More from: Electrified fences

6 Important Safety Tips for Electrified Fencing

Electrified fencing is a safe way to control cattle when installed and used properly. It is a better option than barbed wire if you are the kind of cattle owner who doesn’t like the idea of your animals coming in contact with sharp barbs. Still, electrified fencing should be handled with care, so it better judgement and safety should be used during installation.

Much of the safety surrounding electrified fencing and energizers relates to installation. Make sure that you fully understand the fundamentals of electricity and how it operates before you attempt to install fencing in your property. If you are ever in doubt, have a professional do the job for you.

With all of that said, here are some important safety tips for electrified fencing. Pay attention to them for your own safety, the safety of your friends and family, and the well-being of your cattle.

1. Keep Away from High Foot Traffic Areas

Electrified fencing is intended to control cattle. It can be harmful to humans, especially children and the elderly. As such, never install electrified fencing in an area that sees considerable foot traffic. Do not install it were children play or seniors walk. Warning signs should be posted at regular increments around the perimeter of the fence to warn anyone who might approach.

2. One Energizer per Fence

It is unsafe to install more than one energizer per fence. Don’t do it. If the energizer you have chosen is not adequate for the fence you installed, either separate the fence into two separate fences or buy a larger energizer. Connecting two energizers to the same fence creates a dangerous situation because it interrupts the natural pulse cycle.

3. Pay Attention to Polarity

Whether you are using a battery-operated or plugin energizer, polarity matters. Do not ever reverse it. The red cable on a battery-operated unit should be connected to the positive terminal. The black cable goes to the negative terminal. As for plugin units, the positive terminal has a larger probe than the negative to prevent you from plugging it in the wrong way. Do not ever force a plug into the socket. If it does not plug in easily, make sure you’ve got it in the right direction.

4. Never Combine Electrified and Barbed Wire Fencing

There have been some cattle owners who have decided that combining electrified and barbed wire fencing is the best way to control cattle. It is not. Furthermore, it is dangerous. Electrified fencing is designed to create a psychological barrier that controls cattle by giving them an unpleasant zap. A zap or two is harmless. However, repeated pulses over an extended length of time can be dangerous.

Combining electrified fencing with barbed wire creates a scenario that could do a lot of damage. If an animal gets entangled in the barbed wire while the energizer is live, it could be subject to continuous pulses that eventually kill it.

5. Careful of Lightning Storms

Stay away from a live fence during a lightning storm. Just to be safe, stay away when you think lightning is approaching. If your general area is prone to lightning strikes, you might even want to unplug your Energizer before the storm hits.

6. Avoid High-Voltage Power Lines

Finally, avoid installing electrified fence anywhere near high-voltage lines. The reason is simple: electrified fencing can attract electricity from a high-voltage line, thereby creating a potentially deadly situation. Do not install a fence alongside high-voltage lines or running underneath them.

Irrespective of the idea you choose to proceed with, always remember that safety should be your primary concern when it comes to electrified fencing. A slight error in judgement could result in endangering the people and animals in the vicinity.


Tips for Preparing to Install a Hay Storage Building

Throughout most of the spring and summer, we have featured a number of blog posts talking about hay moisture testers and electrified fencing. With the end of summer fast approaching, it is time to get ready for the fall and winter seasons. That means making plans for winter hay storage. One of our temporary hay storage buildings could be the solution you have been looking for.

We sell multiple sizes of storage buildings made with heavy-duty PVC fabric and galvanized steel framing. The advantage of using one of these temporary buildings as opposed to building a new barn is flexibility. Of course, lower costs are a big advantage as well. At any rate, it helps to start making preparations for installation now while the weather is still cooperative.

Carefully Choose Your Site

The first preparation tip is one of choosing your site carefully. The amount of protection your temporary hay storage building offers will be in direct relation to the site you choose. The idea is to choose a site that minimizes the chances of something going wrong. Here are some of the most important considerations:

Power Lines – Falling power lines could cause a lot of problems for your temporary storage building. As such, choose a site that is far enough away from power lines to be unaffected if weather brings them down.

Snow Drifts – You know from experience where snow tends to accumulate on your property. It is best to avoid a location that could encourage snow drifts to accumulate along the sides or on top of the building. Snow on top is especially troubling because it adds weight.

Overhead Threats – Also make sure to choose a site free of overhead threats like large tree branches or ice dams that may fall off a nearby home or barn.

Underground Utilities – Lastly, you will be driving anchors into the ground to hold your temporary storage building in place. Choose a site you know is free from underground cables and pipes. If you are not sure where cables and pipes are located on your property, call your local utilities and ask them to come out and mark locations for you.

Site Preparation

Once you have chosen a good site, you need to prepare it for installation. If the site is not already level, start the preparation process by addressing this. A level site is important so that moisture does not collect at one end of the structure, thereby spoiling some of your crop.

If necessary, dig some trenches to provide a bit of drainage underneath the crop. If you plan to install the building on top of a concrete pad, digging trenches will not be possible. You can accomplish the same thing by stacking your hay on top of pallets. That way, any moisture underneath will be kept away from the hay.

If you need to drill anchor holes, now is the time to do it. Drill your holes and insert anchors into them to keep them from closing back up between now and installation day.

Lastly, clear out debris, equipment, and anything else that might act as a hindrance to installation. Plan on a clear area of 15 to 20 feet around the entire perimeter of the site. You do not want to waste time and effort moving things on the day of installation.

If you are thinking of installing a hay storage building in anticipation of the coming winter, now is the time to start making plans. It is already mid-August. Cold temperatures and snowflakes are just a couple of months away.


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.