Which electric fence is right for you?
Saturday, 01 January, 2022
There are several different types of portable electric fence wires, tapes and braids - frequently called “conductors”. Knowing which one to choose can be a bit tricky - especially for those new to electric fencing.
Here we take you through the different types of conductors available to help you make the right choice for your farm:
The most common portable/temporary fence “conductor” is Poly Wire. Poly Wire is made of plastic strands and embedded thin metal wires used to carry electrical current from a Fence Energizer. The individual strands of plastic and wire are typically twisted tightly together to form a single wire.
Poly Wire lacks the strength of steel wire fencing but it won't rust and is more visible to animals. Wires less than 3mm in diameter are popular for cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, while larger 5mm diameter versions are suitable for horses due to improved visibility.
As it’s available on a reel, it provides a convenient option for temporary fencing solutions, such as strip grazing, and also offers a cost-effective option for subdividing pastures.
Poly Tape threads individual strands of plastic and wire together creating what appears to be a highly visible ribbon. Tape is strong, can withstand all weather conditions, and won’t rust. White tape is more visible against green vegetation or brown landscape, whereas brown or green tape is more visible against a snow background.
Electric poly tape is available in different widths with each width being better suited for different applications. Because of its enhanced visibility and superior strength, the thicker tape is recommended for perimeter fences, but it’s not the best solution in areas that experience strong winds – in these situations, Poly Braid would make a better choice for perimeter fencing.
If exposed to a windy area a thinner Tape provides is better suited as their thinner width provides less resistance to winds, and thus are less inclined to suffer wind damage.
Poly Braid is a superior construction than Poly Wire, and is less likely to be damaged by the wind and ice than Poly Tape.
Poly Braid consists of individual strands of plastic and wire that are braided together to form a tight weave making it more durable, and less prone to tangles and overstretching. Poly Braid comes in various diameters (thickness).
High Tensile Wire Fencing
High Tensile Wire is suitable for permanent fences over a large area. However, as wire fences don’t give like a Poly Tape or Poly Braid fence, high tensile wire fencing isn’t suitable for fast-moving animals, such as horses, who could succumb to serious injury if they run into the wire at speed.
High-tensile wire is available in two options: galvanized steel and aluminum. Both are strong, hard-wearing, and low maintenance, and are a good choice for constructing perimeter fences to contain slow animals. Galvanized steel offers an economic solution that will effectively carry an electric charge long distances. Aluminum offers superior conducting capabilities – four times as much as galvanized steel however, it tends to be more expensive than steel wire.
Turbo products come in the same wire, tape and braided construction previously described for Poly - with one major difference. Turbo products have 9 strands of conductive metals including copper which make them up to 48x’s more conductive than Poly products which only have 6 strands of stainless steel. This means with Turbo, your voltage will stay strong and carry a “shock” further down your fence line than Poly products. Long temporary fences (over 200m) should always be constructed from Turbo products to ensure maximum livestock control.
If you own horses Equine Fence Wire is the safest, most effective electric fence for your horse. This long life, high tension fence uses specially designed wire coating to reduce risk of injury.
Turbo Braid can be used as a low tension semi-permanent fence alternative to Equine Fence Wire. Braid is designed not to tangle or overstretch and is easy to install.
A semi-permanent Tape fence is highly visible, simple to construct and will last years, making this type of fence an economical and popular choice for horse owners.
Did you know?
All our cables – like the Heavy Duty Leadout Cable, the Equine Fence Wire and the Double Insulated Soft Cable - are made in our factory in New Zealand and come with a 10 year warranty.
Find out more about the Gallagher range of cables and wires
Cable and Wire range
Need some help figuring out the right fencing products for you?
Use our fence selector