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Electric fence school

Alternative uses for electric fence chargers

Besides the many 'normal' uses for electric fence chargers, there are many alternative or creative uses. Many of these alternative uses are forms of predator or pest control.

If you have a creative or unusual fence charger application, let us know and we will feature it here.

Do you need help deciding which fence charger is right for your operation? Contact Hallman; one of our experts will be happy to answer any of your questions.

 Beaver control

BeaverBeavers are industrious, semi-aquatic rodents that are noted for building dams. The average size of an adult beaver is about 35 pounds (or 16 kilograms). Beavers cause problems because they cut down trees (by chewing them at the base) to build dams. In many areas these dams cause flooding.

Several methods have been tried to control beavers, including destroying dams, altering the habitat in the region, and hunting and trapping. Hunting and trapping or altering habitat might not be an option, especially close to populated areas. Destroying beaver dams is often a temporary solution. A beaver can often rebuild a dam overnight. A solution for this is to install a temporary, electronically-charged barrier that prevents the beaver from rebuilding the dam.

Above-water barriers

When setting up a permanent or temporary above-water barrier, make sure the wire is about one inch above the water level. If the water level rises above the wire, the fence looses its effectiveness. If the wire is too far above the water, the beavers can easily swim below it.

One form of temporary barrier consists of four non-conductive posts or rods, wire mounted one inch above the water level, and a solar or battery-powered fence charger. The fence charger can be mounted on one of the posts or on a separate mounting apparatus.

Temporary beaver barrier

This type of barrier is ideal for recently destroyed beaver dams or near drainage culverts.

Above-ground barriers

One of the more effective methods of keeping beavers out of critical areas (such as culverts, drains, or important treed areas) is exclusion. Exclusion means fencing or protecting an area with a barrier, often with an electric fence charger.

When setting up a electronic barrier fence, use one or two strands of wire, with the lower strand no more than four inches off the ground. Use non-conductive posts spaced 20 to 30 feet apart in flat-surface areas. In rougher areas, space the posts close enough to maintain the four-inch ground height of the lower wire strand.

Hallman's solar or battery-powered electric fence chargers are ideal fence chargers for beaver control, especially the Solar 6 solar-powered fence charger and the Deter 200 portable battery-powered fence charger.

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 Bear deterrents

Black bear

There are three main types of bears in North America:

Bears range in size from 200 pounds for smaller black bears to over 1700 pounds for large grizzly or polar bears.

Bears can be very destructive. Even small bears have been known to go through thin walls or tear apart equipment such as small airplanes or boats. They especially like to chew on anything plastic or rubber.

Fence output for bears should be between 5,000 and 7,000 volts. Temporary or permanent fences can be used to keep bears out of or away from:

  • wilderness camps or remote cabins
  • picnic and camping grounds
  • fish camps and fish cleaning sites
  • butchered game
  • domestic animals
  • wildlife or bird feeding areas
  • airplanes, boats, and other equipment
  • landfills and composting areas
  • garbage bins and incinerators
  • freezers and other food storage areas
  • beehives

Temporary fences

When setting up a temporary electric fence, use at least three strands of wire, with the lower strand 10 to 12 inches off the ground and the upper strand around 40 inches. Use non-conductive posts spaced enough apart to maintain the wire height.

Permanent fences

When setting up a permanent electric fence, use at least four, preferably eight strands of wire, spaced six to ten inches apart.

Ideal fence chargers for bear control include the Trident 120 VAC-powered fence charger, the Stockman 120 VAC-powered fence charger, and the Battery Saver 12 volt battery-powered fence charger.

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 Otter control at fish hatcheries

Otters on dockOtters are playful aquatic carnivores found throughout most of the world. Adult males of the North American variety average about 25 pounds (or 11.3 kilograms). Females are slightly smaller.

The otter's main source of food is fish and because of this, otters can cause problems around fish hatcheries.

One method of keeping otters out of critical areas (such as hatchery ponds) is by surrounding the perimeter of the pond with an electric fence.


Otter barriers

When setting up a electronic barrier fence for otters, use three or four strands of wire, spaced no more than three inches apart, with the lower strand no more than three inches off the ground. Use non-conductive posts spaced close enough to maintain the height of the lower wire strand.

Hallman's solar or battery-powered electric fence chargers are ideal fence chargers for otter control, especially the Solar 6 solar-powered fence charger and the Deter 200 portable battery-powered fence charger. For areas with access to AC power, try the Shur Shock 120 VAC-powered fence charger.

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 Bird protection

Duck on a nest

Electric fences are ideal for protecting bird nesting areas or bird preserves from 'critters' and predators. Examples of these are nesting areas for ducks or endangered bird exhibits at wildlife preserves.

In most cases, the fencing required is permanent, mesh wire, surrounded by an electric fence. The type of fence and output required depends on the type of predators that cause problems in the area.

Fencing peninsulas for nesting birds

There are three main fence configurations for peninsulas:

  1. Proportionally long, narrow peninsula with a single fence
  2. Short, broad peninsula with two angled fence sections
  3. Long, narrow peninsula with two fences (where the tip of the peninsula is less than 200 feet from the far shore)
Peninsula fences for nesting birds

For all the above types, fences should extend about 50 feet into the water with at least 1 foot of fencing under the water. Fencing on dry land should be 5 to 6 feet high with about 1 foot below ground.

In most cases, the fencing should consist of an inner and outer layer. The inner layer is usually a galvanized wire mesh fence. The outer layer (facing away from the protected area) is the electric fence.

The type of fencing material, number of charged strands of wire, and spacing depends on the type of predators in the area. Smaller predators require tighter mesh and more closely-spaced strands of charged wire.

The ideal fence charger for protecting peninsulas for nesting birds is the Solar 6 battery/solar-powered fence charger. For more detailed information, including selecting areas, see Peninsulas for nesting ducks (external link).

Bird exhibits at wildlife preserves

Whooping crane

Electric fences are ideal for protecting bird exhibits at wildlife preserves. As with the peninsula fencing above, the type of fencing material, number of charged strands of wire, and spacing depends on the type of predators in the area.

One option is to encircle the entire area with two fences. The inner fence is usually a galvanized wire mesh fence. The outer fence is the electric fence.

Ideal fence chargers for bird exhibits include the Shur Shock 120 VAC-powered fence charger (for areas with access to AC power). For remote areas, try the Solar 6 battery/solar-powered fence charger.

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 Improving water quality in livestock ponds

In many areas, livestock (mainly cattle) drink from ponds, creeks, or reservoirs. In some areas, it is necessary and advantageous to restrict livestock access to a small area or exclude them from natural sources and redirect them to man-made sources.

Restricting livestock access to natural water sources has many benefits:

Poor water quality can lead to reduced water intake and poor herd health. In some cases, cattle have died from toxic algae blooms. Improved water quality improves the health of the herd. The benefits of improved water quality far outweigh the costs of livestock restriction or redirection systems.

Cattle ramps and fenced ponds

'Cattle ramps' at fenced livestock ponds provide limited access to ponds and help prevent erosion and bank damage. The following images detail some options for providing cattle ramps and fencing livestock ponds.

Exclusion from natural water supplies, redirection to man-made sources

In some areas it might be necessary to exclude animals completely from the natural water supply and instead direct them to other sources. One example would be excluding cattle from the bank of a river and instead directing them to a gravity-fed pond or water tank.

Fencing ponds (or other natural sources) and installing a pipe to direct water (by gravity feeding) to a freeze-proof tank is an effective way of protecting water supplies while still using them for livestock.

More information is available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/feature/buffers/bufconts.html. Additional information about improving water quality for livestock is available by searching the Internet using the following terms: 'livestock', 'water', 'quality', 'fence'.

The ideal fence charger for smaller fenced livestock ponds is the Solar 6 battery/solar-powered fence charger. For larger ponds, try the Battery Saver 12 volt battery-powered fence charger. For extremely large areas (hundreds of acres), it might be necessary to have multiple fence chargers.

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