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What is an Electric Fence?

What does an electric fence do?

An electric fence is a barrier that will transmit a mild electrical shock to any animal or person that comes in contact with it. Electric fencing is typically used to contain larger animals and livestock. Any contact with the fence completes the electrical circuit and will deliver a short, sharp shock to the animal.

Did you mean: What is an Invisible Fence?

Unlike a barbed wire fence, it will not cut or scrape the animals. Over time, the animal will learn to avoid the fence and respect the designated boundary without coming in contact with it. An electric fence can also keep out unwanted intruders. It can keep deer or small critters out of your yard or it can keep larger predators from harming your livestock.

Parts of an Electric Fence:

1. Controller (or charger)

2. Grounding system

3. Terminal Posts and Line Posts

4. Lightning protection

5. Gate

6. Fence Wire

7. Insulator (to prevent shorting)

Installation Process:

Electrical fencing is affordable and easy to install. An existing (non-electric) fence can be converted to an electrical fence. The installation does not typically require any special tools or equipment. They can be temporary or permanent. The height and spacing of the electric fence will depend on the size of the animal. A fence for a horse will need to be much taller than a fence to contain cattle.

Related: Cost of Electric Fence Installation

If the voltage is calibrated correctly, the fence will not cause any long-term damage to the animal. For example, a stubborn bull will require more voltage than a group of docile sheep. Additionally, a longer fence will require more electric current than a shorter fence.


- A barbed wire fence should not be electrified. It is not safe for animals.

- If you live in dry climate that is prone to brush-fires, you should turn off the electric fence on extremely hot days.

- Make sure to have underground utilities marked before the fence is installed.

- Avoid installing an electric fence in close proximity to combustible materials.

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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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