The electric enclosure is one of the most popular protection measures from large predators. The enclosure consists of several (recommended not less than 5) bands or wires with high voltage (at least 4500 V) current. The same installation principles apply as to classic enclosures – predator should not be able to get into the enclosure neither over the top nor through the bottom. To prevent wolves from digging or crawling under, the lowest string should be 10-15 cm above the ground, and an additional string could be installed 10-15 cm above the ground in front of the enclosure. To prevent wolves from jumping into the enclosure, the top string should be not less than 1-1.20 m high. The enclosure is effective only when the power is on, so, you need to check whether there is no breakdown or leakage through objects in contact with the enclosure.
The enclosure might be fixed or portable – it depends on the poles which are used, on how they are fixed and on how the electricity supply is installed. If the enclosure is portable, it is necessary to make sure that the poles are as stable as possible and the strings are tightened every time the enclosure has been moved.
Compared to the ordinary electric shepherd of one-two wires which is usually used to enclose livestock in pastures, this enclosure is more visible and solid.
The electric enclosure is suitable for any farm. Portable enclosures are better when the grazing location changes during the season. If you move the enclosure, make sure that the poles are as stable as possible and the strings are tightened every time the enclosure has been moved. In the case of small farms, only a small territory might be fenced to confine livestock during the night.
A properly installed and maintained electric enclosure is one of the most effective protection measures from predators. The enclosure itself is a physical barrier and the electric shock is really unpleasant for the animal that has contact with the fence. It is believed that animals sense the electric field, so their resolution to come closer or to try to get into the enclosure decreases.
One of the weaknesses of the enclosure is that livestock scared by wolves may break the enclosure themselves. Therefore you should use as strong poles as possible, avoid right angles when fencing, leave enough space for the livestock that they would feel safe from the predators outside.
Effectiveness may be increased by keeping livestock guarding dogs in the enclosure.
The electric enclosure needs initial investment that is quite high: strings, a generator, an accumulator, poles, and a tester will be needed. The price relatively decreases when the fenced territory increases.
The measure is durable (proper strings are plastic, so they do not wear out in years), and its regular maintenance and renewing would not cost much. Therefore, initial investment would be distributed over several years and the total price of the measure would not be that high.
Regular maintenance is needed. The most important thing that needs to be attended to is whether the appropriate charge is flowing through the strings, whether there is no leakage through any obstacles. We recommend to use control lamps, which show whether the power is on from a distance. It also helps to repel predators.
The moving of the enclosure is performed with bigger reels to roll all the strings. In the new location supporting poles (usually in corners) must be placed exactly in the same manner as in the previous place. At the end of the season the strings have to be rolled into reels, the accumulator and the generator have to be protected from the moist.
Installation requirements and recommendations:
- Not less than 5 strings.
- Not less than 1–1.20 m high; if possible – 2 m.
- The lowest string – 10–15 cm above the ground.
- Distance between the strings – 15–20 cm.
- Strings must be wide, not less than 2 cm width.
- Strings should be white in order to be visible in the dark.
- Voltage at least 4500 V.
- Strings must not touch vegetation.
- Make sure there is no leakage; testers, flashers, SMS can be of use.
Livestock may break the enclosure from within if they are scared by wolves. Therefore:
- Dig in as many strong poles as possible (not only in the corners).
- Fortify the gates as scared livestock usually run through them.
- If possible, tie the livestock inside the enclosure for the night.
- Dedicate 10 ares for each sheep.