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How to Select the Right Fence Controller

Find the right fence controller for your electric fence with Blain’s Farm & Fleet and Zareba.

The right fence controller is one of the most important items in your electric fence system. Finding the best-matched fencer for your fence is imperative to successfully contain/exclude animals. By determining the power source, type and number of fence lines, weed conditions, area to enclose and animals to be controlled, you should be able to select a fence controller that best meets y our needs. The experts at Zareba explain a simple process to ensure you buy the right fence controller for your needs.

How to Select the Right Fence Controller
An electric fence system keeps animals in and keeps predators out. For your fence system to work properly, you need the right fence controller. Blain’s Farm & Fleet is here to help.

Choosing the Right Fence Controller:

Powering your fence controller – The recommended and most reliable choice is AC-power. If you need to power your fence from a remote location, DC-powered fence controllers are an excellent choice. Solar fence controllers are also great for remote locations and feature the benefits of charging your battery using solar power.

Also, keep in mind that proper grounding is critical to optimal fence controller performance. It’s recommended that you use three 6-foot ground rods, connected by insulated wire and ground rod clamps.

Type of fence line – Steel wire creates less electrical resistance than poly wire, rope or tape, which draw more power. If you are using poly rope or tape, we recommend a low impedance fence controller.

Number of fence wire strands – As a general rule for multi-wire fences, divide the fence controller’s distance rating by the number of strands, then select a fence controller with a mileage rating that meets those needs. NOTE: 1 square mile = 4 mile perimeter = 640 acres.

Amount of weeds – The more weeds touching your fence line, the more draw from your fence controller. If you have light to heavy weeds on your fence, we recommend a low impedance fence controller as they can maintain high energy on the fence even as power is drawn by weeds.

Area to enclose – Give some thought to the possibility of your fence area expanding (which may require a more powerful fence controller). Fence controllers list a mileage rating, but keep in mind that rating is for a single strand of steel wire on a weed-free fence.

Type of animal controlled – Large animals with thicker hide/hair/hooves or foot pads require a stronger shock. Also, determined animals like bulls or stallions require a more powerful fence controller. Read through our article, “Electric Fence Introduction,” for a more in-depth look at choosing the right fence controller for specific animals.

Electric Fence System Scenarios:

Here are a few examples of which controller would work best in a given situation. Keep in mind that each electric fencing system will be different, and customized to that specific situation.

Electric fence scenario A: A fence using AC power, 2 strands of steel wire, no weeds, 20 acres of pasture, containing cows would best work with Zareba Red Snap’r Steel AC Fence Charger (mileage rating: 20 miles).

Electric fence scenario B: A fence using DC power, 4 strands of poly wire, light weeds, 20 acres of pasture, containing bulls would work best with Zareba 25 Mile DC Electric Fence Engerizer (mileage rating: 25 miles).

Electric fence scenario C: A fence using solar power, 3 strands of poly tape, light weeds, 5 acres of pasture, containing horses would work best with Zareba SP10B (mileage rating: 10 miles).

Visit our Hobby Farming blog for more tips on installing your own electric fence system.


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