Electric fence how to?

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Richnm

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My neighbor has 40 acres of dormant alfalfa that’s about 8 inches tall mixed with some wild grass. The property has a has a partial barb wire fence. He will let me graze it til it’s gone. He has an electric fence that he is willing to put up. My questions.
How effective are electric fences ?
Do I need to train the cows prior ? Thanks
 

SBMF 2015

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If you have a "hot" fencer (10 juiles or more) and good ground it will work. Tie some flag tape on the wire so it's easier for the cows it see. Think of a hot wire as a guide. As long as the cows have plenty of feed they should stay in once they touched it.
 
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Richnm

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If you have a "hot" fencer (10 juiles or more) and good ground it will work. Tie some flag tape on the wire so it's easier for the cows it see. Think of a hot wire as a guide. As long as the cows have plenty of feed they should stay in once they touched it.
Will calves escape ? Or should I keep the pairs on a breed area and take cows there ? It’s near a highway. How many wire 3?
 

moses388

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I put up a single ploy line. Yes, the fall calves run out underneath. I am off the road a ways and I don't care if they run around the yard. Once my cattle figure out where the boundary is, they are well behaved. The problem is deer. When you put up a fence where one didn't used to be the deer run thru it and mess it up. Are there deer in New Mexico? What about other wildlife? I check fences everyday. Two wires might be enough...? - a wire at normal height and a lower wire for the calves.
 
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Richnm

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I put up a single ploy line. Yes, the fall calves run out underneath. I am off the road a ways and I don't care if they run around the yard. Once my cattle figure out where the boundary is, they are well behaved. The problem is deer. When you put up a fence where one didn't used to be the deer run thru it and mess it up. Are there deer in New Mexico? What about other wildlife? I check fences everyday. Two wires might be enough...? - a wire at normal height and a lower wire for the calves.
Only cows and coyotes where I am at.
 

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Will calves escape ? Or should I keep the pairs on a breed area and take cows there ? It’s near a highway. How many wire 3?
Two lines of 6 strand poly that have two of the six copper spaced 16" off ground and 32" at the top. Use a feisty 5 joule or higher energizer
 

SBMF 2015

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Will calves escape ? Or should I keep the pairs on a breed area and take cows there ? It’s near a highway. How many wire 3?
I use two wires with calves. Roughly at the bottom of my front jeans pocket and my knee for height.
Make sure you check it often. Deer are a pain in the butt.
 

aaronstiff

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Similar to Cowboy Ram, I use 4 strands of high tensile. Bottom and third from bottom electrified (one for calves, other for cows).

Electrified high tensile is both a psychological barrier as well as a physical barrier if it has at least 3 strands. I section off the fields with a single strand of polywire. Before they're trained, they could potentially duck under a single strand, but I've never had an adult cow/bull get through 4 strands of high tensile.

Calves will certainly duck under a single strand, but I can count how many times they've gone through high tensile on one hand, and that's always been when I'm moving them (so they're under a bit of pressure). So I don't mind too much, but this year I put up a second polywire strand and that seemed to keep them in.

Just saying: I love high tensile. Peace of mind. :)
 

Ferd

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Two wire, one low enough for calves. If one breaks they still see the other. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just hot. My cattle have never gotten out through the electric fence. How are you planning to teach them what an electric fence is before you rely on it? I put any new animals in a small solid lot with a hot wire across it, and let them get into it. Sounds like a great deal, good luck 👍🏻
 

CowboyRam

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Dad talks about when he worked for Warren Livestock out of Cheyenne, they would take the cows down into Colorado on the corn fields. Once those cows learned that there was an electric fence there, they would have one hell of a time driving them across that line after the fence was taken down. I guess they got bit enough times that they just knew there was a fence there even though it was not. They learn pretty quickly.

I put my post 30' apart, and then dad got me worried that the calves would crawl through the fence, so I put in some fiberglass stays between each post. I really thought I would have problems with the calves on side and the cows on the other. They seem to respect that fence. Even when I had a short in the fence and my voltage was cut in half, but also they had been there a couple weeks before that happened. They don't like to get bit anymore than we do. If you end up with low voltage it is usually because you have a short somewhere, and sometimes they are hard to find. When I had my issue with the fence I was sure it was a battery issue, but it was not, it was short in a place I could not test for easily.
 

Muletrack

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I use three-wire high tensile for perimeter fence, but get by very well with a single strand polywire inside. Am bale grazing this winter (the only way to fly in the frozen north). Yes, cattle are well-trained to it so there's nothing special about my charger (don't know how many joules, but it is a fairly cheap Gallagher model). Best advice I've read here? Check it often!
 

BFE

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Easiest way to keep check on it is to have a start and an end point on your wire. For instance the charger or start end is on one side of a gateway and the end on another. Check the end side every day for juice either with a meter or as I do use a rubber gate handle with a wire hook on the end to grab the fence wire and short over to a metal post. If she don’t snap hard you have a down wire or something on it shorting it out.

If you want to make the fence continuous without a break use the rubber handle and a loop to connect both dead ended sides. Then you can hook it back together after you test for spark.
 

SBMF 2015

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I do use a rubber gate handle with a wire hook on the end to grab the fence wire and short over to a metal post. If she don’t snap hard you have a down wire or something on it shorting it out.
I use a good plastic handled screwdriver. Both are pretty cheap, effective testers.
 
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Richnm

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Two wire, one low enough for calves. If one breaks they still see the other. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just hot. My cattle have never gotten out through the electric fence. How are you planning to teach them what an electric fence is before you rely on it? I put any new animals in a small solid lot with a hot wire across it, and let them get into it. Sounds like a great deal, good luck 👍🏻
I have 20 acres with a pipe fence that they are grazing in now. I will practice in this field before I move them.
 

Hleverett

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I use it regularly. The cows & dogs trainer themselves. I've got a heeler that if I pull a string for post alignment he won't come close to it.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Hi tensile fence is absolutely the best fence. I use it for parameter and single polywire for divisions. But, Richmn is NOT looking to put a permanent fence.
Two strand polywire with a HOT fencer will work fine - after you teach them what a polywire is. I would NOT rely on the charger this neighbor has without checking it's power.
JFYI - there are fence testers that tell you which way your short is located - and how severe it is. If you pass the spot, it lets you know. I wouldn't have electric fence without it (on permanent electric fence like I have).
Now, I will ask others to jump in on the issue of grazing dormant alfalfa. When I hear grazing alfalfa, it scares the poop out of me - one year we were managing a herd for another farm. Their pastures were newly fenced from old hay fields. One day I walked out to check the herd after turning them into "mostly grass with a little bit of alfalfa". I had 1 dead, 1 dieing and the rest of the herd bloated. I learned to be VERY cautious with alfalfa.
 

Lee VanRoss

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My cyclops charger makes a ticking noise. You can tell how hot the wire is based on the strength of the tick.
Cyclops is my # 1 choice. I use a Brute with four 8' copper grounds and cut offs in key places so the
whole system is not armed at the same time. Stouter than a vinegar milk shake. I also carry a joule and
short direction tester to save time in finding any problem areas. and never never walk a cow over any wire!
 
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