The amount of electrical voltage required for an electric fence depends on the size and hide thickness of the animal the fence is supposed to contain, as well as the length of the fence. An electric fence creates a barrier for animals and people by using electric shocks to deter them from crossing the fence line. Electric fences are primarily used for agricultural purposes and the vast majority of them do not have the capacity to deliver a lethal shock.
Cows and Pigs
Powerflex Fence, an electric fencing manufacturer, recommends using a minimum of 4,000 to 5,000 volts for a fence designed to contain cattle and pigs. According to Nicole Castellano, the voltage emitted by a typical electric fence is between 2,000 and 10,000 volts.
Horses and Pets
Powerflex suggests using a minimum of 3,000 volts to contain horses and smaller pets, such as dogs. According to Sureguard Animal Containment Specialists, "most animals are well covered with an electrically insulating surface such as fur, hide, feathers etc."
Goats, Sheep, Bison and Deer
For animals such as bison and deer, which hunters may want to keep inside a fence and farmers and gardeners may want to keep outside a fence, Powerflex recommends a minimum of 5,000 to 8,000 volts.
Sheep and goats have thicker hides. Powerflex advises using a fairly high voltage on these animals, suggesting a minimum of 7,000 to 9,000 volts to keep them contained.
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