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“PENNED IN”
A VIEW FROM INSIDE THE FARMING LIFE

5 Benefits of Electric Fencing Over Barbed Wire Fencing

Posted by Jamie Whitbeck on

Fencing keeps your livestock in and predators out. Choosing the right fencing option is absolutely critical. Don’t get caught off guard by fencing that doesn’t protect your assets. Check out these benefits of electric fencing, and let them help you make the right decision.

Typically, an electric fence system consists of a charger mounted in a safe, dry location. From the charger, ground wires run to live wires that have been mounted on posts. A grounding rod ensures that your fence functions properly. The voltage of the fence can be adjusted to accommodate for whatever your particular breed of livestock.

1. It’s Easy to Maintain

Electric fencing requires very little maintenance to continue its effectiveness. Whereas barbed wire fences can rust and become brittle over time, most electric fence wire is made of galvanized aluminum or zinc. It lasts much longer than traditional fence wire. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do anything to keep your fence in tip-top shape. Ensure that vegetation doesn’t grow on it, to prevent a shortage and always keep the charger clean and dry.

2. It’s Portable

Grazing livestock requires continuous access to fresh, green grass. One of the significant benefits of electric fencing is that it allows for portability and pasture rotation. Once a field is ready for a rest period, you can easily rearrange the configuration of the wires. If this is your first time establishing an electric fence system, plan your layout and set up posts that will be ready when it’s time for a new configuration. Incorporating JAG Product’s Inverse Insulators makes changing your wire layout a breeze.

3. It Protects Against Animal Damage

Barbed wire fences don’t train animals the same way that an  electric fence does. When your livestock leans into an electric fence, they receive a shock that helps them learn to stay away. Even the most powerful animals can be trained to avoid the shock. Barbed wire fences, on the other hand, are not as effective against thick-skinned animals, like bulls. Electric fences can be amped up with more substantial charges that detract even the most stubborn critter.

4. It’s Safer for Livestock

Protecting your animal assets with a barbed wire fence is an oxymoron. The barbs can cause major injury to livestock that may get tangled. Sheep are especially susceptible, as their wool can quickly become tangled. As they struggle to get out, they are subjected to lacerations, abrasions, and even death. Horses have been known to run at fence lines, especially without the benefit of the psychological training that comes with electric fences.

5. It Requires Less Time and Less Money

A major benefit of electric fencing is that it requires fewer parts. Typically, barbed wire is much heavier than electrical wiring. That means that it requires more posts, set deeper in the ground, to maintain stability. With electric fencing, you only need t-posts and Inverse Insulators, both of which are incredibly simple to install. Barbed wire’s weight also makes it more difficult and more dangerous to transport.


Of course, electric fencing isn’t perfect, and it isn’t for everyone. Depending on your particular situation, you can adjust the type of fencing that you use. Some options other than wire include electric tape, netting, and rope. You may also experience some difficulties if where you live is unusually dry. Electric charge has a hard time traveling through dry earth. There are ways to get around this problem, which you can read about here. Find out more about JAG Products patented fence post insulators and let us help protect your investment.

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