The Differences Between Electric Fence Tape, Wire and Rope
Electric fence tape, available in 20mm or 40mm widths, and electric fence rope are ideal for cross-fencing a pasture for horses, using either portable posts or permanent wooden posts with insulators. For ease of movement from one section to the other, electric fence gates enable you to move the horses around without having to turn the power off.
When you install your electric fence, you will no doubt use more than one reel of tape, wire or cord. In the old days, it wasn’t uncommon to see granny knots used to make the join. Nowadays, to connect properly and without causing a weak spot, there are special connectors, tensioners, and joiners to ensure against loose lines, and maintain the flow of current through the join. If your fence is going to consist of 2 or more lines to create a more physical and visual barrier, line to line connectors will carry the charge from one line to another.
Horses, and especially ponies are more quick to work out when there is no electricity going through their fence, so it is advisable to use electric fence testers regularly.
As well as the pasture fencing, Hotline Electric Fencing also have a selection of electric netting for containing poultry, goats, or rabbits. All their products are available to buy online, in bulk, with free delivery to mainland UK.
Electric Fence RopeElectric fence Rope is a very popular choice for use with horses and cattle. It is thicker and therefore more visible than wire, so the animals are less likely to try to barge through.
The rope is braided with highly conductive metal capable of carrying the charge around the designated fence. It can be fixed to wooden posts using screw-in insulators for more permanent fencing or fixed onto your existing perimeter fences; it will discourage your horses from rubbing, chewing or trying to push through to the next field.
Alternatively, for more temporary cross-sectioning of pasture or to create temporary turnout areas, you can use the lightweight, plastic push-in fence stakes which are easy to install and allow more flexibility and ease of movement.
There is a wide range of electric fencing ropes on the market, ranging from the white paddock rope through to the stainless steel and copper conductor turbocharge ropes, and they come in different length packs.
There are three electric fence rope options, all of which are available to buy in bulk or in starter kits.
White Paddock Electric Fence Rope: this rope is 6mm in width, and comes in packs of either 100m or 200m lengths. This rope has stainless steel conductors, it is a very durable rope, and ideal for horse fencing.
The Turbocharge Rope: this 6 stranded, 6mm width rope is highly conductive, having the combination of both copper and stainless steel conductors, This rope is available in two colours and lengths, either 200m White or the Green which comes in 200m or 500m lengths. The green rope wouldn’t be as visible to livestock as the white but would be visually less intrusive if used in the garden to keep rabbits and other unwanted visitors away.
Then there’s the Premium Professional Electric Fence Rope: this is a premium quality rope, very durable, and has a very high UV resistance. It is 7mm in width and comes in 200m packs. This rope is highly conductive, and ideal for covering large areas of pasture.
When using electric fence rope for horses, you need to test the fencing regularly, as horses are very sensitive to electricity, and can tell when there is no electric pulse going through the rope. Horses don’t tolerate electricity as well as other livestock; one mild shock will usually be enough to deter a horse from touching your electric fence, so you don’t need as strong a charge for equines as you do for cattle or chickens.
Electric Fence TapeElectric fencing tape is wider than an electric rope of wire fencing, providing a more visual deterrent to livestock. The metal conductor is woven into the mesh to provide efficient, even conductivity along the tape.
Electric fence tape can be attached to your permanent perimeter pasture fencing using the plastic tape insulators to provide protection and reduce the need for maintenance caused by cross-fence interaction by livestock.
Alternatively, the portable push-in fence posts can be used for more temporary boundaries. The push-in posts, while ideal for shorter term use, can become dislodged or blown over, so are not an efficient method to use for long-term fencing, and will require regular checking.
Being wider than rope or wire, coming in 10mm,12mm, 20mm and 40mm width options, electric fence tape is easy to install, but due to its extra width, can have a tendency to sag in very wet weather, or in strong winds, as there is more wind resistance. This can be offset by positioning your posts closer together to give shorter spans, and by tightly stretching the tape.
Electric fencing tape is available in a range of width options and conductivity strengths, depending on your requirements. Horses are sensitive to electricity, so a mild shock is sufficient to deter them without causing distress, so the Paddock Electro Tape would fit the bill, whereas for cattle and other livestock a stronger current is more effective either the Heavy Duty Professional, or the Turbocharge fencing tape would have more effect.
There are different fencing tapes to choose from, with variations in width and length as well as conductivity, all available to buy online, in separate packs or in bulk.
Paddock White Electric Fence Tape: the Electro Tape is available in 12mm, 20mm and 40mm
widths, and each pack is 200m long. This is a durable, efficient tape, and as the name suggests, perfect for the equine paddock.
Then there’s the Heavy Duty Professional Electric Fence Tape: this tape is available in green as well as white. It has thick stainless steel conductors running through to give a strong current and is capable of covering large areas. The Heavy Duty tape comes in 10mm, 20mm and 40mm width options, and in packs of either 100m or 250m lengths. This is a very durable tape and comes with a 7 year UV guarantee. Highly suitable for permanent coverage of large pastures.
Another high-powered tape is the Turbocharge Electric Fence Tape: the Turbocharge tape is white, and is available in 10mm, 20mm or 40mm widths. It is a very durable tape, with strong conductors, and is ideal for covering large fields.
Electric Fence Wire
Electric fence wire can be used as a primary, permanent fence, or as a temporary pasture divider. It is thinner than electric fence tape or rope, and it conducts electricity well but is less visible, and therefore more suitable for use containing slower moving livestock such as cows, pigs or sheep rather than horses, which move much faster and could injure themselves if they run into the wire fence at high speed.
Using electric fence wire above your existing perimeter fence would be safe with horses, and discourage rubbing or leaning over the fence, limiting the chance of damage. If you use electric fence wire for your horses, it is advisable to add coloured tape or other material at intervals to make it more visible.
There’s quite an array of different wires for electric fencing, from the standard galvanised steel to coloured wires, so whether you are fencing a field or paddock, or want to keep pests out of the garden, there should be one to suit. Here’s a rundown of what’s out there :
Galvanised Stranded Steel Wire: this wire is available in either 200m or 400m length packs. Galvanised steel is highly conductive and very durable, so very easy to maintain.
Turbocharge Electric Fence Wire: the mix of 9 strands of several metals makes this a highly conductive wire fence option. The 9 strands makes this a very durable wire with a high breaking strain, making it suitable for fencing large pastures. The Turbocharge fence wire comes in lengths of 250m and 500m.
White Electric Fence Paddock Polywire : this fencing wire is white, so more visible than the galvanised steel, using 6 strands of stainless steel conductors made from polywire, it is very durable as stainless steel is less prone to corrosion than other metals, it is also less conductive, but a milder shock is preferable for use with horses. The Polywire comes in lengths of 250m and 500m.
Supercharge Electric Fence Wire: with 6 strands of metal conductors, this is another highly conductive fence wire, capable of carrying the charge over large pastures. It is a mottled white colour which increases visibility and comes in lengths of 250m and 500m.
Electric Fence High Tensile Wire: this high tensile wire is ideal for creating permanent fences, it is highly conductive, strong, and 2.5mm thick. Supplied in 650m lengths, with the advantage of coming on a wooden spool.
Supercharge Electric Fence Wire: this supercharge wire comes in two colours, the orange made from 3 strands of stainless steel, and the green, which is perfect for use in the garden, with 4 strands. The orange is available in 200m and 400m packs, while the green comes in 100m packs.
Professional Equiline Wire: this high tensile, white 9mm wire is coated in a high visibility polymer and designed to create permanent horse fencing. It is extremely durable and comes in 400m lengths.