The electric fence is one of the most popular protection measures from large predators. It consists of several (recommended 5) tapes or wires with high voltage (at least 3000 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 tape / wire should be 10-30 cm above the ground, also an additional wire could be installed 10-30 cm above the ground in front of the enclosure. To prevent wolves from jumping into the enclosure, the top tape / wire should be not less than 1.10 m high. The fence 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 fence.
The fence 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 fence is portable, it is necessary to make sure that the poles are as stable as possible and the tapes / wires 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, solid and high enough to protect livestock from wolves.
The electric fence is suitable for any farm. Portable fences 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 tapes / wires are tightened every time the fence 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 fence is one of the most effective protection measures from predators. The fence 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 fence is that livestock scared by wolves may break the fence 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 fence needs initial investment that is quite high: tapes or wires, 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 tapes 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 tapes / wires, 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 fence is performed with bigger reels to roll the tapes or wires. 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 tapes / wires 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 4 tapes / wires (recommended 5).
- Not less than 1.10 m high.
- Voltage at least 3000 V.
- Permanent support stakes must be firmly installed or double-spiked poles must be used.
- The lowest tape / wire 10-30 cm above the ground (when fencing in an area on an uneven landscape, it is important to make sure that the stakes are arranged in a way that the lower wire in the hollows is not higher than 30 cm from the surface).
- Tapes / wires must be well tighten.
- Tapes must be wide, not less than 1 cm width.
- Tapes should be visible for animals in the dark (white, blue or other suitable color).
- Tapes / wires must not touch trees, bushes or other objects that would cause the voltage in the enclosure to drop.
- Electric tapes and wires can be combined together: within the electric-wired enclosure it is recommended to have at least one electric tape so that it is visible in the dark (it is best if it is the upper tape), or to use signal strips or signal beacons to improve visibility.
- Electric-wired enclosures can be set up either from braided (synthetics with wires) or from monolithic wire.
- Make sure there is no leakage; testers, flashers, SMS can be of use.
Livestock may break the fence from within when 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; in a case of a bigger herd, livestock should be given enough space so that when they move to the center of enclosure, there would be around 50 m of space left till its boarders.