Electric Fences: A Better Alternative to Barbed Wire

Written by: The Farm Supply Store

One of the most popular forms of home security and safeguarding animals is electric fences. It is economical, and is easier to install and maintain. Unlike electric fences, barbed wire can scrape and cut animals, causing major veterinarian bills to accumulate. Electric fences send an electronic pulse through a wire leaving the animal unharmed but a warning to keep out, making it a safer and convenient alternative.


Electric fence installation is much easier compared to barbed wire. They are lightweight and minimal planning is required.


  1. Plan the layout. Examine the number of animals/crops the fence is intended for.
  2. Corner braces. For corners with six or fewer lines, a single brace will be enough. However seven or more lines will require a double brace.
  3. The larger the fence the more posts will be needed. The types of posts that can be used are wood and metal. Both will work fine, except wood needs more maintenance while metal is costly.
  4. Choosing the right wire. Tape and straight are wires for electric fences. Tape is thicker and easier to see compared to straight wire. When caring for larger animals such as horses or keeping deer out, 1.5- or 2-inch poly tape is best.


Electric Fence Charger

To keep the fence perpetually pulsating electricity in the wire, an electric fence charger is needed. Chargers are sold with foot, mile power and joule ratings. The best types to buy are the ones with a joule rating. The higher the joule rating means the electrical current will last longer. One joule is enough for a five-acre fence.


There are three types of chargers for electric fences. AC powered, DC battery, and solar powered.


AC Powered

AC Powered batteries have the longest range with 300 miles and 64 joules. They are less expensive however require maintenance and must be near an outlet to charge.


DC Powered

DC powered chargers do not have such a long range with 150 miles and 18 joule but are able to withstand weather damage. With a longer life expectancy, the DC power charger is able to last three times longer.


Solar Powered

When considering an electric fence, the most cost effective would be a solar powered electric fence. Although solar fences are more costly, they pay off in the long run by saving money with lowering the electric bill.  With the ability to work at any time, the solar powered chargers are the most popular. The electric fence can be put up wherever the consumer chooses and not next to an outlet like the AC powered chargers.