Uses and Benefits of a Portable Electric Fence

A portable electric fence can be used to contain a variety of pets, livestock and wildlife

Electric fencing is a popular alternative to conventional fencing for containing livestock as well as pets. It is convenient, cost effective, and offers a number of benefits. One of the major benefits of electric fencing, is its portability, which offers farmers a great deal of flexibility in managing their pastures and livestock. This can also be beneficial to home owners who use electric pet fencing to contain their pets.


Permanent electric fences certainly have their use, especially as boundary fences, and for fences that run long distances, but a portable electric fence is often far more practical for the following applications:

  • Strip grazing livestock
  • Protecting sensitive areas
  • Creating temporary paddocks
  • Traveling with your horse to events
  • Keeping pets and wildlife off lawn or garden beds

Strip Grazing

To prevent a pasture from becoming overgrazed by cattle, sheep or goats, farmers have to practice rotational grazing methods, moving the livestock around to allow an area that has recently been grazed to recover. A portable electric fence offers the most cost effective, and convenient solution – simply disconnect the fence charger, roll up the fence wire, and move the fence posts; then roll out the wire again between the posts, and attach the fence charger. You now have a new paddock with fresh pasture for your livestock to graze, while the area grazed previously is left to regrow.

Protecting Sensitive Areas

There are times when a farmer may need to protect sensitive areas from being trampled or grazed by livestock. For example, he may want to keep livestock away from an area where new growth is shooting out after a fire, or from an area where soil erosion is starting, to prevent further damage. A temporary fence offers the perfect solution, as it can be removed once the area recovers.

Creating Temporary Paddocks

Portable fences are particularly useful for quickly establishing temporary paddocks. A farmer may want to separate his herd, or temporarily contain animals that are being treated, dipped, or medicated, in a holding area, releasing them once they have been attended to. Once the operation is complete, the temporary paddock can quickly be dismantled and removed, and the animals allowed to move around freely again.

Traveling With Your Horse

Portable electric fencing is used extensively by horse riders who travel with their mounts to attend sporting events. An electric fence will allow your horse to graze freely while you are attending a show, and is particularly useful for endurance riders who may camp overnight with their horses.

Keeping Pets & Wildlife Out of Garden Beds

If you have just planted a new lawn, or are trying to establish a garden, there is nothing more annoying than having your pets or wild animals dig up your handiwork, or devour new shoots as they appear. Until the grass or plants that your have planted establish themselves, your garden is vulnerable to being trampled, and those juicy new shoots need protection. However, once it has started to flourish you may not wish to have unsightly fencing barring access to your garden, and so temporary electric fencing may be your best option. A portable electric fence can be moved around, or it can be dismantled and used again when needed.

Type of Portable Electric Fence

You can purchase a complete portable electric fence system in kit form — complete fencing kits are available for a variety of animals, including dogs, horses, chickens, goats, pigs and other livestock, as well electric fencing kits that are designed to keep wildlife such as deer and even bears at bay. The Gallagher Smart Fence is an ingenious portable electric fence system that combines posts, reels and wires into one convenient system, making it is quick and easy to install, as well as easy to carry and store.

Some kits include an energizer (fence charger), but you may need to purchase this separately.

If you are wanting to build your own portable electric fence, the type of wire you will need will depend on the type of animals you are need to keep in or out of your property. For guidance on choosing the correct electric fence wire to meet your needs click here.

Featured Image By AJW, via Wikimedia Commons

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