Choosing the Most Appropriate Electric Fence Wire

Horse paddock constructed from poly tape electric fence wire

Electric fence wire comes in a number of different forms; knowing which one to choose can be a bit tricky for those new to electric fencing. This overview of the different conductor wires available, and the benefits of each, will help you choose the most suitable type of electric fence wire for your application.

Electric Poly Tape Fencing

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An electric tape fence offers the perfect solution to contain your horses – it is highly visible, strong, can withstand all weather conditions, and will not rust. Poly tape is available in a variety of colors (white, brown, and green) making it easy to choose the color that best suits your conditions. White tape is more visible against green vegetation or brown landscape, whereas brown or green tape is more visible against a snow background.

Electric poly tape is available in three different widths – 1/2 inch (12mm), 1 inch (25mm), and 2 inch (50mm) – with each width being better suited for different applications. Because of its enhanced visibility and superior strength, the 2 inch tape is recommended for perimeter fences, but it is not the best solution in areas that experience strong winds – in these situations, poly rope would make a better choice for perimeter fencing.

The 1/2 inch or 1 inch tape is better suited for use in windy areas as the thinner width of the tape provides less resistance to winds, and is therefore less inclined to suffer wind damage as a result. The width of the poly tape does affect the price, with wider tape costing more. Consequently, it may be more cost effective to use narrow tape for internal paddocks, or if you already have a perimeter fence that you simply wish to prevent your horses from damaging as they lean against it to get to the grass that is always greener on the other side!

Electric Poly Wire Fencing

While an electric poly wire fence lacks the strength of a steel wire fence, it won’t rust, it is easier for animals to see, and also has many practical applications. It is suitable for containing animals that don’t move too quickly, such as sheep or cattle, rather than horses, which move much faster. It can be wound onto a reel to provide a convenient option for temporary fencing solutions, such as strip grazing, and also offers a cost effective option for subdividing pastures or running along the top of conventional fences to prevent animals (including horses) from damaging them.

Electric Poly Rope Fencing

Electric poly rope is much thicker than poly wire, and is reinforced with stainless steel woven throughout the rope. Consequently, it is both robust and a highly effective conductor. Like poly tape, it is available in a range of color options to make it more visible depending on the local environmental conditions, and won’t rust. Poly rope is suitable for temporary rotational grazing or for dividing paddocks in conjunction with permanent perimeter fencing.

Electrobraid Rope Fence

Because of its superior strength, resilience and conductivity, Electrobraid rope fencing is very effective for constructing perimeter fencing to contain horses, and as it has a much thinner profile than 40mm poly tape, it offers the best solution for perimeter fencing in windy conditions.

Electrified High Tensile Wire Fencing

If you are wanting to construct permanent farm fences that will cover a large area, high tensile wire fencing may be your best option. However, as wire fences do not give like a poly tape or poly rope fence would, they are not suitable for fast moving animals, such as horses, who could succumb to serious injury if they run into the wire at speed.

High tensile wire is available in two options: galvanized steel, and aluminum. Both options are strong, hard wearing, and low maintenance, and are a good choice for constructing perimeter fences to contain slow animals. Galvanized steel offers an economic solution that will effectively carry a electronic charge long distances. Aluminum offers superior conducting capabilities – 4 times as much as galvanized steel — and generally comes with a lifetime warranty, but as it does tend to be more expensive than steel wire, a long fence could end up costing a lot more.

Electric fencing offers a convenient and cost effective method of containing livestock. Choose the type of conductor that best meets your requirements to ensure that you have the most effective conductor for your electric wire fence application to save yourself unnecessary expense later.

Featured Image By Alex Brollo, via Wikimedia Commons"

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