Electric Fencing Guide

General Details

Would you like to know how to set up an electric fence?  Click on tab to the right!

We have all the electric fence accessories you need to get your fence up and running. For example we stock the following:
Grounding rods, grounding clamps and grounding wire
Jumper leads
Insulated cable
Spring gate kits
Electric tape gate hardware
Lightening arresters
Fence electricity tester


At Thunder Bay Feeds we stock many different brands and different types of Fence Controllers. We carry Gallagher, Stafix and Patriot.

Controllers are available as Solar units, Electrical units, Battery units and combination Battery-Electric. The controllers that we stock are able to power fences from 3 miles to 50 miles. Please use the following guide to help you make your decision for your electric fence.

Setting up an Electrical Fence

An Electric Fence is the most cost effective and efficient method for keeping livestock contained on your farm and safe-guarding them from injury. Barbed wire, wooden or woven wire fences can injure a ‘spooked’ horse that attempts to run through or jump over them.
Electric fences are easy to install and require less maintenance than traditional fencing. Although they are light weight, they are extremely durable and can be moved as grass conditions, etc allows. Electric fences are a great deterrent for trespassers and for predators. Also, they are very affordable.
Below are some of the materials and tools that you will need to set up your fence. Feel free to ask our knowledgeable staff if you have any questions.

Setting Up Your Fence

1. Fence Controller: electric, solar or battery operated

Find a weather resistant location for the controller, and for the solar controller, facing the sun. For an electric controller make sure a 120V polarized outlet is available nearby.

  • Solar controllers are available in 3 mile or 10 mile units
  • Electric controllers are available in 3 mile or 15 mile units
  • Battery controllers are available in 1.2 mile, 10 mile or 20 mile units

2. Grounding rods and grounding clamps

  • Install one grounding rod within 4metres of the controller. The rod should be at least 1.8 meters in length and made of galvanized metal. Run a 10 to 14 gauge wire from controller to the ground rod and use grounding clamps to secure. Ensure clamp bites both wire and rod.
  • For a better grounding system install 2 or more grounding rods spaced 2.5 metres apart and deep into the ground

3. Fence Posts

  • Posts are available in wood as treated posts or cedar posts; and as metal in a variety of lengths and sizes.
  • When spacing posts remember to brace the corners and possibly the gates.
  • Posts can be spaced according to your preference, but not much beyond 20 meters.
  • Remember to clear a perimeter area where you think the fence should go. Remove all brush or grass that may come into contact with the electric fence on windy days
  • Select area for gate or gates to go. Different gates are available so planning the width for your gate posts will depend on what gate you purchase. Put posts in on either side of the gate, allowing some area for gate hardware. Brace as required.

4. Insulators

  • Insulators are available in different styles depending on the fence post you use. Come on in and talk to our staff and they will assist you in finding the correct insulator.
  • Place insulators on posts one for every strand of wire; use as many strands as desired, usually 3 to a post or rod. Insulators should be about 25cm apart. They should be at least 25cm from the ground.
  • Common fence height for horses is 48” or 1.25 metre
  • Otherwise common height would be to shoulder height of animal.

5. Gates

  • Hook several of the strands together with a jumper wire. With a wire make loop and attach the wire to the last insulator before the gate which has the wire strands on it.
  • With another wire make another loop and attach that to the opposite post’s insulator.
  • Hook a wire between two gate handles so that it just reaches across the gate.
  • Put the gate handles in place and you have an electrical connection across your gate.

6. Fence tape, wire or rope

  • White rope is available in 6mm or 8 mm diameter and comes in a 200m roll
  • White tape is available in 20 or 40 mm and comes in a 200m roll
  • Yellow and black string is available in 200m, 400m, and 800m rolls
  • Galvanized wire comes as 14 G with ¼ or ½ mile length, it also comes in 12 ½ G with ¾ mile length

7. Stringing the fence

A. String lengths of wire around the perimeter of your fence area

  • Start at the farthest post from the fence controller.
  • Attaching each strand to its own insulator on the post. Make sure the strands are fairly tight. Ensure that wire does not come in contact with post.
  • Ensure that if something runs into the wire that there is enough flexibility that it will not break any connections.
  • Use proper splices and make sure all connections are tight.
  • Connect jumper wire between each strand of wire every 1/2mile or 800metres

B. Connect controller to one of the strands that are near the fence post. Turn on controller and test with an electric fence tester or a voltmeter for power. Otherwise you can test the fence by simultaneously touching the wire strand and a willing or unsuspecting friend, preferably not your spouse or special friend.

8. Caring for your fence

  • Check regularly for damage to your fence or strands and for poor connections
  • Educate family and friends about how to connect and disconnect your fence.
  • Post signs and markers around the perimeter of your fence to alert people that an electric fence is present. Remember that these fences may be difficult to see at times.

9. Fence Tools – Some handy tools that will help you get started when putting up your fence.

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper
  • Fencing pliers
  • Post hole pounder