Pigs meet Electric Fence

We moved the pigs to their paddock last night.  This was their first experience with an electric fence.  I fenced an area of about 7,000 square feet for them.

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I think we put the pigs in at 7:00 pm.  They tested the fence until almost midnight.  The above pic was taken this morning.

I still need to make a proper gate.  I also need to build an enclosure for the fence charger.

I purchased a Patriot PMX450 fence charger…

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We’ll see how it performs.  I was not impressed with the (lack of) instructions that came with the charger.  There isn’t an easy way to mount the charger to anything, which made me cranky.  There is a slot running partway up the back of the charger that I plan to use.  It looks like there’s a fitting or a mount that goes in the slot, but it didn’t come in the package.  The directions fail to mention how to affix the box to anything.

I didn’t take a picture of my setup.  I don’t want comments since it’s very temporary.  I will say that I only put in two ground rods, not the 5 recommended.  I’d like to put in one more eventually, but I think 5 is overkill as long as the ground isn’t totally dry.

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I will say that the charger packs a punch.  Notice that Charlotte is keeping a healthy distance from the fence in the pic above.

I was initially disappointed with the zap while we were installing the fence.  It felt like a really strong zap of static electricity like you can get walking across a carpet and then grounding out.

The first inkling I had that the fence was really hot came from the pigs.  Everything was wet from the rain when the pigs went in.  I assumed that their reactions to the fence were because it was a surprise and that they were wet and got a little more juice.

At this point, I need to interject that I have a new pair of boots for working out and about.  Apparently they are really good insulators.

I walked the fence, listening for the pops that indicate the fence is grounding somewhere.  I would adjust the fence and move on.  The surprise came when I got to the point where the tensioners were.  They’re insulated but the water from the rain had them grounding.

I decided it would be good to wrap some electric tape around their t-post.  I didn’t bother to turn off the fence since the zings I was getting weren’t bad.  The bottom tensioner was the offender, so I knelt on one knee and started to unhook it.

I said a bad word.  No, I didn’t say it, it was a yell.  I yelled a very bad word.  In front of the kids.  The boots had been protecting me all along, but I was fair game once my knee hit the ground.

I made sure the fence was off during maintenance after that experience.  And apologized to my family.

Bubba, our dog, took a hit as well.  Honestly, it cheered me up a little.  I’m not a nice person I guess.

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I had originally planned to divide up the space into two or three smaller paddocks.  I wanted to make sure that the pigs worked all of the ground really well.  I don’t think that’s necessary.  I’ll write more about that later.

The top strand of the electric fence is less about keeping pigs in and more about keeping people and critters (Bubba, coyotes, etc.) out.

Almost forgot to mention the waterer we put up.

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We took a water barrel, removed the spigot and put in a pig nipple.  I’m hoping that the pigs will figure it out and also not knock the barrel over.  We’ll see.  I wish the barrel was painted a dark color.  On the other hand, I’ll be glad it’s white when summer comes.  *shrug*

–JS

One thought on “Pigs meet Electric Fence

  1. It was quite the experience! As long as they are still inside an electric fence when we get home, I will be 100% happy with the experience (especially since I didn’t get zapped) 😉

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