Energisers Tips and Advice
Which energiser?
This depends on the length of the fence, amount of vegetation likely to grow on the fence line, type of animal to be contained or excluded, the fence line materials and conductors being proposed, and the power source for the energiser.

Click to see a list of Mains EnergisersMains Energisers
Where possible, always use a mains-powered energiser sited inside a building. Running costs are low (unlikely to exceed £20.00pa) but best of all, no batteries to go flat and less likely to be damaged by animals.

Dry Battery Energisers – 6v and 9v
Dry battery powered energisers are ideal for temporary fencing, particularly strip grazing and short fences. Use an energiser with an internal battery.These are lightweight and easy to relocate, require no maintenance and generally the batteries last 1 – 6 months before replacements are needed. These batteries are not rechargeable.
Click to see a list of Dry Battery Energisers

Click to see a list of Wet Battery EnergisersWet Battery Energisers – 12v
If the fence is moved infrequently or is semi-permanent and no mains power is available, then select a 12v energiser together with a 12v, 85 Ampere Hour (Ah) leisure battery . The higher the A/h. the longer the period between recharges. Generally these energisers are more powerful than dry battery versions and can operate longer fences.

Solar Charged Battery Energisers
Solar charged battery powered energisers are ideal for temporary and semi-permanent fencing, particularly strip grazing and short fences. These are lightweight and easy to relocate and require no maintenance.
Click to see a list of Solar Charged Energisers
Species Considerations
Voltage chart for containing animals

Fence Energiser Terminology

Volts – This is the pressure behind the flow of electricity to push the energy along the conductive fence wire (similar to air pressure). Most energisers produce up to 10,000 volts and about 3,000 volts minimum (measured by a volt meter), is needed at the end of the fence to contain livestock.

Ohms – This is the measure of resistance, rather like friction of water running along a hosepipe. Small diameter fence conductors, such as those in poly wires and tape have high resistance and are used for short fences. Large diameter wire such as 2.5mm high tensile have low resistance and can be many kms long. Vegetation growth on a fence line acts like a leak in a water pipe and "shorts" the fence to earth thus reducing its effectiveness.

Joules – This is the amount of energy available to be pushed down the conductor by the energiser and is the measure of shock felt by the animal. This is rather like cubic capacity or volume. Higher joules mean longer fences.

Amperage – The measurement of electric current and what you feel when you get shocked. The higher the amperage the more intense shock the animal will feel.

Energiser selection guide

Fence Posts Tips and Advice
A fence system normally requires two different types of posts: corner posts, used where greater tension occurs in the fence line, such as corners and gates; and line posts, used to support the fence wire between corners. Post selection depends on the type of fence and the expected fence life.

Don't worry about spacing posts evenly. On level terrain they can be further apart; on uneven terrain, posts should be placed wherever there is a high or low spot. On hillsides, posts should be installed perpendicular to the slope. This keeps the wire at the proper height and spacing and prevents it from binding on insulators or clips. Post spacing will also vary depending on the animal being controlled and the type of fence wire used.

Electric fencing typically uses fewer posts than conventional barbed or stock fencing, making it less expensive and easier to install. The type of post selected also determines the type of insulator required. Refer to the following Post Selection Guide to determine what posts work best in your situation. 

Post Selection Guide
Portable Fencing
Strip grazing - for dairy cattle. For single wire use, either metal pigtail posts (19-196) or poly posts, either (19-197 or 19-297).

Strip grazing - for sheep.
Use poly posts, either 19-197 or 19-297. Alternatively, consider a complete 3 reel system consisting of 3 wires for either 400 metres or 500 metres long. (19-199 or 19-200).
Temporary Fencing
Fences that are moved once or twice per year. For corners and fence ends, use either wooden posts with insulators, typically 15-129, or metal mounting stands with reels for the fence end, 19-192B or similar, and metal termination posts, 19-193 for corners.
Permanent Fencing
For a very cost effective system on long, multi-wire fences, consider Rutland self – insulating Electro-Wood using a combination of posts and droppers. Alternatively, use softwood posts for strainers and line posts together with insulators. When using high tensile steel wire always use high specification line insulators such as 115-124 and 16-122 for strainers and corners.
Corner Posts
Corner posts and strainers should be very firmly installed and be typically as far in the ground as the top wire is high with breast logs or brace bars for maximum stability.

Insulators Tips and Advice
Insulators allow you to fasten electrified wire to posts without losing energy through the post. There are many styles to choose from, because the insulator must match both the type of wire and the type of post being used. In addition, modern fence energisers require insulators with greater arcing protection because of their high-energy output.

Insulators are made from materials that do not conduct electricity, most commonly plastic. Using a good-quality insulator is important to the performance and efficiency of your electric fence system.

Rutland Insulators:
Are made from only the highest grade, high density polyethylene or glassacetal resulting in a rugged, durable construction well suited to long life.
  • Provide excellent insulating characteristics.
  • Are UV-protected to resist degradation, even under the harshest conditions.
  • Are designed for easy attachment to any type of fence post and wire.
How to Select Insulators
1. Determine the type of post that the insulator will be attached to.
Wood PostRound PostCorner Post
2. Select the correct insulator based on the type of wire used.
Poly TapePoly WirePoly RopeHigh Tensile

Fence Wire Tips and Advise
Electric fence wire conducts the electric current from the fence energiser along the fence. Review the wire options appropriate to the type of fence being installed. The height and spacing of the wires will vary with the animal being contained. Some typical examples of wire spacing options are shown below.

diagram of wire spacing for various livestock

Rutland Electric Fencing Company supplies a wide selection of fence wire ranging from high tensile steel, stranded steel and high-density polyethylene strands woven with stainless steel wire, including poly wire, poly tape and poly rope. These combination poly wires provide the lightweight, durable and easy-handling qualities of UV protected polyethylene.

Wire Selection Guide
Electric Fence Poly Wire
Poly wire is a good fencing choice for temporary fences as it tends to be more visible than steel wire. It is lightweight thus making it easy to handle, install and rewind when used as a portable fence. It is less durable than steel but well suited to strip grazing and is easily tensioned if used with one of Rutland’s reels, and it can be repaired quickly and easily.

Poly wire is ideal for temporary grazing, strip or rotational grazing and general pasture and pet control.

This product should only be used with slow moving animals such as dairy cows and is not advised for horses.
Electric Fence Poly Tape
Rutland’s electric poly tape provides greater visibility than poly wire and is therefore more suitable for fast moving animals. Reinforced edges help protect the tape from wear and tear. Joining poly tape is easy (Part No. 30-160, 30-161, 30-151, and 30-156). Use a poly tape tensioner to maintain tape tension as needed.

As tape is subject to increased wear in windy conditions, always select the narrowest tape appropriate to the application. Generally we do not recommend 40mm wide tape in these areas except on permanent installations using high specification insulators. High wind resistance of wide tape will tend to blow the fence over and the wear rate increases so life expectancy will be lower than alternatives.
Electric Fence Poly Rope
Poly rope has less visibility than tape but is substantially more durable thus making it a good choice for a fence line particularly in exposed areas. It is stronger than poly wire and has stainless steel strands woven through the rope. The steel strands ensure good electrical energy is carried through the fence line at all times. Use joiner (Part No. 30-125 to maintain a sound connection.

High Tensile Wire

 A high tensile fence system requires many unique components and is ideal for permanent installation particularly for very long farm fences. Although not right for every type of animal or enclosure, a high tensile fence is affordable, attractive, easy to maintain and can last 20 years.

High tensile wire (Part No.
23-505) and other components are available from Rutland. See the high tensile tab for more details.

NOTE: Barbed wire is not recommended as an electric fence conductor – Remember that an electric fence is a psychological barrier, not a physical one, so it normally requires fewer posts and strands of wire than a conventional fence. Barbed wire and woven wire fences are more likely to be damaged by animals and animals are more likely to be damaged by them. Because animals seldom come into contact with an electric fence more than a few times during the learning process, it can also last longer than a conventional fence.

Electric Netting Tips and Advice
Electrified netting can be very effective for short term fencing on a relatively small scale. Traditionally used primarily for sheep, appropriate sized netting is ideal for fencing small poultry units, plus it has the added advantage of deterring foxes and other predators.

When used to protect vegetables or gardens from rabbits, ensure the bottom wires follow the ground contours and peg down if necessary. Because nets are electrified through all horizontal strands (but not vertical) except the lowest, the ground must be kept free of tall vegetation as touching the electrified wires can short the fence and make it ineffective.

Where possible, place the energiser in the centre of the fence so the current flows both ways. We do not recommend that energisers of greater than 4 joules are used with nets as when damp, arcing can occur across the wires.

Note: Never use netting to fence horned animals as entanglement can cause great distress to the animal.

Ensure that corners are firm as the flexible posts will bend. To keep the net tight, either use the pegs and guy lines provided or anchor corner posts to a fixed post or structure using plastic, non conductive wire to prevent leaning over or sagging.