October 03, 2018

Electric Fence wires with different voltages | Troubleshoot and fix the problem

Issue: Voltmeter reading on one wire is higher than on another wire, or there is no reading from one live wire to ground-return or soil


1. Probable Cause: Broken or disconnected fence

wire, jumper wire or ground wire

Solution: Connect or repair wire; remove

cause of short; replace jumper connection

2. Probable Cause: Broken or faulty insulators

Solution: Replace faulty insulators

3. Probable Cause: Ground connection rod deteriorated

Solution: Replace ground connection rod

October 03, 2018

Pasture Grants for animal agriculture projects | Gallagher electric fence

FACT’s 2018 Fund-a-Farmer Grants

Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) provides grants of up to $2,500 to individual farmers ($5,000 for joint applications) for projects that improve the welfare of their farm animals or build capacity of their operations. This year FACT will offer three types of grants: 

Does your project help you meet a specific standard for Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane or Global Animal Partnership (steps 4-5) certification?

> Apply for an Animal Welfare Certification Grant

Are you already certified by AWA, CH or GAP but need funding to build your farm's capacity or marketing of your animal welfare-certified products?

> Apply for a Capacity-Building Grant (funding for individual and joint projects)

Does your project help you transition to a pasture-based system, improve the quality of your pasture, and/or expand your animals’ access to well-managed pasture? 

> Apply for a Pasture Improvement Grant


Before you apply, please review the eligibility requirements on each page above. You may also wish to join our Grant Info Session Webinar on October 24.

To apply, complete an online application with information about your farm, proposed project, and project budget. If you are applying for Certification or Pasture Grant, you will also be asked to upload three color photographs that accurately depict the current state of your operation, including at least one of the animals the proposed project will benefit. If you are applying for a Capacity Building Grant on behalf of multiple farms, each partner farm must complete a Capacity Building Grant Collaborator Form. Applications must be submitted online by 11:59pm CST on November 28, 2018.

Only one application per farm will be accepted. This means that farmers should choose one grant category and may only submit one application total. Grants will be awarded in January or February 2019. Please contact Larissa McKenna, FACT’s Humane Farming Program Director, at grants@foodanimalconcerns.org or at (773) 525-4952 with questions after reviewing the guidelines. Funding for FACT’s Animal Welfare Certification and Capacity-Building Grants has been made possible by generous support from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)


FACT relies on a panel of expert humane livestock farmers to review eligible applications. All personal and contact information is redacted from the application to ensure that the final review process is anonymous.

Eligible applications will be scored on the following factors:

  • How well the proposed project would help the farm improve animal welfare;

  • How well the proposed project is designed and if it would help the farm reach the intended goal (increasing access to or improving pasture, achieving certification, building capacity);

  • If there is sufficient expertise to complete the project;

  • If the timeline and proposed steps are achievable; and

  • If the budget is reasonable and related to the project.

In general, while the number of animals that will benefit from a proposed project is not a stand-alone factor, it may be taken into consideration when scoring comparable projects.

If you have additional questions regarding the grant requirements or application, please contact us at grants@foodanimalconcerns.org. We look forward to receiving your application!

October 02, 2018

Cattle scales and what you need to know about Livestock weighing

When most people think of livestock scales they think of cattle scales. However, these scales, depending on their design and features, are also used in other types of livestock farming. Hogs, horses and even goats are commonly weighed on livestock scales both at farms as well as in other areas.

There are a few considerations to keep in mind when considering livestock scales for small or large farms. Since these are an investment, it is a good idea to take your time and look at the various brands, models and designs and consider how they will work with your current livestock handling system and setup.

Stationary or Portable

Depending on your individual need and operation the decision to utilize portable or stationary livestock scales is important.  The need to weigh the individual animals or a group of animals can greatly determine what type of scale system is needed for the farming operation.

Portable Livestock scales options are available for alley weigh and squeeze chutes.  These allow the operator the flexibility of quickly setting up a weighing location around the livestock operation.  Converting your squeeze chute into a livestock scale system is easily done by mounting load cells under the squeeze chute.   Setting up an alley way by placing a light weight portable platform scale inside the alley way makes it easy to capture the weight of an animal without the hassle of relocating them just to achieve weight records.  These portable livestock scales can be utilized on level unimproved surfaces such as gravel.

Stationary livestock scales allow for capturing a group weight of animals.  A stationary livestock scale may also include a customized platform with gates to contain the group of animals, allowing the farmer to corral the group of animals and record an average daily weight gain.  Typically stationary livestock scales are mounted on concrete footings on a level surface.

Getting Information from Livestock Scales

The technology in livestock scales, today, allows these devices to be much more than just weighing equipment. Different models and different brands will offer time and data entry saving options when it comes to recording, tracking and storing information on the animals for production monitoring.

The more advanced types of livestock scales are compatible with herd management software to automatically keep all your records up to date. In addition, some of these models also allow for integration of EID readers, ensuring the special animal is identified by the scale and the data entered in a fully automatic way without the need for the operator to manually select the animal identification through lists in spreadsheets or software packages.

The more technology integrated in livestock scales allows for quick capturing of data during high volume operations.  The ability to capture that data within 5 seconds as compared to 15 seconds can make the difference of a normal day of running livestock over a scale to an extended long day.  For example running 1000 head of cattle over a livestock chute scale with a difference of 10 seconds per animal can save the farmer nearly three hours of labor in one day.

September 29, 2018

Tips for installing gates when using electric fence

Gate hanging tips

Following recommended gate hanging procedures ensures your gate is stock proof, easy to open and shut, and looks good on the farm.

There is more than one way to hang a gate and most farmers and contractors have their own particular method and reasons.  Because of this, Gallagher interviewed farmers and contractors and used the information from this research to formulate a recommended gate hanging procedure – the idea being to "do it once, do it right".

Good gate installation is important and using well-designed, quality gate hardware can make a significant difference in the life and functionality. Gallagher gate hangers are designed to remain secure in the post for long periods of time, which ensures the gate remains upright and swings freely.

September 25, 2018

No Voltage on Electric Fence | How to fix it

Problem: No voltmeter readings at several locations on fence


A. Probable Cause: Broken or disconnected fence

wire, jumper wire or ground wire

Solution: Connect or repair wire; remove

cause of short; replace jumper connection

B. Probable Cause: Broken or faulty insulators

Solution: Replace faulty insulators

C. Probable Cause: Ground connection rod deteriorated

Solution: Replace ground connection rod

September 13, 2018

Low voltage on electric fence | Troubleshooting and solutions

Problem: Low voltmeter readings at several locations on fence....


A. Probable Cause: Energizer is on low setting or

is inadequate for length of fence

Solution: Switch energizer to high setting;

install more powerful unit

B. Probable Cause:Weak batteries

Solution: Recharge or replace batteries

C. Probable Cause: Terminals corroded

Solution: Clean terminals

D. Probable Cause: Ground system is inadequate

or deteriorated

Solution: Repair or replace ground system

September 12, 2018

Gallagher Fencing Tip: Protecting Your Horses In The Pasture

How do I protect my horses when they're in pasture?

Use a power fence especially designed for horses.  It's safe and effective.  It teaches horses to respect all kinds of fences and it keeps unwanted animals out of your horse pasture.

September 03, 2018

Electric Fence Energizer / Charger Troubleshooting and Solutions

Problem: Energizer is operating, but there is no voltmeter reading on the fence with the energizer connected


A. Probable Cause: Ground-return wire is disconnected

or broken

Solution: Connect or repair ground-return wire

B. Probable Cause: Feed-wire terminals are corroded,

disconnected or broken

Solution: Connect or repair feed wire terminals

C. Probable Cause: Broken, corroded or disconnected

live wire or ground-return on fence

Solution: Connect or repair live wire or

ground-return on fence

D. Probable Cause: Soil is dried out

Solution: Install ground-return wire

August 28, 2018

Electric fence Insulators - Gallagher electric fencing

Lock jawz insulators

The type of insulator you need (to hold the fence material on the post that supports it, while preventing the fence from contacting any surface that will cause current to leak) is determined by your choice of electric fence; most manufacturers market insulators specifically suited to their fence products. In general, braid, rope, and coated wire are installed on insulators that allow the fence to slide through. To help prevent chafe and wear on a tape fence, however, insulators need to be the type that clamps and immobilizes the tape (especially important in windy areas), and to be installed vertically on the fence post. Avoid cheap "generic" insulators (often made of brittle plastic), which only last a few years.

August 24, 2018

Troubleshooting Electric Fence | Energizer, Charger Issues

Energizer is on, but voltmeter reading is low across

the energizer output terminals when disconnected

from fence.

A. Probable Cause: Energizer is switched to

“low” setting

Solution: Check energizer output switch

B. Probable Cause:Weak batteries

Solution: Recharge or replace batteries

C. Probable Cause: Battery terminals are corroded

Solution: Clean battery terminals