How Much Does an Electric Fence Cost?
An electric fence is a fence that is made of wire that can administer an electric shock to anything that comes in contact with it. This is a viable option to keep larger animals within a pasture, such as horses or cattle. When the animals come in contact, they will receive a mild shock, keeping them inside. Another reason that people may decide to install and electric fence is to protect a building or home that has valuable items within. No matter your reason for needed an electric fence, the price will be about the same.
How much is it?
- On average, the cost of an electric fence can be $4 to $7 per linear foot. The cost will depend upon the geographical location, the company doing the job, and type of electrical fence that is going to be installed. With every acre that needs to be fenced, plan on budgeting at least $800 to $1,700. If you want to do it on your own, the costs are often less than $0.75 per foot.
- PasturePro.com breaks down all of the materials that are necessary to build an electric fence. In his example, he claims that a 40-acre property could cost up to $2,500 for the materials alone. This would not include the necessary labor. By the foot, materials could cost as little as $0.48.
What is going to be included?
- An electric fence, unlike an invisible fence, is designed to keep larger animals within a certain area. Similar to a wired-panel fence, a small electrical jolt, which causes no harm, will go off anytime something makes contact with it. Every fifty feet or so, there will be galvanized ground rods that are up to eight feet tall. These rods will allow the electricity to circle through and go back to the charger that is charging the fence with the electricity. The more strands a fence has, the more powerful it can be to keep predators out and animals in. A fence can have one to as many as 11 strands that vary in thickness. The thicker it is, the more powerful it can be.
- While most electric fences are permanent, some can be temporary, such as around a garden. This type of electric fence is meant to keep out animals such as squirrels or raccoons that can ruin the contents of the garden.
- Common electric fences will be made up of the following parts: corner posts, brace posts, braces, line posts, wire, insulators, wire tensioners, crimp sleeves, wire taps, insulated wire, an energizer and ground rods.
What are the extra costs?
- There are many types of wires that can be installed on the fence. The higher the quality is, the more you should be prepared to spend. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the wire is, the more electricity it can carry. This means that a more powerful jolt will be administered.
- In case of a power outage, a backup power source, such as a solar charger, could be necessary. If there is no power running to the fence, it simply will not work. When installing a solar panel, it is essential that it is facing the sun.
- A voltmeter will be necessary to determine how hot a fence is. This will help you ensure that the shock given to the animals will not be strong enough to harm them.
- The cost of electricity to run the charger on the fence is relatively low. Since most chargers use up to 50 watts, the costs can be less than $1 per month.
Tips to know:
- Take a close look at what animals you are trying to contain or keep out. If the fence is not powerful enough, they can easily walk through it. However, if it is powerful enough, they should learn fairly fast when shocked for the first time. You need to find a good balance between a shock that will teach them their boundaries and a shock that can do them harm.
- Try to keep the fence line free and clear of weeds, especially on larger lots. If possible, run trenches or try to spray with weed killer quarterly to prevent the weeds from activating the fence.
- Avoid using barbed wire in conjunction with an electric fence. If an animal were to get shocked, they risk the chance of getting tangled inside of the barbed wire.
- Make sure you warn children and other people of the electric fence. Otherwise, people may accidentally come in contact with it on accident. Make sure you post signs every so often to warm people of the risk of electric shock.
How can I save money?
- If you do not mind doing the job on your own, consider a do it yourself job. There are many how-to guides on the web that can show you the basics on how it is done.