Electric fencing is an important part of modern livestock management and can go a long way toward keeping your horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and more safe from predators and potentially getting lost. Depending on the electric fence equipment you have it is possible to establish protected perimeters that span as much as 25km, or create enclosures that are just big enough to defend the average garden from foxes, birds, pets and vermin; it all depends on what you require.
Having said that, there are must-have electric fencing essentials that no electric fencing system can do without, irrelevant of its size. These devices and various pieces of equipment are designed specifically to meet the needs of the modern agriculturalist or farmer, and yet many offer various additional benefits that may make them more or less suitable depending on each individual's needs
Whether you're establishing a temporary or permanent fixture, as far as we are concerned an electric fence is incomplete, ill-equipped and incapable of offering a comprehensive level of protection without these 6 must-have electric fencing essentials and supplies.
Electric Fence Energisers
The heart of any electric fencing system, the energiser draws power from either a mains power supply, a solar panel or from a purpose-built electric fence battery. Some electric fence energisers are be rather basic and simply fulfil the function that is demanded of them, but others possess a number of possible additional features that may come in handy.
These additional features may include display screens that provides in-depth diagnostical information, ports for accessories such as external solar panels, or even something as simple as an integrated stand which will make the energiser ideal for semi-permanent electric fences installations.
Having said that, not all energisers are capable of meeting the same demands in terms of energy output, so when you're shopping for an electric fence energiser make sure that at the very least you have realistically estimated your electric fence's potential size, and then choose an energiser that is capable of powering a fence system of that size.
The capabilities of an electric fence energiser are normally indicated by its power requirements, which is to say that generally speaking a 220V mains energiser will have a larger output capacity than a 9V battery energiser. On Tanner Trading you will find ample information regarding the requirements, capabilities and limitations of each and every electric fence energiser that we offer.
Electric Fence Battery
Depending on the type of fence system you're intending to establish, an electric fence battery is both a supply and an essential. Batteries are required exclusively to power some electric fence energisers, as not many are hybrids that can also be powered by the mains, and even then hybrid energisers often need an adaptor. In general we'd recommend that anyone relying on a battery-powered energiser should always keep a back-up handy and keep it stored in a warm, dry area.
When you're shopping for electric fence batteries make sure you note their voltage output, as most battery-powered electric fence energisers will only work with either a 9V or 12V battery. Another piece of information that you will want to keep your eye out for is a battery's drain time, which will give you a rough indication of how long the battery life will last with constant use. Depending on your energiser though this may not be completely accurate, as some energisers will allow you to switch between different modes of operation that require varying levels of power.
The majority of electric fence batteries are only suitable for one-time use and they will need to be replaced once they are depleted. Solar-powered assist modules that supplement the battery's energy and help it last longer are available from some electric fence manufactures – such as PEL and Gallagher Electric Fencing. Certain electric fence manufacturers, like Pulsara and Gallagher, also offer rechargeable electric fence batteries that can be re-energised once they have run dry.
Electric Fence Wire, Rope & Tape
Designed to disperse the charge provided by the energiser around the perimeter of the fence, electric fence tape, wire and rope are often made with some combination of steel or copper. Some fence posts will only accommodate one or two of these materials so make sure that you discern which of the three your electric fence post can support before you make your choice.
Electric Fence Posts
Whether your electric fence is intended as a permanent fixture or a temporary enclosure, you will want to ensure that your electric fence posts are of the highest quality possible. Available in a wide range of heights, colours and materials, electric fence posts ensure that the electric fence wire, tape or rope are sufficiently spaced and supported around the fence perimeter without coming into contact with anything that draw away the current flowing through it.
To guarantee that none of the fence's charge is lost, most electric fence posts are either made from plastic (which is an insulated material) or have electric fence insulators installed onto them. Some electric fences are also designed to accommodate a large number of conductive tape, rope or wire configurations; making them incredibly versatile and allowing them to be used effectively in the housing of almost any animal.
Electric Fence Insulators
If you're using a fence post that is not made from plastic then you'll need to install electric fence insulators to ensure that the electricity flowing through the fence is not grounded the instant it makes contact with the first post.
Electric Fence Testers
Though some would say that electric fence testers are more of a luxury than an essential, we cannot see how anything that can keep you apprised on the status and overall health of your electric fencing system can be considered anything short of a must-have. Fortunately fence testers come in various shapes, sizes and prices; from the £5.89 Hotline Electric Fencing P20B Pocket-Sized Fence Tester that simply lets you know whether or not the fence line is live, to the £120 Gallagher SmartFix Volt & Amp Meter that is able to accurately measure the fence's amperage and voltage, as well as lead you directly to the source of any fault that may occur.
The more expensive electric fence testers are only really necessary for larger fences, as the majority of them will have built-in features that will help you quickly locate the source of any issues that might arise. This features, thought particularly helpful, will not be as beneficial when used on smaller fence runs; because the source of the fault ought to be relatively easy to find and it's unlikely to save you enough time to justify its cost.