November 10, 2013

Electric Fencing 101: Grounding

 

“Why are my animals pushing my electric fence? It was working fine in the spring, and the energizer is still clicking.”

 

Morgan Renner, Wyoming and Montana Territory Manager for Gallagher, one of the largest electric fencing companies in the world, says this may be the most common question he hears. The problem can usually be solved by checking the most overlooked component of electric fencing: how the system is grounded.

 

He tells his students at the many hands-on clinics he conducts throughout the west, “There are three things to remember about your electric fence: (1) Grounding, (2) Grounding and (3) Grounding!”

 

Morgan Explains

 

All energizers provide a pulse of energy that originates from their ‘hot’ terminal then travels down the fence line on a charged or ‘hot’ wire. Most users understand this aspect of electric fencing.  It’s fairly obvious that the hot wires can’t be touching a steel post or laying on the soil surface.  What’s not so obvious is that in the instant when an animal comes into contact with that charged wire, its body contains that energy but is not shocked… yet!  

 

In order to provide a shock and thus the respect for the fence, the energy must travel out of the animal’s feet, through the soil, into the energizer’s ground rods, then into the energizer’s ground terminal.  At that point, the circuit has been completed, and the animal receives the shock.  What I have described is an “all-hot” electric fence, shown below:

 

What might be wrong with using this type of system in most of west, let’s say in July and August? You guessed it. THE SOIL IS TO DRY!  An all-hot electric fence relies totally on adequate soil moisture to complete the circuit between the animal and the energizer’s ground system.

 

Designing a hot/ground fence

 

What can we do? Fortunately, there is an alternative design to use here in the arid west. Take the ground system right out to the animal. Connect the energizer’s ground terminal to the ground rods, and then connect the ground rods to a second wire in the fence line, making it a ground wire. We call this a “hot/ground” electric fence and the electron flow in this type of circuit is shown below:

As the animal attempts to penetrate the fence, it bridges the gap between the ‘hot’ and ‘ground’ wires and receives a shock. The electron flow is routed back to the energizer via a conductive wire, not blocked by dry soil. I can tell you from personal experience, this shock is about a hundred times more effective than one from a poorly grounded all-hot system!

 

Note that we usually recommend at least three, six–foot long galvanized steel ground rods, spaced at least ten feet apart, for these permanent electric fence systems. Think of the ground rods as an “antenna” that collects the energy to form the shock: The bigger the antenna, the greater the shock.

 

Steel posts or rebar are NEVER adequate grounds! They are either painted or rusted, both of which are very poor conductors. Also, don’t use anything other than galvanized steel in the ground system. Copper components, for example, can cause electrolysis and eventually corrode the system’s connections. Always use a quality galvanized clamp for ground rod AND fence wire connections.

 

There are a few more design considerations to think about when constructing this type of fence. Let’s go through them. The spacing of the fence wires becomes more important now, because we are trying to deliver the shock to the face of the animal. What happens when the shock is behind the brain of an animal? That’s right, they generally move forward through the fence.  Not good! 

 

Research and practical experience has shown the optimal hot/ground wire spacing for horses, cattle, calves, and bison to be ten inches maximum. For smaller species such as goats, sheep and hogs, six inch spacing or less works the best.

 

Another design consideration is what to do for gateways. Don’t forget to carry the ground across all your gates! You should use the same insulated cable buried in the same trench as you use to carry the hot to the other side. To be effective, the ground system must be connected throughout your fence, all the way to the end. This is illustrated here:

Photo of a 5-wire High-Tensile permanent electric fence used for bull control. The wire polarity from the top wire down is as follows: Hot / Ground / Hot / Ground / Hot.

Please order online 24/7 or callVALLEY FARM SUPPLYat  717-786-0368

November 10, 2013

Setting up a fence for horses

November 09, 2013

Gallagher Fencing Tip: Replace Copper Rods With Galvanized Metal Rods

 

I'm using copper for grounding rods and now I've got a problem with oxidation. How do I solve it? The oxidation is caused by mixing metals - copper with galvanized fencing in this case. When those two metals meet, oxidation will occur.  Replace your copper rods with galvanized metal rods.  You'll insure good conductivity and maximize the power delivered by your fence's energizer.

Please order online 24/7 or callVALLEY FARM SUPPLYat  717-786-0368

November 09, 2013

Getting zapped by a electric fence

November 09, 2013

What electric fence system is right for you?

If this is your first fence project we recommend you follow three simple steps so you understand your options and can better plan your fence. A well-thought out plan in advance will help you avoid problems later, and assure that your electric fence works as you want it to.

Electric Fence Planning Overview
Before building your electric fence you'll need to take into account many factors including the climate and terrain, the animals you need to fence in - or out, and many other factors. You need to know:

What type of animal(s) do you want to control?
The animal being controlled will largely determine the type of electric fence you need. The animal's hooves, thickness and length of coat, height, jumping ability and many other factors impact your fence selection.

In general, animals with thick, shaggy coats require a more powerful controller than animals with shorter coats and thin hides. Electricity relies on conductivity to deliver a shock, and heavy coats act as an insulator.

One of the conductive wires should be placed at the animal's nose level. The strands need to be spaced so the animal cannot push its head through any two wires without receiving a shock. You may need low or high wires to prevent animals from digging under or jumping over fences.

Do you want to contain or keep out the animal(s)?
A short, safe pulse of electricity creates a psychological barrier that trains most animals to avoid the fence. However, predators, bulls, and other aggressive animals are more apt to challenge the fence, requiring a more powerful fence controller.

What type of electric fence do you need?
We group electric fences into four categories: (1) portable or temporary, (2) semi-permanent or permanent, (3) permanent high tensile, and (4) the Horse Sense Electric Fence System.

Temporary electric fence systems can also be easily moved by using a battery or solar fence controller; poly step-in posts or steel or fiberglass rods; poly wire, tape or rope; and other lightweight components. Temporary fences typically run for short distances, are affordable, are quick and easy to install.

Semi-permanent or permanent electric fences consist of a combination of either wood posts, T-posts, U-posts or rod posts using any type of wire, tape or rope. Installation is easy to moderate, depending on the terrain and the animal being contained or excluded. Often used for pastures and cross fencing, this category of fence will last up to 20 years.

Permanent high tensile electric fences use well-anchored wood posts to support steel wire under high tension. While more time-consuming to install than other electric fence systems, it is the most effective permanent perimeter fence and provides the highest level of security for keeping out or containing difficult or aggressive animals, such as bulls or predators. A well-built high tensile electric fence requires minimal maintenance and will last up to 40 years.

The Horse Sense Electric Fence System® , designed specifically for equine use, emphasizes the horse's safety as well as containment. The system uses white, flexible poly tape or poly rope to make it easy for the horse to see the fence. White vinyl sleeves and caps that cover wood and t-posts protect the horses from injury and complete the classic white-rail appearance. The fence will typically last from 5 to 15 years.

Why is electric fencing a cost effective option?
Electric fencing typically costs less than traditional barbed and woven wire fencing. In addition, animals are less apt to damage a fence, as they usually don't touch an electrified wire more than once. Choosing and installing high-quality components will pay dividends later with fewer maintenance problems and longer fence life.

A more powerful fence controller may cost a bit more, but will save you time and money in the long run. The higher-powered low impedance fencers increase energy on the fence line as weeds touch it, minimizing the need to remove vegetation. It also gives you greater flexibility to add to, or reconfigure, your fence at a later date.

Consider your investment in your livestock, horses and/or pets. You want to protect them with quality electric fence components that will do the job and keep them safe.

 

  Portable/
Temporary
Semi-Permanent/
Permanent
Permanent High Tensile Horse-Sense Electric Fence System ®
Expected Fence Life Short term, frequent moves 1-20 years 20-40 years 5-15 years
Ease of Installation Simple, fast Easy to moderate Moderate, special tools required Moderate
Animals Controlled Cows, horses, pets, lawn and garden pests Cows, horses, hogs, sheep, goats, exotics, deer predators Cows, hogs, sheep, goats, exotics, deer, predators Horses
Best suited for Temporary fencing, managed intensive grazing Pastures, cross fences Permanent perimeter installations High visibility, horse pasture
Post type Step-in posts, steel and rod posts, fiberglass posts T-posts, rod-posts, U-posts Wood posts, T-posts, U-posts Wood posts, T-posts, U-posts
Wire type Poly wire, poly tape, poly rope Poly wire, poly tape, poly rope, steel wire 12 1/2 gauge high-tensile wire Poly tape, poly wire, poly rope
Distance
Short
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Features
Lightweight, reusable, easy to move
Workable with any configuration of posts and conductive wire
Longest life fence system available, minimal maintenance
Use with vinyl post sleeves for attractive, white-rail look, afordable

Please order online 24/7 or call VALLEY FARM SUPPLY at  717-786-0368

November 09, 2013

Electric Fencing Tips

Electric Fencing Tips
An inexpensive solution to improve the bottom line.
By Wayne Burleson


With an extensive 30-year background of building and studying all kinds of animal fencing, I still say that high-tensile, smooth wire, electric fencing is the fastest and most affordable fence that I know of.

Fencing technology has drastically improved over the last 15 years, but breaking out of the old barbed wire fencing mode - lots of posts, several wires, and stretching the wire as tight as a fiddle string - gets people in trouble right away.

The challenge is, with the right fence design and constructed in the right location, coupled with good pasture management principles, a well-built electric fence will earn you money and not cost you money.

Increased pasture subdivisions can stockpile forage for extended wintertime grazing, save forage for early spring pastures, rest/rotate those hard hit areas, change livestock distribution to graze previously un-grazable areas, and stop animals from second biting plant regrowth that depletes root growth...and the list goes on.

Is it that much cheaper? A conventional barbed wire fence can cost up to $1.50-per-foot-plus labor and material.  A two-wire, permanent, smooth-wire electrical fence costs somewhere between 10 to 20 cents per foot depending on terrain. 

That's a huge savings. I know certain ranchers who hate electric fencing, but are learning to live with it, because with today's livestock prices they cannot afford to build conventional fences.

To successfully make the transition over to new fencing technology, you need a very good understanding of how effective electrical fencing works. First off, this kind of fence works only on the brain of the animal, that is, the remembering power of the shock they receive.

Don't think of this fence as a barrier, but as a psychological fence. 

In other words, you need to knock their socks off (so-to-speak) the very first time they touch a smooth wire. Then you have the reverse problem of pushing a barbed-wire fence and shying away from any smooth wire.

Make gates really big for hot fences -- like 30-feet-plus - because with narrow, 12-foot-gates a well-trained animal to a good electric fence will be reluctant to even get near the gate, much less walk right through it.

There are two ways an electric fence works.  All hot-wire system.  When your soils are deep and somewhat damp it produces a high conductive system to shock animals through  their feet.  The electrons must make a complete circuit to receive the maximum shock. The electricity passes from the wire, though the animal, out their feet, through the ground and back to the ground rods. If anything is weak in the circuit they will not get a controllable shock.

The advantage to having decent soils is you can actually get away with a single strand of wire that greatly reduces your fence-building cost. You run into problems with very dry, hard soils, or even frozen ground, as the electricity will not flow very well with these types of soils and produces a weak shock. 

The second kind of electric fence is a hot-ground system.  A ground wire or wires are strung along just under the hot wires.

Another great invention is the use of in-line fence strainers that put tension on each wire. I like to use the kind of in-line strainers that eliminate cutting the wire. You just slip this wheel device onto the slack fence wire and start winding up the wire with this wench, using a special in-line strainer tool. As you start to pull the wire up tight, watch the wire's slack between the line post.

When the wire pulls level, STOP, the wire tension is just right.  What's the matter with a tight fence? I once showed a rancher's fencing crew how to build a one-post fence corner and later I found out that the wood posts pulled out of the ground. Why? Well, you see, each year, some overenthusiastic, big-armed, tough cowboy, would come by and tighten the in-line strainer so tight that you could play "Home, Home on the Range" with the fence wire.  Over time, this would eventually pull any strong post right out of the ground.

You want the electric fence to act like a rubber band. When something runs into the wire, you don't want to break all the insulators or knock posts out of the ground. If the posts are spread apart far enough - 80- to 100-feet-plus - the wire will just bend to the ground and pop back up. 

Labor tips: -  I now use my hydraulic post driver to drive in all line posts, even the steel posts. It's fast, easy and saves me from backaches. 

I keep telling folks to try one wire, but boy is that a hard sell. I usually recommend cheapening up the fence by reducing the number of wires and let the shocking power of the electric fence do all the work.

Knock their socks off - This is where you don't go cheap, but buy the best, most powerful electric fence energizer you can afford, remembering that one day you may be shocking through a lot of tall, wet vegetation.

These fences only work on the shocking power to the animal's nervous system. It's not the number of wires or how tight the fence, it's the strong pain of shocking power that gives you control over the animals.

"A wimpy fence charger gives you a wimpy fence." Don't skimp here because this is where most fences fail. Build a strong, simple fence and hook it up to a great big fence charger.

Your fence charger should be low-impedance, come from a dependable supplier, and have a warranty and replaceable components. It's also handy to find sales folks with an extra charger they can lend to you while yours is being repaired. Expect some breakdowns, especially from lightning. Certain fence suppliers offer lightning protection with their warranties.

The number one problem with failed electrical fences is improper grounding. Lots of fencers, including myself, still think you can skimp when it comes to adequate earth grounding. What we must all learn to do, is install several ground rods, at least three, that are 6 to 8 feet long, galvanized, and attached with good ground clamps. The electricity must complete a full circle back to the charger through the ground. Poor grounding gives weak shocks. Think of the ground rods as radio antennas - the more reception, the better the shock.

The last fence job that I completed, I was out of conventional ground rods, so I looked in my junk pile, and pulled out a 3-inch, galvanized, 9-feet long, heavy walled pipe. My post driver reaches up nine feet, so I was able to drive this whole pipe deep into the ground. This made an excellent ground rod. Nifty, huh?

For the folks looking for the cheapest ground rods, the cheapest that I know about is to simply hook up the ground side of your fence energizer to an existing barbed wire fence that has steel posts in it.  I know that Canada has a shortage of steel "T' posts, but this grounding idea sure works well in the States.

Electric fences require less labor, are safer for wildlife, easier to build and maintain and cost much less than conventional fences.  The weakest link in using this technology is learning a different method of animal control. These fences are psychological fences, they work on the remembering power of the animal's brain and are not barrier fences.

Your fence charger should be low-impedance, come from a dependable supplier, and have a warranty and replaceable components. Please buy one that puts out lots of power. During a rainy year, you may have lots of plant growth touching the wires. That's when you will need extra power to shock through the heavy, wet vegetation.

Don't be afraid to try electric smooth wire fencing. Find a good fence supplier and learn some of the tricks of the trade. I know folks who hate electric fencing, but their pocketbook is not big enough to build a conventional fence, which may cost up to $1 per foot or more while an electric fence costs less than one-half to one-third of that.

The next time your animals get in a fight with the neighbor's bull and tear down a fence line, remember that most educated livestock will not touch a wire, the second time, with 5,000 volts running through it.
 

Please order online 24/7 or call VALLEY FARM SUPPLY at  717-786-0368

November 09, 2013

FAQ on Electric Fences, Grounding, Energizers & More


 we receive many electric fences questions, such as “how do they work" and “what parts do I need for my fence.” We’ve listed a few of the most frequently asked questions to help you answer your questions.

Check our our list of frequently asked questions below. If you have more questions about the usage of electric fence equipment and/or components, please feel free to contact us.

Questions:
  1. How does an electric fence work?
  2. How does a ground work?
  3. How important is the grounding system?
  4. How many grounding rods do I need to make my fence work? How do I install them?
  5. How do I select the correct sized energizer?
  6. What are volts, amps and joules?
  7. What does low impedance mean?

1. How does an electric fence work?
An electric fence is simply a large open circuit waiting to be closed. The electric fence energizer or charger sends a high voltage pulse of electric energy through the wire, tape or rope at short intervals, usually between one and two seconds. The circuit is closed when an animal, which is standing on the ground, touches the fence. The electric energy in the fence wire flows from the fence, through the animal's body and to the ground causing the animal to be shocked. The animal will only respect the shock if both the voltage and energy are at proper levels. Environmental, fence and ground conditions influence the level of shock received. It takes a minimum of 700 volts to effectively control short haired breeds of cattle, pigs and horses while it takes about 2,000 volts for long haired cattle, sheep and goats. Depending on the type and breed of animal, it may take multiple shocks from an electric cattle fence before they are fully trained to have respect for the electric fence.



2. How does a ground work?
Upon leaving the electric fence energizer, the electric current travels along the wires and connections of the solar electric fence. It is seeking all possible routes back to Earth. These routes include animals, people grass etc. When an animal comes in contact with the wire on a livestock electric fence, the energy passes through its body and returns to the ground causing an electric shock.



3. How important is the grounding system?
The grounding system is a vital part of the system enabling the correct return of electrical pulses (from the electric fence energizer) through the animal from the contact point on the fence to the ground. Without a sufficient ground, the electric fence will be limited in effectiveness of providing a "shock".

 

4. How many grounding rods do I need to make my fence work? How do I install them?
Grounding rods should be at least 6 feet long. Even though one grounding rod may work, it is recommended for best results to use 3 rods spaced 10-12 feet apart. The first rod should be within 25-50 feet from the energizer and driven down deep into the earth. The larger your fence, the more grounding rods you should have since more grounding rods increase the shock potential. Connect the rods together and then connect them to the energizer ground terminal using highly conductive wire (the wire should be a minimum of 12.5 ga in diameter). Water the ground after installation and during dry spells if necessary.



5. How do I select the correct sized energizer?
The energizer must deliver sufficient shock in proportion to the requirements placed on it. The power output should be selected based on the following calculations. Location of electric fence energizer (access to A/C power), type of animals, length of the above-ground or underground electric fence, number for strands of wire, conductivity of wire, vegetation present on the fence and soil conditions for grounding.



6. What are volts, amps and joules?
Volts or voltage is the driving force behind the flow of electricity in a wire. It is often related to the pressure water has in a pipe. The more pressure pushing water through a pipe is analogous to the voltage pushing energy through a conductor.

Amps or amperage is the measurement of electrical current through a wire. It is the current or amps that determine the strength of the shock felt from a permanent or temporary electric fence. The higher the amps of current, the higher the strength of the shock. Continuing the water pipe analogy, amps is roughly like the flowrate of water coming out of the end of the pipe.

A joule (pronounced jewel) is a unit of work or energy. It is the energy expended in one second by a current of one amp at a potential of one volt. One joule is equal to one watt of power in one second.



7. What does low impedance mean?
Energizers that are low impedance energizers have the ability to regulate their output and maintain a constant voltage supply to the fence even as the grounding and fence conditions deteriorate as well as increased vegetation contact. This means as more vegetation draws amperage from the electric fence (short circuiting or grounding the fence), a low impedance energizer will produce more energy or joules to overcome this loss due to plants while maintaining adequate levels for animal control.

Please order online 24/7 or call VALLEY FARM SUPPLY at  717-786-0368

November 09, 2013

Buy a new Gallagher Smartfix Fence Tester / Fault Finder for only $99 and receive Free USA Shipping to your door!!

LIMITED OFFER, BUY NOW!!

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Buy a new Gallagher Smartfix Fence Tester / Fault Finder for only $99 and receive Free USA Shipping to your door!!

Now is the time to check your electric fence for proper working conditions for winter. The Gallagher Smartfix will be the best tool on your farm this Fall.ORDER YOUR SMARTFIX HERE!
When used as a DVM: can be used to measure voltage on all energizer types, measures up to 15KV; use without earth lead for everyday fence voltage reading (earth lead will give more precise readings, particularly for measuring earth voltage.); retractable probe allows easy access to energizer terminals, cut-out switches and other difficult to reach areas. When used as a Current Meter: large arrows makes for easy fault finding by showing direction of fault; digital display of current (A) makes for easy detection of faults; bar graph indicating voltage while in current meter mode; cordless operation.

Limited Time Offer!

Gallagher Smartfix for only $99 and Free USA Shipping!!!

Simply order from our new improved web site, www.gallagherelectricfencing.com , or click the link below.ORDER HERE NOW

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November 09, 2013

What electric fence system is right for you?

If this is your first fence project we recommend you follow three simple steps so you understand your options and can better plan your fence. A well-thought out plan in advance will help you avoid problems later, and assure that your electric fence works as you want it to.

Electric Fence Planning Overview
Before building your electric fence you'll need to take into account many factors including the climate and terrain, the animals you need to fence in - or out, and many other factors. You need to know:

What type of animal(s) do you want to control?
The animal being controlled will largely determine the type of electric fence you need. The animal's hooves, thickness and length of coat, height, jumping ability and many other factors impact your fence selection.

In general, animals with thick, shaggy coats require a more powerful controller than animals with shorter coats and thin hides. Electricity relies on conductivity to deliver a shock, and heavy coats act as an insulator.

One of the conductive wires should be placed at the animal's nose level. The strands need to be spaced so the animal cannot push its head through any two wires without receiving a shock. You may need low or high wires to prevent animals from digging under or jumping over fences.

Do you want to contain or keep out the animal(s)?
A short, safe pulse of electricity creates a psychological barrier that trains most animals to avoid the fence. However, predators, bulls, and other aggressive animals are more apt to challenge the fence, requiring a more powerful fence controller.

What type of electric fence do you need?
We group electric fences into four categories: (1) portable or temporary, (2) semi-permanent or permanent, (3) permanent high tensile, and (4) the Horse Sense Electric Fence System.

Temporary electric fence systems can also be easily moved by using a battery or solar fence controller; poly step-in posts or steel or fiberglass rods; poly wire, tape or rope; and other lightweight components. Temporary fences typically run for short distances, are affordable, are quick and easy to install.

Semi-permanent or permanent electric fences consist of a combination of either wood posts, T-posts, U-posts or rod posts using any type of wire, tape or rope. Installation is easy to moderate, depending on the terrain and the animal being contained or excluded. Often used for pastures and cross fencing, this category of fence will last up to 20 years.

Permanent high tensile electric fences use well-anchored wood posts to support steel wire under high tension. While more time-consuming to install than other electric fence systems, it is the most effective permanent perimeter fence and provides the highest level of security for keeping out or containing difficult or aggressive animals, such as bulls or predators. A well-built high tensile electric fence requires minimal maintenance and will last up to 40 years.

The Horse Sense Electric Fence System® , designed specifically for equine use, emphasizes the horse's safety as well as containment. The system uses white, flexible poly tape or poly rope to make it easy for the horse to see the fence. White vinyl sleeves and caps that cover wood and t-posts protect the horses from injury and complete the classic white-rail appearance. The fence will typically last from 5 to 15 years.

Why is electric fencing a cost effective option?
Electric fencing typically costs less than traditional barbed and woven wire fencing. In addition, animals are less apt to damage a fence, as they usually don't touch an electrified wire more than once. Choosing and installing high-quality components will pay dividends later with fewer maintenance problems and longer fence life.

A more powerful fence controller may cost a bit more, but will save you time and money in the long run. The higher-powered low impedance fencers increase energy on the fence line as weeds touch it, minimizing the need to remove vegetation. It also gives you greater flexibility to add to, or reconfigure, your fence at a later date.

Consider your investment in your livestock, horses and/or pets. You want to protect them with quality electric fence components that will do the job and keep them safe.

 

  Portable/
Temporary
Semi-Permanent/
Permanent
Permanent High Tensile Horse-Sense Electric Fence System ®
Expected Fence Life Short term, frequent moves 1-20 years 20-40 years 5-15 years
Ease of Installation Simple, fast Easy to moderate Moderate, special tools required Moderate
Animals Controlled Cows, horses, pets, lawn and garden pests Cows, horses, hogs, sheep, goats, exotics, deer predators Cows, hogs, sheep, goats, exotics, deer, predators Horses
Best suited for Temporary fencing, managed intensive grazing Pastures, cross fences Permanent perimeter installations High visibility, horse pasture
Post type Step-in posts, steel and rod posts, fiberglass posts T-posts, rod-posts, U-posts Wood posts, T-posts, U-posts Wood posts, T-posts, U-posts
Wire type Poly wire, poly tape, poly rope Poly wire, poly tape, poly rope, steel wire 12 1/2 gauge high-tensile wire Poly tape, poly wire, poly rope
Distance
Short
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Features
Lightweight, reusable, easy to move
Workable with any configuration of posts and conductive wire
Longest life fence system available, minimal maintenance
Use with vinyl post sleeves for attractive, white-rail look, afordable

Please order online 24/7 or call VALLEY FARM SUPPLY at  717-786-0368

November 07, 2013

International Crane Foundation Foils Predators With Electric Fences

 

 

Cranes rely on open freshwater wetlands for survival during most of their lifecycle. The loss and degradation of these kinds of habitats are among the most pressing threats to the survival of these huge birds.  Another threat, of course, is the ever-present danger of predators such as raccoons and mink.

 

The International Crane Foundation, founded in 1973, operates a 25 acre compound north of Baraboo, Wisconsin devoted to protecting this endangered species which are “the largest and oldest flying birds in the world,” according to ICF spokesman Dave Chesky.

 

About 20 acres are fenced and netted to protect the birds.  Chesky says the site is home for over 120 cranes including every species.  “We’re the only place that has all of them – whooping cranes, sandhill cranes, Siberian cranes – all 15 species.”

 

Most of the birds are part of a protected, captive flock; permanent, non-migratory cranes held in place by and overhead netting that keeps them from flying away.  The perimeter fence that shields them from predators is an ingenious masterpiece of engineering created to keep some wily animals from gaining access to the rare birds.

 

Chesky described the protective perimeter this way: “To keep burrowing animals out, we’ve got a two-foot wide wire mesh buried two inches underground in front of the fence.  The fence is eight feet tall with the first four feet made of one inch mesh chain link fencing. Over the years, we’ve learned to size it slightly smaller than a mink’s skull to prevent them from entering the area.”

 

The top four feet is a Gallagher supplied electric fence powered by B-260 chargers.  “The chargers have proven very reliable,” said Chesky.  “We just had one that was about 20 years old rebuilt by the factory and reinstalled it.  It works perfectly.”

 

Wires are set just one inch apart at the bottom of this powered section and spaced wider at the top.  The fence has ended the foundation’s losses to predators.  “We haven’t lost a bird since it was installed,” said Chesky.

 

 “An electric fence is a psychological barrier that keeps animals where they should be with safety and security.  Because the fence is a psychological barrier, it doesn’t require great strength to be effective. However, it must be well designed in accordance with the species to be controlled.”

 

The company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electric fences designed to contain cattle, horses and other farm animals as well as prevent wild animals and predators from gaining access to areas where they can do economic damage.

Please order online 24/7 or call VALLEY FARM SUPPLY at  717-786-0368