The Dangers of Electric Fences

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by MellonFriend, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    I am looking into the premier1 fencing for rotational grazing. I just have a couple of questions regarding the safety of electric fences. First of all how much would it hurt you if you touched it? Secondly how much fire hazard risk is there with a fence like this, and last of all, I have a small Pomeranian (she's like five pounds of fluff), If she touched the fence could it hurt her?
  2. Lstein

    Lstein Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2014
    North Dakota
    You definitely feel it, I haven't had the misfortune to touch one in awhile but it does hurt....for a second. It's more of a psychological thing than anything, even for people. I wouldn't be too concerned about the dog, just takes the one touch and she wont go near it again.
    MellonFriend likes this.

  3. ShireRidgeFarm

    ShireRidgeFarm Active Member

    Sep 24, 2015
    Northern WV
    It's not fun to touch an electric fence, but it doesn't do any permanent damage. We have a 200 mile fence charger on maybe 3 miles of fence, with somewhere around 10,000 volts (which is the same they had on the fences on Jurassic Park ) You feel that all the way to your toes if you've got sandals on!

    Sent from my VS501 using Goat Forum mobile app
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  4. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    It does hurt, enough that you can hear me cursing up a storm lol but I'll take it over stubbing a toe or most other things. It's really just a zap and it's done. Honestly it probably scares me more then anything since I never touch it on purpose. I don't know how strong the premier 1 is but I remember looking at them and going with a different one that had way more joules and that's what I'm talking about here.
    I'm not sure on fire danger, I think they have all changed to pulsing and that is what keeps them for catching anything on fire. I've had a piece of hay fall on it for awhile or touch super dry grass and it never ended in a fire.
    Your dog will be fine. I actually used mine a few years ago to keep my dad's puppies out of the goat pen and they were super small, probably smaller then 5 pounds. They screamed like crazy the first time they touched it but again it could have been from fear mostly......they never tried to go in again though
    MellonFriend likes this.
  5. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    That's great to hear, I haven't ever been around an electric fence so it's good to know that its not something to worry about.
  6. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I use Premier1 electric net fences and I like them but you want to make sure your animals (dogs, goats, chickens, etc.) are familiar with it and have been zapped before leaving them unattended with it. You want the fence to hurt when you touch it. An under-powered fence is a dangerous fence because an animal won't respect it and is more likely to try jumping over or going through it, risking death from entanglement.

    Occasionally an animal will panic and charge forward when zapped, entangling themselves in the netting. This is more likely to happen with a critter small enough to get its head through the squares. I keep a hawk's eye on the electric pens during kidding season, and I usually lock the brand new babies in a shed for a night or two until I know they are familiar with the fence. Your Pomeranian's long hair may prevent her from getting thoroughly zapped. This could make her careless of the fence, so keep watch on her until you are sure she has learned to respect it.
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  7. Madgoat

    Madgoat Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    It all depends on the joules of the charger as to the "shock" power. Let me share a story, that still makes me laugh until I almost wet myself. :D:D:D

    Some fellow horse friends and I found a club (old house) up in the Ocala Forest, we built stalls and put up hot wire to make turn out pastures. We were all single women, so money was tight. My friend had an old fence charger that we used. It was fine except it didn't have a breaker so the current was continuous. (If you listen to a hot wire fence your will hear it pulse, that gives the animal/human a chance to GET OFF IT)
    Well, one weekend another I invited another friend to stay at the club and ride. So we get there, and while "she" walked the fence line to make sure it was intact, I walked up to the shed to plug it in. Can you guess where this story is going? :eek:
    So, I plug it in, and immediately hear a quivery voice yelling my name, Karrrrrrrrrrren! I stopped and looked around thinking, who knows I'm here already? I hear it again, Karrrrrrren! Oh crap! The light bulb went off, I unplugged the charger and ran down the hill to find my friend on the ground, tangled up in the hot wire that she pulled off the posts trying to escape........ She had been pulling the tape flags we had tied to the fence so the animals would see it, and when I plugged it in, the current grabbed her hand and because there was no break/pulse it wouldn't let her go.

    It all ended well, she was sore, but proud that her Timex watch survived!

    Moral of the story, is if the breaker blows don't ignore it and don't use a charger that doesn't pulse.

    I will say this about dogs and hot wire, or most animals and hot wire, once they get "bit", they will not go near it again. Now goats, well, they are smart, if it's off, they know it, so don't expect them to not to test it regularly. Seriously, it doesn't feel good when you hit it. I hate it, but it doesn't hurt bad/long. My almost hairless Chuhuahua/Rat Terrior got bit once, that was all it took.
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  8. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    I do agree to train the animals first. If for any reason they know it's there and if they ground it out you know and can fix it. Totally mean but what I did was go on the outside of the fence with a bucket of grain and when they came charging for it they got bit. Madgoat is right though once they touch it it's a done deal. But they do know when it's on or off, I think they can hear it so if you turn it off they may just go back to pushing on the fence....mine do! Kids I've never had a issue with. I worried more about the does getting their heads threw the fence and then it nailing them since there's a second or so between pulsing and I didn't want them stuck with their horns out. Since I do (did changing this year) kid in the spring and let them kid in the pasture of weather was good, I unplugged it. I could just picture a wet wobbly baby touching it and couldn't get away. But once they all had their feet under them it went back on and they all learned one by one it's mean. If there is a chance a doe will kid around the hot fence I would turn it off to be on the safe side
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  9. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    That is a great story :D. Just glad your friend was fine, then it wouldn't have been funny:eek::confused:. Wow, by the time I posted this there was already a new post!
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  10. Madgoat

    Madgoat Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Yes, that is something I forgot to mention, even if your fence is working properly, always, ALWAYS make sure your animals can't ground it out by getting caught in the hot wire while touching something else, like the fence, or anything that can carry current. I have found dead snakes that were 1/2 way inside the barn, and when they touched the hot wire they became grounded. It was sad. Always have a way for the animal to get off it and away from it.
    Lstein likes this.
  11. Madgoat

    Madgoat Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Believe me, she didn't let me forget about it for years and years.
  12. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    There was a toad that did kinda the same thing and every time it pulsed it's legs bend up and when it was done it would go straight. It was late at night, I was half asleep and I could see the spark and it moving from a little bit aways and was like what in the world is going on!! Of course it killed the poor toad so maybe I should say they are dangerous to toads!
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  13. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    All have really good advice.

    I have gotten zapped by one, I was going under one, that was stretched over the gate entry, we changed it after that, LOL, it hit my back, should of squatted more. Boy it hurt and I yelled out uncontrollably. Then I laughed at my self.

    I do worry about the very young new kids and tags in their ears. We do a training thing for them.
    We have the hotline off and watch the kids, when we see one right up to the fence and sticking their heads through it ect. We turn it in and when the kid yells, unplug it again.
    Had a kid get it's ear tag stuck on the hotline and had to run out and get it unhooked, before the kid tried to rip it's ear.
    We train for a while until the kids get bigger and are aware to stay clear of the hotline.

    When our LGD first discovered it, he pee'd on it, yep, pee'd on it. He yelped from one end of the field to the other and never got near it again.

    Had an adult doe somehow get wrapped in it, around her leg, she couldn't get out, been that way for a little while, I assume. I unplugged the hotline and went out to get her out, she had stretched the hotline a lot and was trying to bite me, so I know she was annoyed by the pulse snaps. Even though the hotline was now unplugged. She ended up OK.

    There are occasions where if the goat or any animal are trapped too long, they will die from heart failure, so be sure they know the hotline well before leaving it unattended.
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  14. Agreenwd888

    Agreenwd888 Member

    Sep 2, 2017
    I use electrostop netting from premier1. I enclose areas of about 200x50 feet. I have a 6 joules energizer with that much fencing I have been only able to keep the fence at 5.5 kvolts on a good day. If you have an energizer with less kv it may not create enough of a snap to deter animals. Also grounding is very important and a bit of a pain when moving the fencing everyday. I'm still looking on advice as to how to create a temporary ground that is easy to move?? Currently im using a 1 foot piece of grounding rod set up with a 5 gallon bucket of water that has a slow drip to keep ground wet. This way of grounding compared to trying to ground to the metal netting post is the difference of about 3 kvolts. I have touched a fence at 9-10 kvolts it is SHOCKING my advice is have the energizer on the outside of the fence always turn off before going into or fixing fence. I would not want my dog touching a fence that high. I recommend setting the energizer on a lower mode and let the dog get shocked at a 2-3kvolt.