The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Voltage of an Electric Fence

An educational, fair use website

search icon
Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Solar-Powered Electric Fence Controller. Red Snap'r Products. [see tables below] 688–6400 V
Electric Fence Catalog (page 5). Southwest Power Fence & Livestock Equipment. "Power Rating - One Joule - Up to 7.5 kV. Powers 5-10 Miles of Wire. Suitable for farms 5 to 25 acres. Modular for easy servicing." 7500 V
Burleson, Wayne. Electric Fencing: An inexpensive solution to improve the bottom line. Pasture Management. "The next time your animals get in a fight with the neighbor's bull and tear down a fence line, remember that most educated livestock will not touch a wire, the second time, with 5,000 volts running through it." 5000 V
Jurassic Park. Universal Pictures. Amblin Entertainment, 1993. [An electric fence is shown various times through out the movie and the sign on the fence reads…] "Warning: 10,000 volts" 10,000 V
Electric Fence voltage Distance Joules. Sureguard Fencing. 1998-2000. "Sureguard energizers have a peak output voltage of 10,000 volts" 10,000 V
"If you compared an energizer putting 2000 volts on the fence wire with one putting 10,000 volts, that's a voltage difference of five times but a charge difference of 25 times!" 2,000–10,000 V
"If the hide on your animal is 1 mm thick then you need a fence voltage of at least 2,000 volts to overcome this insulating layer; otherwise the animal will not feel anything." 2000 V
"At the maximum distance the fence voltage will be about 2,500 volts. On shorter fences the voltage will approach a max 10,000 volts" 2,500–10,000 V

Having problems keeping livestock out of pasture or ranch? An electric fence maybe the solution. Electric fences are an inexpensive way to keep animals out of an area for good. Upon contact with the fencing, animals will be shocked, remember the shock and know not to trespass anymore.

The voltage of an electric fence should vary from about 2000 to about 10,000 volts. A 10,000 volt output is the maximum voltage allowed by international regulations. The voltage that is used depends on the desired power of the shock and the distance on the fence that can be shocked up to. For a longer shocking distance range, a lower voltage would be used. However for a greater shock, a higher voltage would be used. With these higher voltages, sparks can travel greater distances into the animal. For every 1 mm of hide your animal has, 2000 volts must be used to overcome this layer otherwise, the animal will not feel a thing. For all operating purposes, a higher voltage fence will give you the best results when it comes to prohibiting livestock from a specific area.

When giving an animal a shock, the animal becomes a part of the circuit so that the shock can flow throughout the animal. The electricity will pass from the wire, through the animal, out from their feet, into the ground and back through ground rods. Wet and Soft soil is desirable because electricity flows better through this kind of soil.

Electric fences are an efficient, practical, inexpensive way to protect your land. Animals will think twice about where they walk when they realize your fence has 10,000 volts of electricity trough it. You will literally "knock their socks off"!

Nicole Castellano -- 2001