Electric Fence

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Phil - MO, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. Phil - MO

    Phil - MO Active Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    I noticed the thread on electric fence and had another question.

    It was suggested by the forestry/conservation dept. that I keep my cattle out of the woods. There is no way I am going to get a 9-ft. ground rod in the ground here in the Ozarks. I'm lucky to get a fence post in 18 inches.

    Has anybody had any luck keeping cattle in with one hot wire and a ground wire around the fields? How high off the ground for each wire? How far apart on the T-posts if I do this?

  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    I keep my cows where I want them with a single hot wire. We have one ground rod at the charger, about 3 feet into the ground. If it doesn't rain for a couple months (doesn't happen too often), I pour a bucket of water over the ground rod.

    My wire is at hip height to me, probably about 2 1/2 feet, or nose level to the cows. T-posts are pretty far apart, with the smaller and cheaper electric fence posts inbetween as needed. It's not a pretty fence...it sags sometimes and deer run through and break the insulators, but it works really well.

    If your cows aren't trained to electric fence, hang some soda cans on the wire. They will go to check them out with their nose, get zapped and learn fast.


  3. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 18, 2002
    SE Washington
    I run only two wire on most of my electric fence, a ground and a hot wire. I put the hot wire about hip height and the ground about a foot lower. I have been doing this for 11 years and have not problems with it. I live next to a busy highway where visibility is not the greatest and have never worried about them getting on the highway. they have only gotten out once and that was when a car ran through the fence and I was out of town at the time.

  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    Cattle and trees do not get along very well. However, I have noticed since I do rotational grazing that the impact on the trees is minimal. You may want to consider rotational grazing as it is the best thing that has come along to pasture grazing. If I only had cattle and I wanted to keep them out of the woods I would run an electrified high tensile strength Barbed wire. This affords a level of backup should the power be out or a limb falls on the fence.