If you own a small farm or large ranch, you likely know how much strain winter weather can place on your livestock and the equipment you use every day. This is especially true for electric fences, as they can be rendered inoperable in severe weather conditions. As a leading provider of quality farm products like wire fencing and livestock feeders, the team at Edge Line Products knows how difficult winter can be for farms and ranches of all sizes. That is why we have compiled some information on electric fence considerations for winter to help you understand what to watch for and keep your fence working as it should throughout the year.
2 Winter Conditions to Watch for if You Have an Electric Fence
As referenced by the name, electric fences are meant to deliver a mild electrical shock to livestock or predators if their body contacts one of the wires. These wires are charged via a battery, and when something contacts a wire, this completes the electrical circuit and allows electricity to flow through the body of the livestock or predator and into the ground. While the operation of electric fences is straightforward, there are a few areas where this circuit can become interrupted due to the following winter conditions:
1. Heavy Snowfall
Heavy snowfall in the winter can cause significant problems with electric fencing. For example, snow drifts can accumulate and build up on the ground below your fence, eventually touching the bottom conducting wires. This can cause power to be drained from the fence as it will continually deliver a shock to the snow or ice so long as it maintains contact. This loss of power can be prevented by installing a cut-off switch that will enable you to disconnect the bottom wires during periods of heavy snowfall. By cutting the power to the lower wires, your fence can maintain its charge and the wires further up will continue to emit electric pulses, keeping your livestock safe and secure in the field.
2. Dry or Frozen Ground
During winter, soil may freeze and become dry due to reduced moisture and humidity levels. Since moist soil is a better conductor than dry soil, this may negatively impact the electric pulses emitted from your electric fence and potentially cause it to stop working. If the soil moisture content drops during winter, you may need to run a ground-wire return circuit back to the conductors on your electric fence to help improve the grounding. To complete this task, install two extra wires to your electric fence that do not receive current from the charger. One should be installed near the bottom and the other near the top of your farm fencing, connecting them to the grounding system on the fence’s electric circuit.
For more information on our selection of farm fencing products or to inquire about our other farm and ranch products, get in touch with the team at Edge Line Products. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our products.