High Tensile Energized Fences & Managed Intensive Grazing

High Tensile Energized fencing refers to the use of smooth steel wire that conducts a pulsating electrical charge.  The electrical pulse comes from a ‘fence charger’ specifically manufactured for this purpose. The wire is always insulated from grounding by being attached to posts with insulators or the use of non-conducting post.  The energy pulse is a high voltage low amperage charge that will not kill anything.  It gives a smart shock to any animal that touches the wire that is properly grounded.  Birds can light on the wire without harm because they are not grounded.  The pulse happens about once a second and is not a steady flow of electricity.  This fencing can be effective for a wide range of animal types and sizes.  It used for large bull bison along with cattle, horses and sheep.  With our domesticated livestock, there is a training period for the animals and simple methods to teach the herd or flock to respect the fence.  It is also wild life friendly as wild elk, deer and antelope learn to jump or pass through or go under without injury.  A level of maintenance is necessary for optimum performance.  Some things in nature can compromise energized fencing causing it to short out.  A fence tester and some simple tools can make repairs quickly and easily.  Never energize barbed wire.

Managed Intensive Grazing is not a fence but a system of forage management with the use of livestock.  Energized fencing is usually employed with this system with its low cost of construction and its versatility.  The two main elements of MIG are stocking density and duration.  It is not only important to have animals grazing a given plot for a certain limited time, it is also very important to keep animals off a given plot for a sufficient amount of time for regrowth.  This system can dramatically improve forage production without the use of chemical fertilizers.  MIG often uses two types of wire.  One being the high tensile steel wire typically installed as permanent perimeter fences for grazing areas.  The second being ‘poly string’ or ‘poly wire’ which is a plastic composite braided string or rope with several fine gauge  steel wires in the braid to conduct the energy pulse.  This is used to create temporary boundaries for the livestock so that the proper forage harvest can take place according to management practices.  Setting up a ¼ mile of poly string and temporary post can be done in about 30 minutes.  All of this management and work may seem costly and time consuming.  However, when done properly, it is far less expensive than feeding hay.  This system is used both in the growing season and dormant season for maximum forage efficiency.


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