More from: fencing

Animal Fencing: To Replace or Repair?

This is the time of year when farmers start planning winter maintenance projects. Among those projects is the dreaded task of addressing fences. If you have more than a mile or two of fencing on your property, chances are you are looking at having to repair or replace some of it within the next year. So which do you choose?

To replace or repair is a question that has plagued landowners for generations. In a perfect world, repairing animal fencing would be the most cost-effective way of keeping things going without endangering animals or interrupting grazing. But sometimes repairs just don’t make sense. Sometimes it is better to replace broken fencing altogether.

The Cost Factor

We get that farmers have to look long and hard at the cost of replacement versus repair. We also understand that tearing down all your old barbed wire fences and replacing them with modern, electric fences will require quite a substantial financial investment. But you must weigh the upfront costs of replacement with the ongoing costs of maintenance and repairs.

We have heard stories of landowners repairing the same barbed wire fences for decades. At some point they realize they do not have a solid piece of fencing remaining on their properties. They have been repairing the fences for so long that they are left with miles and miles of patchwork. How much time and money have they put into those fences?

The Labor Factor

Farmers also have to consider how much labor they invest in fence maintenance and installation. One thing we know for sure is that installing a new barbed wire fence is considerably more labor-intensive than erecting an electric fence. So if you are going to replace anyway, you’ll put a lot less effort into electrified fencing.

A decision to repair your fence is sufficient motivation to step back and consider how much labor will go into the project. If you are still using barbed wire, could you affect the same repairs on an electric fence in less time and with less labor? In the long run, will you invest less labor in maintaining a new electric fence as opposed to sticking with barbed wire?

We understand that none of these decisions can be made by anyone other than you. We don’t know your situation or circumstances. We don’t know your budget. We don’t know how much time you have to invest in fence maintenance and replacement. What we do know is that modern, electrified fencing has a lot to offer. We think it’s a better long-term solution than barbed wire.

Getting Some Help

In closing this post, we want our customers to know that there is financial help available to landowners looking to install new fencing. As just one example, we ran across an interesting article in Beef Magazine talking about a Canadian organization that offers a cost-sharing program for landowners. They pay to have new electric fencing installed while the landowners agree to pay for all future upkeep and maintenance.

Closer to home, there are occasional grant programs available at both the federal and state levels. For farmers who rent their land, there is always the option of working with the landlord to see if a cost-sharing deal can be worked out. Landlords are often willing to contribute to new fencing once they understand how important it is to keeping property value stable.

Regardless of your choice to repair or replace animal fences, know that Mytee Products carries a full inventory of electrified fencing products. We invite you to take a look at our inventory here online.

 


How to Maintain Your Electrified Fencing

Regular  Mytee Products blog readers know that we sell electrified fencing components to farmers, ranchers, and casual animal owners. We believe in electrified fencing as an effective way to keep animals confined without exposing them to barbed wire fencing. In light of that, we want to remind customers to maintain their electrified fencing after installation.

As effective and affordable as electrified fencing is, it needs proper care and maintenance to remain in good working order. A failure to maintain, could lead to issues. As residents of Rock County, Wisconsin recently found out. A recent spate of loose animals wreaking havoc on county roads has led to county ordinance changes.

Loose Animals Causing Problems

Rock County is a fairly rural county in the southern portion of the state. It offers mile after mile of country roads with breathtaking scenery all around. The county is also home to dozens of cattle escapes every year. Local police say the problem is mainly due to inadequate and improperly maintained fences.

Unfortunately, allowing cattle to escape puts both them and drivers in danger. Rock County residents have seen an increase in cattle-related accidents over the last three years, some of which have resulted in serious injuries. Many times, the animals have to be put down.

Rock County officials hoped to change that when they recently gave police the authority to issue citations for loose cattle. Animal owners can now be fined up to $100 for a first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses. Local leaders hope the citations and fines will be enough to motivate animal owners to maintain their fencing.

Maintaining an Electrified Fence

Whether or not you could be cited should have no bearing on fence maintenance. If you are putting money into fencing wire, energizers, posts, etc., does it not make sense to protect your financial investment by keeping things in good working order? Sure it does.

The good news is that maintaining an electrified fence is neither difficult or costly. There is not much to it:

Broken Wires – Routine inspections will identify broken wires sooner rather than later. It is very easy to remove a section of wire and replace it with a new section. Inspections also identify problems with posts and energizers.

Post Replacement – Electric fence wire does not put nearly the same amount of stress on fence posts as barbed wire. Still, there are times when posts are damaged by the weather or some other external force. A post that is no longer doing its job should be replaced right away.

Grounding – Next to broken wire, the biggest concern with electrified fencing is grounding. If your fence is not grounded properly, no current will run through it, rendering it ineffective. Property owners should routinely check to make sure grounding wires have not been damaged or dislodged.

Solar Energizers – If you are using solar energizers, it pays to check on them every now and again. Solar components do wear out, and you might never know without putting a voltmeter on your fence and measuring energy output. You can also help your cause by making a point of keeping the solar collector surfaces clean. You do not want anything inhibiting sunlight from keeping your energizer charged.

Electrified fencing is only as effective as the condition it’s in at any given time. To make sure you get the most out of your investment, put in the time and effort to maintain your fencing. A little bit of routine maintenance goes a long way toward keeping things in shape.

 


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.