Useful Tips

Electric shepherd for cattle


As the name implies, this is a fence, the protective functions of which are enhanced by the action of electric current. As you know, all living things are subject to the influence of electricity, affecting the physical and mental state of the body.

  • Protecting the perimeter from the penetration of foreign animals or preventing their own from leaving space,
  • Protection of the perimeter from the penetration of a person from the outside or exit.

The principle of operation of electric hedges of both types is the same. Voltage is applied to the metal wires attached to the insulators. As a result of the contact of the object with the wire, an electric circuit arises in which the object acts as a conductor of electricity from a source in the form of a wire to ground, that is, ground. The passage of high voltage current creates an intolerable level of discomfort, pain. At high voltage and amperage, this can lead to thermal burns and death.

The scheme of the device and the size of the electric fence for livestock

Pasture for animals

The most common are the electric fence as a fence for livestock. The organization of such a place allows to ensure the safety of animals from technogenic factors in the event of their uncontrolled movement from an unfenced territory. An equally important circumstance is the ability to protect the rest of the territory from the penetration of animals and damage to property and people.

Fencing for pasture fencing is a very light, inconspicuous structure. Invisible even from a short distance, a thin wire is laid in several tiers along low poles.

The physical strength of such a structure is very low, and any animal can pass through a fence that is not under current. The diameter of the boundary wires is from one to three millimeters.

Pet fence

Similarly, a fence is arranged for walking pets.

Drawing of the device of the electric fence for pets

Keeping them in cells and aviaries can be harmful to your health and mental state. The construction of fenced areas is quite expensive and leads to a deterioration in appearance. Recently, small electrical fences mounted inside a residential area are gaining popularity. Animals do not feel isolated and have a significant degree of freedom.

At the same time, they cannot leave the limited territory. Such an electric fence can be made even easier than for fencing pastures of large and small cattle. On the supports one row of wires is installed. The effect is achieved by simple training, during which the animal feels the effects of current and does not risk approaching a dangerous object.

Wildlife Protection

The penetration of wildlife into exploited territories is sometimes a big problem. Farmland attracts animals with the availability and abundance of feed. The expansion and complication of the infrastructure of civilization has led to the fact that the appearance of large animals at its facilities poses a real threat not only to them, but also to the safety of people.
The collision of a car moving at high speed with a large ungulate is deadly for both the animal and passengers. The problem has existed for a long time, but it was with the advent of inexpensive electric hedges that the possibility of solving it arose.

Fence Materials

An electric fence consists of racks, insulators, a current conductor and connecting elements. For racks any materials that meet specific conditions are used. It can be wood, metal, plastic, concrete. The insulators on which the wires are mounted are usually made of plastic. The use of conventional porcelain insulators is quite possible, but their installation may be more expensive and not always available.

Drawings and schemes of electric hedges for various animals

The main element in the electric fence is the current conductor. As such, traditionally use steel galvanized wire with a thickness of one to three millimeters. Installing, fixing and tensioning it is not always convenient and not very technological. Therefore, it is recommended to use wire for long-term fences using sufficiently strong pillars.

Conductive elements based on polymers became an alternative to wire:

  • Dacron cords up to five millimeters thick
  • Braided ribbons from one to four centimeters,
  • Plastic tapes with foil surface.

They incorporate metallic threads or electrically conductive foil. Polymeric enclosing elements are much more convenient to install, do not require complex tension. Repeated use does not lead to loss of consumer properties, which is an attractive quality for the installation of temporary or movable fences.

Invisible from a certain distance, the steel wire makes it difficult for animals to develop a reflex that keeps them from approaching the fence. Fencing elements based on polymeric materials are much more noticeable, since they are painted in catchy colors and have a larger size. The animal quickly perceives the established border and does not try to cross it; it is easier for it to maintain a safe distance.

Power supply

To ensure its functions, the electric fence must be connected to a power source. Depending on the configuration and purpose of use, they differ. The most common is the use of a conventional connection to a household power line. The product kit must include a current or voltage converter giving the necessary output parameters.

The power consumption is affected by the distance between the extreme points of the network, voltage, wire diameter and losses in the enclosure itself.

Power sources such as batteries or solar converters are used. This allows you to use an electric fence away from communications, which more fully meets the needs of animal husbandry. However, autonomous sources have their obvious drawbacks. Solar converters depend on illumination and will not work in the dark. Batteries must be kept charged, which can be difficult.

Lightning protection and grounding

An energized fence becomes vulnerable to lightning discharges. Lightning protection of the electric fence is carried out by installing a special breaker that turns off the power source with a sharp increase in load. Sometimes an electric fence needs to be grounded.

Depending on the environmental conditions and the design of the fence, it is carried out using recessed metal pins or tires. In some designs of hedges, grounding wires are not earthed, and the neutral wire is located in the lower tier. The distance to the working wire is recommended about thirty centimeters.

Fence installation

First of all, the fence posts are mounted on which the electrical equipment is mounted.

Installation process of electric fence

Unlike conventional fences, the distance between the posts can be large. They can stand thirty meters or more apart. The wire is quite light and strong, which allows you to pull it without sagging. Using elastic polymer conductive elements, the task is further simplified.

Poles are installed on a prepared foundation or in a previously made recess in the ground. Stands in the corner should be secured by struts. It should be said that there are no strict requirements for the installation of fence supports for electric fences. Equally common are supports for wires that simply stick into the ground. Unlike other fences, the verticality of the column and the reliability of fixing in the ground are not critical.

Passage device

To organize the passage for animals through the fence section, swing gates are installed. Despite the name, this is a common fence with a temporarily dismantled electric fence.

The scheme of the device passage in the electric fence

The contact wire is fixed in an insulating handle equipped with a special connector. The connector can be fixed on the contact element of the column of another section of the fence or, conversely, separated from it. In this case, the total conductive network is either closed or open.

When organizing the gate, it is necessary to take into account that animals are afraid to approach the wires, so the gate should be made wide so that the animal does not feel fear. The distance should be sufficient so that it does not notice the wires on the working sections. When using tapes and cords with signal signs, the width of the gate should create a sense of security in the animal.


After installation of all elements of the fence, power source and electrical fittings, the building is tested. The electric fence must meet the operational requirements for voltage and current parameters. After making sure that the design characteristics are achieved, the structure can be used for its intended purpose.

An example of a mounted electrical fence

Periodically, at least twice a year, electrical checks should be repeated to make sure that it is in good condition. Only an intact fence can be operated, therefore it should be inspected as necessary. The integrity of the fence can be violated by animals, falling trees, the appearance of tall grass and other causes, the consequences of which must be eliminated.

Electric shepherd

Fencing a summer pasture with permanent capital fence is unacceptable for many reasons. Expensive, unresolved issues with land ownership, the inability to move the fence if necessary ... And light temporary barriers will not help - animals will either demolish them or simply not notice them. Hire a shepherd? Again costs, and it’s not so easy to find a reliable employee.

In this case, the electroshepherd for cattle will become a reliable assistant. A simple device allows you to create an inexpensive, lightweight, mobile fence.

Scheme and principle of operation

The electronic shepherd for cows and other livestock is a light hedge, a chain of posts installed around the perimeter of the pasture, on which a conductive tape, a metal mesh or just bare wire are stretched. With a frequency of approximately once per second, a short high-voltage electrical pulse is applied to the conductive part from a special generator

The animal that touches the hedge receives a light electric shock, the strength of which is calculated so as not to cause any harm to the cattle. In this case, the blow produces an unpleasant, irritating effect, scaring away animals. After a while, the cattle develops a conditioned reflex and they begin to avoid approaching the hedge.

The cost of electric shepherd

How much does an electric shepherd cost for cows and other animals? The cost of an electric shepherd depends on the following factors:

  • Country of Origin,
  • generator power
  • the perimeter of the enclosed area (the number of supports and the length of the conductive fence),
  • manufacturing material.

Important! The power of the generator on the one hand affects the maximum perimeter of the fence, on the other - for larger or longer-haired cattle, increased power will also be required.

For comparison, the cost of electroshepherd from different manufacturers:

  • Russian production can be found for 13500 rubles with a fence length of 400 m,
  • production of the Republic of Belarus - 500 m for 5300 rubles,
  • Finnish company Olli - 10750 rubles per 1 km of fencing.

* - prices are in Russian rubles, relevant for the fall of 2018.

For other characteristics, the device must be selected for each specific case.

Independent manufacture of electric fence

As you can see, there is nothing complicated in the design of an electronic shepherd for cows. If a farmer or his relatives know how to work with their hands and head, making an electric shepherd for cattle with their own hands should not present any significant problems.

Independent manufacture of electric fence

So, the three main components of an electric shepherd for cows:

  • columns (supports),
  • fencing made of electrically conductive material,
  • pulse generator.

Columns can be made from available materials at the rate of one column per 10 meters of hedges for small animals or 7-8 meters for large ones.

You can make supports of metal, wood or plastic.

  • The metal supports are durable, they are easy to drive into the ground when arranging the hedge. But they require corrosion protection, are relatively expensive, heavy, they must be installed insulators (purchased or homemade).
  • Wooden poles are lightweight, inexpensive, but harder to install. Necessarily need protection from decay, it is desirable to install insulators or measures to prevent water impregnation (painting, impregnation with linseed oil) - a tree swollen from water has bad insulating properties.
  • Columns made of plastic are lightweight, cheap, do not require additional insulators, you can use pieces of plastic pipes left after installing the water supply, but they are even harder to drive into the ground than wooden ones.

Important! Some types of plastics (polyethylene, some varieties of polypropylene) are unstable to ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) and after a short time in open space can be destroyed. Fiberglass has proven itself well in these conditions.

The fence can be made from any uninsulated wire, it will work in any case, but you should remember:

  • steel wire is susceptible to corrosion, its service life in the open air is short,
  • copper wire is expensive, tends to stretch over time due to its own weight,
  • The best option is a galvanized steel wire: it does not stretch, it does not rust, it is inexpensive.

Important! To increase visibility, the wire should be highlighted in bright colors - for example, flags or pieces of heat shrink tubing. This will help develop a conditioned reflex in animals. Warning signs for people from the outside of the hedge will not interfere.

Perhaps the most difficult section remains - the manufacture of a pulse generator. On the Internet at various addresses you can find a lot of schemes for such devices. You can recommend the following:
Advantages of such a scheme:

  • simplicity,
  • availability of accessories (three inexpensive 555 series timers, a few more details),
  • simple setup
  • As the most responsible and time-consuming part for self-manufacturing of a part - a high-voltage transformer - an ignition coil of an industrial production from a carburetor car is used.

Power supply of the generator can be arranged through an adapter from a 220 V network, from a battery, from solar panels. As a grounding, you can drive a metal pin into the ground (a piece of reinforcement, a pipe, a corner).

Pros and cons of using electric shepherd

The disadvantages of using electric shepherd include:

  • poor sensitivity to electrical impulses of animals with thick hair (sheep),
  • the need for a power source,
  • you need to periodically mow the grass along the fence,
  • if the device has electrodes made in the form of a tape, repair in the event of a break is rather laborious.

Otherwise, farmers who bought or made an electric fence for cattle, give the device only positive characteristics: lightness, mobility, budget, autonomy.

The principle of operation of the electric shepherd

The device, with a frequency of passage of high voltage pulses through the conductors - 1 time per second, conducts current to the ground through the body of the animal that touched the hedge. The maximum current is 3 mA, which is absolutely harmless to the animal organism, but enough for the gradual development of a conditioned reflex. The concept of hedge - the pain is remembered by cattle quite quickly, provided the fence is stable.

Rules for choosing the right model

When choosing an electric fence, first pay attention to what the device is powered from: solar panels, mains or battery. There is a combined option - battery-solar, it is considered the most profitable from an economic point of view.

Pay attention to the voltage and current in the characteristics of the device. However, here are a few things to consider:

  • what age category are you going to graze. If a mixed herd with small animals, then a device with an average voltage is suitable, if large adult individuals walk, then you will have to take a powerful device,
  • density and height of vegetation at the place where you plan to install the electric shepherd. Some manufacturers claim a possible decrease in current if the wire is in close contact with grass.

Если в планах создать стационарное пастбище, то выбирать следует продукцию постоянного типа. Она отличается массивными размерами и меньшей мобильностью, но позволяет оградить большую площадь для выпаса.

What is an electric fence made of?

Electric fence design

  • Metal or plastic racks (columns), between which the wire is stretched in several rows (the height from the ground to the lower layer is 25 cm, and 90-110 cm to the top). Racks are equipped with insulators and are located at a distance of 10-30 meters from each other.
  • Generator. It provides the supply of short-wave voltage around the perimeter of the fence.
  • Conductor. This is the positive direction of the current going along the perimeter.
  • Grounding The second direction (negative) going to the ground.
  • Lightning conductor (lightning conductor). Protects the generator from electric shock, is installed between the generator and the fence.
  • Goal. Used to release and run animals without turning off the pulse generator. They consist of an insulator, a plastic handle and a spring.

Benefits of using

The electric shepherd for cattle has many positive aspects:

  1. Budgeting. If we take the same pasture area and compare the construction of a permanent corral and the installation of an electric fence, then the second will be 30-40% of the cost of the first option.
    Grazing is carried out almost without human participation, which means that you can save on maintenance staff, because the electric shepherd replaces several workers in the pasture.
  2. Mobility. The design is easy to assemble and disassemble. Moving the fence to different places will allow you to take control of the grass stand, and the choice of places with more valuable vegetation will improve the dairy and meat qualities of livestock.
  3. Strength. Construction materials of high quality, withstand various environmental influences.
  4. Security. The pain caused by the animal is within reasonable limits. Electric discharges do not violate the sensitivity of receptors on the body of cattle, do not affect productivity indicators.

Electrical discharges do not disturb receptor sensitivity

DIY making

Skillful owners of farms and farms make hedges with their own hands. The design seems complicated only at first glance. In the budget home-made version, a lot of improvised means are used.

  1. For example, instead of a conductor - a thin wire.
  2. As insulators, plastic bottles, caps from them, pieces of bicycle chambers fixed with self-tapping screws can be used.
  3. Iron rods with a length of at least 1.2 meters are suitable for grounding.
  4. Components can be fastened with high-voltage cords.
  5. Fiberglass pipes perfectly perform the role of racks. This option will give greater mobility to the design.

That is, you can turn on your imagination, pick up similar materials at hand, start building, but don’t forget about observing safety precautions.

Reference. People with experience in the construction of such a design are happy to share schemes and detailed instructions on various Internet resources.

In order for the electric shepherd to be more effective, it is necessary to observe some conditions:

  • give preference to porcelain insulators,
  • The best option for an electrical conductor is a galvanized wire with a diameter of 2.5 mm. Iron - not suitable due to the predisposition to rapid oxidation in air,
  • ensuring the safety of the structure. Do not ignore the installation of elements that will control and, if necessary, turn off the system if it has become faulty, in order to avoid causing harm to both animals and people.

Installing a taming hedge will free up time that was spent on constant animal care. The need for workers will disappear. The fence will pay for itself within a few months. Demand for electric shepherd in farms where cattle are kept is gradually increasing. However, some farmers remain committed to sustainable massive structures.