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Once you've defined your electric fencing needs it's time to do some planning. This includes designing the layout, determining what components you will need, and what you will need to do to prepare for building your fence.
Without taking time to plan, you could end up short on materials or blow through your installation budget. That’s why you need to do these eight things before beginning installation:
Investigate your local, county and state fencing laws. Become familiar with fencing laws in your area and know your legal rights and responsibilities. Your local cooperative extension office may be your best resource on fencing law information.
Due to the potential for conflicting views, it's important to consider the impact of your fence on neighboring landowners. Discuss your plans with them, especially for perimeter or boundary fences.
We all know farm fencing is a major investment. For some operations, cost-share opportunities through government programs may be an option. Consult your local Soil and Water Conservation District or the Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) on the availability of cost-share fund and tax credits for fencing and water delivery systems.
It's beneficial to sketch out the area you are fencing, noting distances. Then draw locations of buildings or barns that will be adjacent to or enclosed by the fence.
As you develop your electric fence installation plan, map out locations of:
Check out our Zareba Installation Guide to help you with this process.
Aerial photographs of your farm are probably the most valuable fence planning tool and can help to establish field boundaries for pastures. In addition, topographical maps can provide valuable information on the contour and slope of the land you will be installing your fence on.
Aerial maps are commonly available from NRCS or the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in your area. Topographical maps can also be obtained from NRCS.
Another option in electric fence installation is using Google Earth. This satellite mapping program doesn’t show property lines, but it will help you better understand the various features of your land.
An accurate measurement of how much fencing you’ll need is vital for your plan. The more accurately you make your measurement, the more confident you’ll be when ordering your supplies. Under-ordering will create installation delays. Over-ordering is going to hurt your budget.
When your sketches and fence measurements are complete, you’re ready to select components for your system. Refer to the specific product sections at ZarebaSystems.com for more detailed product information and tables that will help you calculate the number of each component you’ll need.
For more information on the functions of each component, please see the electric fence supplies section of our fencing guide, where you can determine your options for:
The fencing tools and equipment you need for installation vary from standard farm tools to specialized items. Some are made specifically for electric fence installation, while others will help you maintain your electric fence for years to come.
Among the tools you will need are:
Review the wire options needed for the type of fence you are building and the purpose for which you are installing it. Your fence should be customized to those purposes, whether it’s a deterrent fence or a containment fence.
For livestock, you will want to position one electrified wire at the animal’s shoulder height; this will cause it to hit the fence with its nose, making it back up. Height and spacing of the wires will vary based on the size of the animal(s) you are containing.
Before beginning your installation, are there any lingering questions about your electric fence installation? Ask us in the comments below or the next time you visit Zareba® Systems on Facebook. Be sure to subscribe to the Zareba® Systems E-Newsletter for special announcements and more helpful information on fencing installation and supplies.