Keep Your Herd Safe With Smart Electric Fencing

If you have a herd that likes to "test your fence," you may want to take a look at smart electric fencing, which can monitor and alert you to weaknesses.

by Shelly Wutke
PHOTO: Shelly Wutke

If you live in a neighborhood, fencing is what defines your yard from your neighbors. When you live on a farm, fencing is much more than a property divider. Farm fencing will keep livestock in and predators or thieves out. It protects your crops, lets you rotate your animals from pasture to pasture, and creates a safe haven for you and your herd.

Fencing also the one part of a hobby farm that often requires the most attention. That’s why the development of e-fences or smart electric fencing is so important.

The Challenge of Farm Fencing

When I was new to hobby farming, I thought my current fence was more than enough. It was a rusty mesh fence about 4 feet high, and it had a small gap that ran under the entire length of my property. Some areas had the addition of barbed wire, others had nothing at all.

I thought my biggest challenge was keeping my dog from digging under it and escaping. I was wrong.

It wasn’t until I added livestock and my fence was really tested that I realized how badly it stood up to actual use. Case in point? I had to chase my chief tester and head cow Mable down the road a time or two. If I had an e-fence or smart electric fencing, I would have known the weakest fence links long before Mable found them.

What Is a Smart Electric Fence?

A smart electric fence is fencing that connects to your home’s Wi-Fi network. It uses different sensors, cameras and other devices to monitor your fencing. You can place your smart electric fence anywhere on your property, move it around to create new boundaries or create a virtual paddock for your cows or horses.

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Smart electric fencing works by connecting a smart energizer to fence posts with sensors. The energizer connects to an app you can view to see or change the voltage, find out whether the fence is online, or set a potential alarm when the fence is disconnected. Some types of smart electric fencing will connect up to 6 miles of fencing so you can cover a large part of your hobby farm.

A Smart Electric Fence Can Alert You To Animal Escape

One of the hardest parts of having a hobby farm is how you need to spend a lot of time reacting to situations. Take Mable for example—I had no idea she had pushed through the fence until she trotted past my front gate and I saw her. The rest of that day, and many days after, was spent fencing. I’m now someone who could really appreciate the alarms built into a smart electric fence.

If something or someone breaches your smart electric fence, you’ll receive an alert on your phone. You can also set the fence to prevent breakouts automatically by enabling an alarm. Some types of smart electric fences also have lights and sirens built in, and the noise and lights could prevent your animals from wanting to approach the fence before you can fix it.

This type of deterrent could help prevent thieves from scaling your fence or thinking your property is an easy target for theft.

You’ll also find smart electric fences with cameras that monitor the area wirelessly. No matter where you are, you can stay visually connected to your farm and fenced areas just by opening up the app on your phone and looking around on your cameras.

Smart Electric Fencing Is Part of a Smart Farm Plan

Smart electric fencing is gaining in popularity. Given that it prevents your livestock from leaving and safeguards your property, it’s one of the best additions you can make to a hobby farm.

The time it could save in fence inspections and repair could be substantial, especially if you, like me, have a few cows or other livestock that make it their life’s purpose to always test out your fences.

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