea that does not work, please hear us out. Solar energy has evolved tremendously over the last 5 to 10 years to the point of being a viable solution for electrified fences. Between new solar collectors and long-life batteries, it is now possible to energize your fences via the sun with little to no loss of reliability.

No New Wiring Necessary

The solar powered energizer works just as its name implies. Each energizer has a built-in solar panel that absorbs energy from the sun throughout the day. What is not being used to keep fences electrified is diverted into batteries to keep fences electrified once the sun goes down.

The combination of solar collector panels and batteries makes a solar powered energizer ideal for new fencing without the need to run more wiring out into the field. It is also ideal for situations in which grazing fields change and only the field currently in use needs to be electrified. A solar powered energizer lets you put electrification where you need it, when you need it.

Even When the Power Goes Out

Electric fencing that relies on grid energy is completely dependent on the grid staying up and running. If the power goes out, so does the electrified fencing. That is not a problem when you use a solar powered energizer. The solar unit keeps right on working even when there is no grid power on your property. You will not have to worry about your cattle getting out every time a storm blows through and knocks out the grid.

Cloudy Days Aren’t a Problem

Short stretches of cloudy weather are not a problem because of the storage capacity that solar powered energizers carry on board. Prolonged cloudy weather may be another issue, so it’s wise to have a backup electrification solution ready to go if it’s ever needed. But other than those rare occasions when the weather is persistently cloudy for prolonged periods, you will not ever have to worry about dead fencing.

Friendly to the Environment

Farmers know more than anyone else how important it is to protect the natural environment. When fences are electrified with grid power, they may be powered with electricity produced using fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. Not only does this mean that valuable resources are being consumed to keep fences electrified, it also means emissions escaping into the atmosphere.

Solar powered energizers are environmentally friendly in every way. They are the ideal way to keep fences electrified without contributing to fossil fuel burning and its emissions.

Two Models to Choose From

The Mytee Products inventory currently includes two different solar powered energizers to choose from. The first is a six-volt DC unit offering low impedance technology good for 3 acres of coverage. The second is a 12-volt unit with ultra-low impedance for coverage of up to 100 acres. Ultra-low impedance is offered regardless of ground conditions.

If you are looking for a new way to energize your fences without having to run new power lines, solar powered units may be just what you’re looking for. They are inexpensive, easy to use, portable, and friendly to the environment.


How Electrified Fencing Controls Cattle

A cattle farmer with a full complement of beef or dairy cows has a lot on his plate in terms of keeping that cattle in confined spaces. Despite their docile nature, cattle are powerful animals that can be quite belligerent when they want to be. Keeping them confined to certain spaces is a job for fencing.

Barbed wire fences were the fences of choice in past generations. But barbed wire is harmful to animals. These days, cattle farmers are more likely to use electrified fencing instead. Though it might seem that electrified fence is just as harmful as a barbed wire, it is not. The amount of electricity flowing through an electrified fence is minimal. Furthermore, the shock of an electrified fence is not enough to harm cattle.

Fencing Basics: How It Works

An electrified fence for controlling cattle consists of a series of fence posts, wires, and energizers. The farmer drives the posts in at regular intervals, runs two or three wires between the posts, and then connects those wires to the energizer. A fencing energizer can run on solar power, batteries, or mains power.

The final step in constructing electrified fencing is also its most critical: grounding. Grounding is what makes a fence effective in controlling cattle.

Current produced by the energizer is sent through the wires in quick pulses. A typical pulse might be only 150 microseconds, and pulses are sent through the lines at a rate of about one per second. As you can see, this means the wires are not constantly electrified.

When a cow touches an electrified fence, it completes a circuit by occupying space between the fence line and the ground. This causes an electric shock to flow from the line, through the animal, and into the ground. This minor shock is known as ‘biting’. Cattle are not exposed to a high enough voltage to endanger them; it is just strong enough to teach them a lesson.

Controlling Cattle with Fencing

The beauty of electrified fencing is that it trains cattle to stay within certain spaces without harming their health. Believe it or not, cattle are very intelligent creatures capable of quick learning. Controlling cattle with fencing is all about teaching them their boundaries.

No cow will appreciate the electric shock it receives from contacting electric fencing. Some cattle will learn to stay away with just one touch; others have to touch a fence numerous times before they figure it out. The one thing they all have in common is that they will eventually learn.

From a practical standpoint, a cow’s ability to learn can be helpful to farmers. For example, a farmer could erect a temporary fence that will be moved to a different field when grazing shifts. Yet even moving to a different field does not require the cattle to learn all over again. They will already know to stay away from the electrified fence regardless of where they graze.

We Have What You Need

Electrified fencing has proven itself over the years as an effective way to control cattle without inflicting the harm caused by barbed wire. Electric fencing is easy to build, easy to maintain, and cost-effective. Moreover, electrified fencing is as effective at keeping animals out as it is keeping cattle in.

Mytee Products has everything you need to construct electrified fencing. From energizers to fencing wire, we carry a variety of products to meet a variety of fencing needs. If you are planning to build fencing, just be sure to plan well before you purchase equipment. A good plan will set you up for a productive and inexpensive fence.