Missing Power

We had gotten the fence put up in the back of the big hay field. This temporary electric fence is used to allow the main herd to graze in the small field in the back of the big field. This small field gives the herd a water source for drinking, a pasture area with grass growing for grazing and  access to the hillside where they can meander under the tall firs during inclement weather.

The control box for a solar powered electric fence.We have to electrify the fence to keep the herd out of what was the nursery field so the grass can grow and be harvested for hay in late June.

There is no access to commercially supplied electricity so we use these portable solar units to charge the fence. However, after sitting all winter in storage, this unit did not work. The problem was the battery, it would not take a charge.

The batteries from these units are recycled, the purchaser pays a ‘core charge’ for the battery when bought. We took in the battery from this unit to get the ‘core charge’ of $12. that was used to purchase the new battery. It cost seems a little excessive, but it guarantees that the batteries are returned for recycling rather than landing up in a landfill.

Once the new battery was installed, the fence was checked and there was a good current flowing through the fence. Not anything strong enough to hurt and animal, but strong enough to deter them grazing on the wrong side of the fence.

Portable Electricity

More than half of our farm is across the river. Our big hay barn, the pastures, most of the cattle, timber and hay fields take up most of the area. We do not have electricity on this larger side of the farm. When power is needed for fencing around the barns, or for the two-month temporary fences we use to keep the cows out as the grass is growing for the next hay crop, we use portable solar power units.


Even in poor weather, these small low-voltage units can produce enough current to charge the barriers. The investment of these portable units have paid off many times over. The units last for several years. The only maintenance needed is a good cleaning before storing at the end of a season.

It only takes two wires strung across an area to keep a line secure. Woven wire, barbed wire, or the white tape wire known as New Zealand fencing can all be used with these chargers.