At Edge Wholesale Direct, we know that electric fencing faces a few extra hurdles during the wintertime. Frozen ground, the insulating qualities of snow and ice, sub-zero temperatures, and the mud seasons that bracket the winter in fall and spring all pose their own challenges to electric fencing. Here are some tips for maintaining electric farm fencing in the winter that will help you keep your livestock happy and healthy.
Preventing Electric Fencing Issues in the Winter
Electric farm fencing relies on a simple principle: when your livestock touches the electrical wire, their body completes the electrical circuit that allow electricity to flow down through the ground; however, there are quite a few vulnerable areas where this circuit can get interrupted when there is heavy snowfall or the ground is frozen.
Dry or Frozen Ground
During the wintertime, soils may freeze and become drier due to a lower moisture contact. Since moist soil is a better conductor than dry soil, this may negatively impact the electric pulses emitted from your electric fence, potentially causing it to stop working altogether. If the soil moisture content drops during the winter, you may need to run a ground-wire return circuit back to the conductors on your electric fence to help improve the grounding. To do this, you can install one or two extra wires to your electric fence that do not receive current from the charger. Install one near the bottom and one near the top of your farm fencing, connecting them to the grounding system on the fence’s electric circuit.
Heavy snowfalls in the wintertime can also cause problems with electric fencing. Snow drifts can accumulate and build up on the ground below your fence, eventually touching the bottom conducting wires. This can cause power to be drained from the fence in the same way as weeds or grass touching the wires does. You can prevent this from occurring by installing a cut-off switch that will enable you to disconnect the bottom wires during periods of heavy snowfall. By cutting the power to the lower wires, the power will not be drained from the fence and the wires further up will continue to emit electric pulses, keeping your livestock safe and secure in the field.