It’s that time of year when fencing is top of mind. So here’s a May 2019 article to give you a few pointers. I’ve also added Greg’s responses to some questions readers had. Enjoy!
In this 3:30 video, we visit the fence I built in 1999 that is still functioning as sheep pasture. It uses 4 strands of high-tensile, 12 guage, 180,000 psi wire set at 7, 13, 19, and 30 inches so that it can keep in goats, sheep and guardian dogs. Our posts are 4 foot high, 5/8″ fiberglass posts spaced at 25 feet. Our corners don’t have braces. Instead we pounded our long posts deeper into the ground so they have the leverage to hold the fence tight. You’ll also see the sheep grazing seedheads off fescue, bluegrass, and orchardgrass, encouraging the grasses to put out new leaves.
You’ll also want good gates, so this second 5:06 video shows how we avoid expensive metal gates and install something economical and sure to keep in sheep, goats and guardian dogs. (I apologize for the windy day that affected the sound.)
I gave up using polytape and switched to this quarter inch rope from Powerflex. With 22 steel filaments, it’s a lot stronger than polytape and doesn’t catch in the wind. On one end the gate Powerflex rope is attached to the electrified high-tensile fence, and on the other to a fiberglass post. In the video I show how I drill a hole through the fiberglass post, string the rope through and then use a slip knot to attach it there so that I can tighten it easily as necessary.
There you have it – a tight gate, that runs at 10,000 volts! Isn’t that cool!
Answer to reader questions
We use plug-in chargers. Your plug-in chargers are simpler to operate with no need for a solar panel, battery, etc. The brands we use are Cyclops and Stafix.
Our grounding system is made up of 6′ galvanized ground rods spaced 10′ apart using galvanized clamps to fasten to ground rods.
We also use hi-tensile 12 gauge wire to fasten all ground rods in series with each other. With 16 Joule and under chargers we use 4 ground rods. All the larger 18-35 joule chargers we use 10 ground rods.
If you have access to the north side of a building that has a drip line from the roof, this is an ideal spot for your ground rods. Leave 2″ sticking out of the ground to fasten clamps to.
Areas around ponds make good grounding fields as well. If your fencer is not shocking animals that touch it, usually it points back to an inefficient ground.
Under an electric fence is also an area that is out of the way where you will not be driving over them or mowing them off!
Thanks to the National Grazing Lands Coalition for making this article possible. Click on over to see the great work they do for all of us. Thank them for supporting On Pasture by liking their facebook page.