Getting the correct heights and spacings for electric fence wires can seem like a complicated task as there are a few things to consider.
Top 5 Factors That Determine Electric Fence Wire Spacings
1. Value of the stock being protected or excluded from the electric fence zone.
2. The type of electric fence eg: permanent or temporary
3. The type of animal the electric fence is for
4. The behaviour/s you are aiming to discourage
5. The will or determination of the animal to test or break through your electric fence
There are many different animal types and breeds around the world. Some species even display unique and differing behaviours within their same core type like dogs for example. Electric fence wire spacing and distances is not an exact science and varies for each animal type and breed. Consider the above factors and experiment with what works best for you and the animals in your electric fencing situation.
In most domestic situations animals tend to learn very quickly (sometimes in only 2-3 shocks) that an electric fence, while being non harmful and safe, is not pleasant and is best avoided. Domestic animals will generally avoid the boundary marked by a visible electric fence wire or tape and will happily and freely move around within the area of containment without any issue. Most of the time less electric fence strands/wires are required once the animal has learned and associated the sight of the wire with a boundary line, containment or no go zone.
Exclusion electric fencing typically used for feral or wild animals is a little different and a bit more complicated.
Normally with trained and domestic animals, an electric fence does not need to be a physical barrier and the phycological deterring power of the shock is great enough to prevent fence wire and animal contact. Feral animals that have not had interactions with electric fences and are sometimes “less intelligent” can test the structural integrity of the fence by simply trying to barge straight through it. Generally more wires under higher tension are used to create a more visual and physical queue to prevent interaction and fence damage.
There are many varying recommendations for electric fence wire distance and spacings around. These recommendations should be used as a guide only. After all contributing factors effecting your electric fence needs are taken into consideration you should be able to come up with an initial plan that suits your electric fencing requirements. Experiment with what and how much is required and after a while you will be accustomed to what works best in your situation.