Electric Fencing For Large Animals

Electric fencing is effective and safe when properly selected, installed and maintained. They are easily moved for rotational grazing programs and can be adjusted to the space of the area.

Jennifer Smith is the marketing manager for Pennsylvania-based Electricfenceco.com. She says electric fences should be designed to match the animal's capabilities and size.

"If it’s a large animal, like say, cattle, that’s a slower moving animal, and cattle generally are going to be placed around poly wire. Poly wire is the most cost-effective type of electrified wire, it’s a light-weight, easy-to-handle material," she says. "With horses, you’re going to want to use something like poly rope or poly tape, something that’s a little more visible for a horse."

If you have multiple livestock species in one pasture, say sheep and cattle, Smith recommends three-to-five strands of both hot and cold wires.

"The hot wires are going to be closer to the ground. They may be wire number 1,3,5, and the cold wires, which are uncharged, may be 2 and 4. They will be able to graze safely but they’ll be able to stay away from the fence and not get shocked," says Smith. "For cattle, the wire will need to be spaced 10”-20” apart, the fence itself will need to be about 54” tall."

Smith recommends a 2,000 volt charger for large animals. There are different kinds of energizers available, so choose one that fits your needs.