Fence Gates: Placement and Installation

Plan gate openings in your fence in locations where people, animals, and equipment need easy access to barns, stables or pastures. Give some advance thought to the location of gate openings and include these in the sketch of your fence layout.

Place gates in logical places so livestock will willingly move through them. Gates should be near corners, not in the middle of a straight fence.

You will also want to consider the different types of gates you will use in your fencing system. A more permanent gate type, such as heavy metal gate, may work better for openings along the perimeter. For openings or breaks on interior fences used to divide a large pasture into individual paddocks, a simpler gate opening, like a single wire attached to a gate handle, may be adequate.

For a properly constructed electric fence system, there should be one gate handle for every electrified wire. Electrified gates are made from the same type of wire as the material used in your fence line.

You can build or buy sturdy gate materials, especially necessary hardware items such as hinges or closures.

When installing a gate in an electric fence system remember:

  • Gate handle kits are a convenient way to install gate handles. Be sure to purchase gate-handle kits specific to the type of post or wire you are using.
  • Expandable gate handles should be used with spring gates. 
  • Expandable gate handles should be molded from tough, high quality plastic with shockproof thickness for safe handling protection.

Fence Gate Handles

Depending on gate location, you may need a 20,000-volt underground hookup wire to carry the electrical current under the gate opening to the other side. We recommend putting the insulated wire inside some type of tubing (like PVC) underground so that over time rocks don't cut through the insulation. This allows the fence to remain electrified even when the gate is open. A non-electrified metal gate also requires an underground wire.

Other options for gates include stock gaps or cattle guards. These are especially useful in high traffic areas. Cattle guards are most commonly made from heavy pipe, but can also be constructed of railroad rails and wooden beams.