Drought and electric fence

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MurraysMutts

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Hopefully some of you's guys can help. My fence is kicking out 6k about like normal. No shorts. I went along with my fence checker and did find a couple minor ones and fixed em.

However!
I got a couple calves that seem immune to a hot wire. Is it really just so dang dry that their hooves are acting as insulation? I've literally watched them go under and rub their back the entire time and never seem to get hit!

I even ran a second strand along the side they seem to prefer escaping from. Couldn't believe it, but yep, they even went UNDER the second strand!! And it was tight! So I know they made good hard solid contact the entire length of their back...

Or do I just have a charger that gave up?
Possibly putting out voltage but no amperage that makes it bite?
 
Some of them little buggers just don't seem to understand what just happened.
I understand. But there was absolutely NO reaction whatsoever. I'm baffled.

I aint got the grapes to grab that wire. I KNOW it hurts.

Neighbor just got his lil fence up. Is putting out 12k according to my tester. 80 mile charger on 4 acres. Lol

Maybe we will hook his charger to my fence and see what happens.
 
Is your second wire hooked to the charger? Sometimes it works best to have one hot and one that is grounded to provide a better ground when the animal touches the hot strand.
Dry weather isn't helping. Soaking the ground at the main ground of the charger might help. If the ground is dry, they aren't making a good contact and the second "grounded" strand should help.
 
Is your second wire hooked to the charger? Sometimes it works best to have one hot and one that is grounded to provide a better ground when the animal touches the hot strand.
Dry weather isn't helping. Soaking the ground at the main ground of the charger might help. If the ground is dry, they aren't making a good contact and the second "grounded" strand should help.
Water is running on the newly installed 6ft ground rod as I'm typing.

I seriously considered making the second strand a ground instead of 2 hots today.
 
Get a fence tester. Well worth the money.
Plus, pour a few gallons of water around your grounds.
O yeah. I got one!
Like i said, putting out its usual 6k here.

Water been running in that area for half an hour tonight. I'm gonna soak that ground area for a several evenings and see if that helps any at all. Neighbor put his ground in a great area. He has a spot that is constantly damp, tho his pasture is just as dry as mine. His is putting out 12k volts according to my tester. Mine has NEVER done that. But I've got a LOT more wire than him.
 
O yeah. I got one!
Like i said, putting out its usual 6k here.

Water been running in that area for half an hour tonight. I'm gonna soak that ground area for a several evenings and see if that helps any at all. Neighbor put his ground in a great area. He has a spot that is constantly damp, tho his pasture is just as dry as mine. His is putting out 12k volts according to my tester. Mine has NEVER done that. But I've got a LOT more wire than him.
Then you may need a more powerful charger. Other than that, I agree that some just don't care if they get a jolt.
 
Hopefully some of you's guys can help. My fence is kicking out 6k about like normal. No shorts. I went along with my fence checker and did find a couple minor ones and fixed em.

However!
I got a couple calves that seem immune to a hot wire. Is it really just so dang dry that their hooves are acting as insulation? I've literally watched them go under and rub their back the entire time and never seem to get hit!

I even ran a second strand along the side they seem to prefer escaping from. Couldn't believe it, but yep, they even went UNDER the second strand!! And it was tight! So I know they made good hard solid contact the entire length of their back...

Or do I just have a charger that gave up?
Possibly putting out voltage but no amperage that makes it bite?
Might have to string enough wire that they have to touch two wires to go through. Maybe a double fence? They could complete the circuit that way.


how many and how deep do you have your grounding rods. Don't know if that would help, but my fence instructions say have three at pretty good depths.

But last summer in Texas I could grab the fence and it didn't shock. But when I grabbed two different sections simultaneously, I found out that you don't have to have a good ground to complete the circuit😂.
 
I understand. But there was absolutely NO reaction whatsoever. I'm baffled.

I aint got the grapes to grab that wire. I KNOW it hurts.
Just because you didn't see the reaction doesn't mean there wasn't one. If you (or anything else) gets shocked or tapped on the front of the head, you back up. If shocked on the back of the head or top/back of the neck, you (and the calves) will instinctively lurch forward. Once they've got their head thru, they'll keep moving forward no matter what because they sense the pain is coming from behind them. Inversely, if they back ass first into a hot wire, they'll move away from it.
 
We'll fix it. Think joules (8-12) not volts Before we get to that.... I do not know how much area you cover or how many but from
reading your posts 3 ground rods should be sufficient. If you do not have 3 with a depth of at least 5-6' about 5' apart consider it,
The ground wire and the hot wire can be different but you can't mix them within their purpose. Hotwire cannot be of variable material,
ie don;t mix copper and steel..
If you can fence using 110 volt do it. (Leave the solar energy to JB) Just remember if you are using
steel posts the insulators will need to be checked more often. A cracked insulator my look functional at a glance and actually work with
no dew or rain involved. (It took me years but I finally went to 5' x 1/2" fiber glass) for inside the boundary fencing. In your situation
I would inspect every insulator. I like to have the energizer under cover and the ground rods in a place that is prone to receiving
moisture. (you may need to wet the ground around the ground rods) In my opinion it is best not to Scotch on the posts by placing them
too far apart. If you have read my posts you know I am dead set on NEVER walking an animal over a wire, hot or not! I doubt if
that act can ever be unlearned. I like Brute or Stafix energizers but use what work for you.
The fly in the ointment here may be that you are continually introducing new stock to the system where in my case everything
is born here except for bulls and they are 'educated' before being turned out.
My thought on the subject is, if what you have been doing is not working it will require a different methodology to get a different
result. Mostly I envy the time you spend at the auction and commend you on your ability to make it interesting for us.
 
We'll fix it. Think joules (8-12) not volts Before we get to that.... I do not know how much area you cover or how many but from
reading your posts 3 ground rods should be sufficient. If you do not have 3 with a depth of at least 5-6' about 5' apart consider it,
The ground wire and the hot wire can be different but you can't mix them within their purpose. Hotwire cannot be of variable material,
ie don;t mix copper and steel..
If you can fence using 110 volt do it. (Leave the solar energy to JB) Just remember if you are using
steel posts the insulators will need to be checked more often. A cracked insulator my look functional at a glance and actually work with
no dew or rain involved. (It took me years but I finally went to 5' x 1/2" fiber glass) for inside the boundary fencing. In your situation
I would inspect every insulator. I like to have the energizer under cover and the ground rods in a place that is prone to receiving
moisture. (you may need to wet the ground around the ground rods) In my opinion it is best not to Scotch on the posts by placing them
too far apart. If you have read my posts you know I am dead set on NEVER walking an animal over a wire, hot or not! I doubt if
that act can ever be unlearned. I like Brute or Stafix energizers but use what work for you.
The fly in the ointment here may be that you are continually introducing new stock to the system where in my case everything
is born here except for bulls and they are 'educated' before being turned out.
My thought on the subject is, if what you have been doing is not working it will require a different methodology to get a different
result. Mostly I envy the time you spend at the auction and commend you on your ability to make it interesting for us.
Yeah...
Got most of that covered.
These are my "home" cows/calves. It's one particular heifer calf that's the instigator. (She out of Snowball and By my mutt brangus Ricky. She's also one I wanted to retain for future breeding) She's got the others following her.

I've been thru all the basics, basically. 😆
Fence tester says no shorts. I did fix a couple minor ones as I went. Pretty much been over the ENTIRE fence. The ol re-bar ground rod usually does a good job, couple with 2 t-posts. But I did put that nice new 6ft ground rod in today. Saw no increase in voltage from that (was almost certain I wouldn't, but wanted to be sure)
O yeah, there about 30 acres of wire. Some single strand, some 2 strands. And a small section of 5 strands. Only like 100 ft of that tho.

We are gonna tie it into my neighbors 12k system and see what happens tomorrow! I suppose it's very possible that I've not got enough charger for droughted out ground. His ground is same as mine. Its actually 8 acres of the original homestead. My charger does have some years on it. At least 4 or 5 iirc... but NEVER been this dry. So there's that. His charger is a better charger than mine. Iirc mine is 110v but only 2 or 3 joules or so. Been too long ago to remember for sure. I do remember my battery (12volt) has more joules than my main charger.
His is over 5 joules.

My projects are not out with the "home" herd. They are penned. Usually turn em fairly quick.

There may something to that tho.....
Perhaps I should just sell the offending heifer!


Edited to add...
By the way, it really doesn't bother me that much that the young calves are getting out and grazing. My neighbor to the west doesn't even mind. What drives me nutz is, people calling or texting me to tell me I have calves out! Yall know we are in a drought and calves are hungry, curious lil creatures right? The county has even lifted some restrictions regarding drought and cattle.

I have a bit of my grandfather's thoughts on that as well. A cow is designed to graze and roam freely. (Most of why he would never have a dog in town, same thoughts) It's us humans who have domesticated them. Would you people quit telling me that my 3 calves are out doing what they were designed to do! (Like I didn't know anyway?! Cows are life! I probly spend more time with the animals than my own family, have you met them? You wouldn't blame me! 🤣) They will go back where they belong when they've a mind to. Leave them dang calves alone and let em be bovines! Slow down on my road. The speed limit is school zone style anyway. Enjoy life a little bit!! Don't bring the city home with ya from work!

Well, now that I got that outta my system....
 
Last edited:
Yeah...
Got most of that covered.
These are my "home" cows/calves. It's one particular heifer calf that's the instigator. (She out of Snowball and By my mutt brangus Ricky. She's also one I wanted to retain for future breeding) She's got the others following her.

I've been thru all the basics, basically. 😆
Fence tester says no shorts. I did fix a couple minor ones as I went. Pretty much been over the ENTIRE fence. The ol re-bar ground rod usually does a good job, couple with 2 t-posts. But I did put that nice new 6ft ground rod in today. Saw no increase in voltage from that (was almost certain I wouldn't, but wanted to be sure)
O yeah, there about 30 acres of wire. Some single strand, some 2 strands. And a small section of 5 strands. Only like 100 ft of that tho.

We are gonna tie it into my neighbors 12k system and see what happens tomorrow! I suppose it's very possible that I've not got enough charger for droughted out ground. His ground is same as mine. Its actually 8 acres of the original homestead. My charger does have some years on it. At least 4 or 5 iirc... but NEVER been this dry. So there's that. His charger is a better charger than mine. Iirc mine is 110v but only 2 or 3 joules or so. Been too long ago to remember for sure. I do remember my battery (12volt) has more joules than my main charger.
His is over 5 joules.

My projects are not out with the "home" herd. They are penned. Usually turn em fairly quick.

There may something to that tho.....
Perhaps I should just sell the offending heifer!


Edited to add...
By the way, it really doesn't bother me that much that the young calves are getting out and grazing. My neighbor to the west doesn't even mind. What drives me nutz is, people calling or texting me to tell me I have calves out! Yall know we are in a drought and calves are hungry, curious lil creatures right? The county has even lifted some restrictions regarding drought and cattle.

I have a bit of my grandfather's thoughts on that as well. A cow is designed to graze and roam freely. (Most of why he would never have a dog in town, same thoughts) It's us humans who have domesticated them. Would you people quit telling me that my 3 calves are out doing what they were designed to do! (Like I didn't know anyway?! Cows are life! I probly spend more time with the animals than my own family, have you met them? You wouldn't blame me! 🤣) They will go back where they belong when they've a mind to. Leave them dang calves alone and let em be bovines! Slow down on my road. The speed limit is school zone style anyway. Enjoy life a little bit!! Don't bring the city home with ya from work!

Well, now that I got that outta my system....
Like the rural mindset. Was happy to discover that if I had done my best to maintain my fences reasonably, it's almost impossible for me to be held liable in my county if my cattle get out on the road. Not that I have to worry too much anyway. They'd have to go through 3 neighbors fences as well or break through a gate and walk 1.5 miles just to get to a farm to market road. But calves will be calves. People should expect it and react accordingly, or move to town.
 
Had one that would go through electric all the time... got a few others to follow... if they got hit they were usually partway so would "jump" through it. Turns out she just didn't get the same shock because put a plug in charger that put me on my knees (by accident I hit it) and she just went right through it again... Sold her... Stopped the others because they would get hit just as they started and that turned them. If they don't respect a fence, they need to leave. All cattle get out occasionally, it's part of farming. Constant trouble making.... go be someone else's problem.
 
When I built my electric fence I have the bottom and second from the top a ground wire, the other three are hot. I have also read somewhere on the net that you should have 1 joule per mile of fence.

Maybe put a aluminum can on one of your hot wires, they will be curious and bump it with their nose and hopefully get a good shock, and will respect the fence more. Other than that I'm out of ideas.
 
mine is 110v but only 2 or 3 joules or so.
There is the problem. 2-3 joules is not very strong at all. On cattle I would never use anything less than 6-8 joules at a minimum. 2-3 joules will really only repel very small animals.

It is the joules that count on an electric fence. Disregard all of their hype about "miles" it will cover. It is the joules of power that give them the jolt not the voltage.
 
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