Group Title: Circular
Title: Electric fences in Florida
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 Material Information
Title: Electric fences in Florida
Series Title: Circular
Physical Description: 1 folded sheet (6 p.) : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Pettis, A. M ( Aubrey Marshall ), 1920-
University of Florida -- Agricultural Extension Service
Publisher: Agricultural Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1966
Subject: Electric fences -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by A.M. Pettis.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "March, 1966."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00084305
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 79166658

Full Text




qL V!



MARCH, 1966

Electric Fences in Florida

A. M. Pettis, Associate Agricultural Engineer
Florida Agricultural Extension Service
An electric fence consists of a fence controller
and a conductor (wires) strung on insulators
which are attached to posts. The electrically-
charged fence is but one side of the circuit; the
soil is the other side. Animals touching the fence
act as the link that closes the circuit. Branch
lines may be taken off at any point and can be
terminated but must not be grounded.
The principal advantages of electric fences are
that they arc low in cost and easy to move.
Electric fences can be used for temporary
fences that are moved frequently, for temporarily
enclosed pastures, for dividing fields foi strip
grazing, and for placing inside bull pens to reduce
the possibility of damage to the permanent fence.
Electric fences have been used successfully in
many areas of Florida. Most users have had ex-
cellent results but in a few locations there has
been some dissatisfaction, probably due to the
dry sandy soils that make it difficult to obtain a
good "ground". The problem can he overcome by
proper installation as described under Types of
Fence Installations. Electric fences are not in-
tended to replace permanent fences.
The controller is the power sourrce for the
fence and it should supply a measured amount of
electricity. Buy an approved controller. Don't
try to build your own. Some cattlemen, dairymen,
and swine producers have tried to build their own
controllers-the result has been 10 to 15 people
and hundreds of livestock killed each year in the
U. S.
A safe effective controller is not simple to
build. Special care in design and manufacture is
necessary to protect you, your 'family, a.ind yo:ur
livestock. Approved c,)tJtrcllers provide on-a!nd-
off current that is limitild o .. few th!ousandths
of an ampere and for a frItction of a second dura-

tion. The off-perinod mnut he long enough to permit
a person to release himself from the circuit, when
accidental contact occurs.

Types of Controllers
There are three types of controllers-battery
(6 volts or 12 volts), electric (120 volts), and a
combination (may be used on battery or 120
If all fields can he served from a controller
operating on 120 volts that type is the best choice.
If electricity is not available at the desired con-
troller location then a battery or combination
controller will be needed. Batteries will usually
last 1 I, to 3 months, before they need rec airging
or replacing.

Which Controller To Buy
Safety is your most important point to con-

sider when buying a controller. Extensive studies
have been made on the amount of electric current
that will kill human beings and live stock. An
approved fence controller properly installed may
be considered safe, even for children, as well as
for adults and livestock.
A fence controller should be approved by one
or more of the following: the Underwriters' Lab-
oratories, Industrial Commission of Wisconsin, or
the U. S. Bureau of Standards. Do not buy or use
any other type.
Some controllers have indicator lights that
give a constant check on the operation of the
charger and the condition of the fence line. A
feature of some controllers is a choice of a "high"
charge or a "low" charge on the line. One type
controller is claimed to be a "weed-burner" or
"weted-chopper". The idea is good but unfortun-
ately some makes with this claim are not approved
and therefore might be unsafe to use.

Layout For Ele-t,ric Fence

-. __


hot c,

controller j

i2V.,- .?O ,>

" --- Insu.Lator

terminal to ground rod

- ------------------------------ --

--- -- --

Electric Fencing Is Economical
Approved electric fence controllers may vary
in cost from about $20.00 to $35.00. The more
expensive models may have added features and
longer guarantees. The total material cost for a
mile of single strand electric fence can be as low
as $50 to $60 including the posts and the con-
troller. A fence controller will use about 7KWH
per month costing about 200 at Florida rates.

Types of Fence Installations
Single Wire-This type uses a single bare wire
supported by insulators on posts. The wire should
be placed the height of the animal's nose from the
ground or about 1/2 to 2/3 the average height of the
Two Wire (both charged)-Use this type in-
stallation when livestock of different heights are
in the same field, for example, cattle and hogs. A
charged wire must be at the proper height for
each kind of stock.
Two Wire (one charged)-This type has been
used successfully under dry sandy soil conditions
to make the fence more effective. The hot wire is
strung as previously mentioned. The second wire
is grounded with one or more ground rods and
fastened directly on the posts six or eight inches
below the hot wire. When the animal touches the
hot wire and the ground wire it receives a shock,
regardless of soil conditions.

Using The Electric Fence
For satisfactory results most animals need to
be trained to respect an electric fence. This is
especially true if only one strand of electric fence
wire is used as the livestock may try to go over
or under the fence. Animals first encountering an
electric fence may become frightened or enraged
and run through the fence damaging or breaking
the wire.
Training for hogs, cattle and horses consists
of putting feed on the opposite side of the fence
just out of their reach. Instead of driving the

animals toward the feed, let them discover it or
their own. It is best to condition small groups ol
animals at a time. They usually learn to respect
the fence in a few hours.
It is important to keep the fence operating at
all times.

Summary And Recommendations
An electric fence makes an ideal temporary
Select an approved fence controller and in-
stall it according to directions of the manu-
facturer. One terminal must be grounded
using the right type of ground rod. The
other terminal is the "hot" terminal and a
wire from the hot terminal leads to the
electric fence. Insulators must be used with
this hot wire-and with the charged electric
fence wire to prevent a shorted or grounded
condition. Once the fence line is shorted it
may deliver little or no shock to animals
touching it. A lightning arrester is needed
with the installation unless the controller
has an arrester built into it.
Installing fences Follow the manufac-
turer's instructions when installing fences.
No special types of wire or posts are required
for an electric fence. Barbed wire or 16-
gauge or larger smooth bare wire may be
used. Use light-weight stakes or posts
spaced about 40-50 feet apart for cattle and
20 feet apart for hogs. Insulators are fas-
tened to the stakes and the bare wire is
stretched tight on the insulators.
Inspect fence periodically and maintain it.
Locate and remove weeds, bushes, limbs,
and other materials that could cause a short-
circuit. Keep the wire(s) tight at all times.

(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
United States Department of Agriculture, Codperating
M. O. Watkins, Director

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