The electric fence – basics and information

General information

The electric fence basically consists of 4 components:

  • The electric fencing energiser / pasture fencing energiser
  • The fence wire
  • The insulators
  • The earthing rod

The basic functionality of an electric fence relies on the animal’s respect for the electric shock it experiences when touching the fence. These electric shocks are not dangerous to humans or animals, they are merely deterrents against touching again.

This functionality works with all types of animal and is therefore used in animal husbandry and also to deter outside animals.

How the electric fence works

Overview “Operation of an electric fence, connection of the electric fencing energiser and proper earthing“
Overview “Operation of an electric fence, connection of the electric fencing energiser and proper earthing“

When an animal touches the fence wire, the circuit is closed and the electric current passes through the animal and back to the electric fencing energiser through the earth. The animal hereby receives a harmless, yet unpleasant electric shock and backs off. This electric shock to the animal experiences when touching the electric fence teaches it to respect and fear the fence, deterring it from approaching the fence again. It will not under normal circumstances attempt to cross the fence again.

The circuit may, however, also be closed by greenery under the fence or branches touching the wires, causing a current to flow and reducing the voltage on the fence.

It is therefore important to clear the fence as best possible from plant growth underneath. If this is not possible, a suitably powerful electric fencing energiser should be used, to generate enough voltage to burn away any new greenery as it touches the fence.

The weakest link in this circuit affects the fencing effectiveness (min. 2 000 V voltage acc. to VDE); it is thus important that the electric fencing energiser, the insulators, the fence wire, the supply wires and connections as well as the earthing are perfect, to guarantee optimal fence functionality.