Here are seven of the most common errors in livestock fencing, and how to avoid them.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in BEEF in March 2009. It has been updated to reflect changes in fence technology and use since then.
6. Gate openings
In an electric-fencing system, creating a gate system that conducts current is a challenge. Derynck recommends placing a floating diagonal brace on either side of the gate opening.
To keep the fence “hot,” trench both insulated hot and cold galvanized wires 1- foot deep under the opening (perhaps deeper in high-traffic areas or low-lying wet spots, or shallower in less-used pasture settings). “The gate no longer needs to carry current, because you have your current going underneath the ground,” he says.
“Putting a steel post anywhere into an electric fence is a big mistake, because you are then relying on the insulator to keep your fence from shorting out,” Gerrish says. He prefers highly flexible plastic or wood-plastic composite posts, “No matter how good an insulator you get, eventually something's going to break or pop off, and you have the potential for dead-shorting.”
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