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Cattle Fencing

Electric fencing is ideal for containing Cattle:

  • safer than conventional fencing
  • can be easily moved for grazing
  • costs less than conventional fencing
  • they will respect the fence quickly
  • simple also to electrify an existing fence

Electric fencing is a cost effective and easy way to contain cattle. It can be used to contain them in whole fields or parts of fields for strip grazing. For permanent fencing wooden posts and screw in insulators with galvanised wire and ideally a mains energiser can be used. For temporary fencing 3ft poly posts, poly wire and a portable 12v fence energiser should be used.

Another safety feature of electric fencing is preventing injury to the cattle when they charge through the fence if they are spooked. Harm is less likely with an electric fence made with poly material than a conventional fence of metal wire.

There are various types of cattle and different requirements are needed for each. Dairy Cattle are fairly docile and used to daily human contact. Dairy cows can be usually contained with a single strand of poly wire if being strip grazed powered by a 0.25 Joule energiser with a fence voltage of at 2,000v-3,000v. Beef cattle are slightly less docile and not used to as much human contact. Two lines of conductors of either wire or poly wire with a fence voltage of at least 2,000v-3,000v is recommended. Bulls require more power on the fence to contain as they are more motivated to escape especially nearby cows are on heat. You should have an electric fence energiser with at least 1.5 Joules of stored energy that can maintain at least 3,000v-4,000v on the fence. Five conductor wire are neccessary to defer them from escaping.

There is a couple options when thinking about the type of posts you are going to use. For temporary fences or fences you are likely to move it best to use poly posts. For more permanent fencing it better to use wooden posts. Generally posts should be a minimum of 90cm-100cm in height. Posts can be spaced for permanent can be 12-15 metres aparts and temporary fencing 7-10 metres apart. In both cases this depends on the terrain and weather. Please ensure that the ends of the fence well strained and anchored. Please find below a diagram of the different vertical spacing of wire fencing:


The fence lines recommended for use with cattle is poly wire and galvanised wire. Two strands of wire provide good visibility and coverage with one at about lower chest height at 75cm and the other at just above knee level at 40cm. For bulls its recommened to use 5 wires fairly equally spaced out.

Electrifying an Existing Fence

You can easily adapt or convert an existing conventional fence into an electric fence. This is a cost effective method if you already have a permanent fence in place. You can either use the wooden posts already installed and put in insulators on the posts with wire. There are also many types of offset screw in and post top insulators for mounting on an existing fence.


For fences that are permanent or if a mains supply is available using a mains energiser is the best option. A mains system works by plugging the energiser into the supply inside and running lead out cable to a 2m earth stake and to the fence to power it. For permanent fences mains energiser should not have less than 0.5 Joule stored energy. For remote areas or places you cannot get a mains supply to, 12v, 9v or solar energisers should be used. 12v battery energisers are usually used and we would recommend using these as they are more reliable and cost effective. If you are likely to use the energiser just for strip grazing and will be moving it around alot than 9v energiser are better as they are lighter and easier to move. If you are fencing bulls you must look for any energiser with at least 1.5 Joules stord energy for it to be effective.

Fence Line Conductor

We would recommend only using poly wire, stranded wire, galvanised wire and high tensile wire for use with cattle. Electric poly wire gives great visibility and can be easily unwound and wound up for re-use. Also stranded wire can also be re-used for temporary fencing. If you are installing a permanent fence its better to use either high tensile wire and or galvanised wire as this is longer lasting. There is different quality of conductors lines available. A quality of a line is dependent on the number of conductors, diameter of conductors, level of resitance and breaking strain. Stranded, galvanised and high tensile are all conductor so you are usually looking at the level of resitance and breaking strain for quality. A poly wire with alot of large conductor wire with low resistance and a high breaking strain has the best quality. For longer electric fences you will need a better quality line such as galvanised wire but if it is just a short fence the cheapest lowest quality will be fine. 

Cattle Fencing Kits

We do not have any cattle fencing kits listed as this are fairly individual to each user. As normally large lengths of fencing can be needed. If you need a system please contact us with the length of the fence needed and we can quote you for all you need.