How Many Volts is an Electric Fence

Whether you want to maintain security around your property or keep animals where you want them to be, an electric fence is a good investment. An electric fence charger provides viable security and keeps animals in place without causing any serious or fatal damage. Under international regulations, the electric shock electrical fences exude is meant to prevent trespass and not cause any fatality.

How Many Volts is an Electric Fence

Whilst different fences may boast different voltage outputs, their current is always maintained at a low value, thus, preventing any serious damage. You must be asking yourself, however, “how many volts is an electric fence in general?” Stick around to find out.

How Many Volts Is An Electric Fence?

The simple answer to this question is that the voltage of an electric fence varies depending on your needs. In recent years, many people have begun to use electric fences to protect their livestock. Instead, more powerful and sometimes, lethal electric fence systems are used for home and property security.

To contain animals, livestock, and pets, you must first consider a series of factors before you determine how many volts your electric fence should be. Generally, you should consider the following factors:

Livestock Type And Size

More aggressive animals will require a higher voltage compared to less aggressive ones.

Plus, depending on the hair coat or wool of the animal, you may have to add a more powerful voltage to penetrate the coat.

Ground Type

Before you pick what kind of fence and voltage output to use, you must understand your surrounding soil type and forage. The conditional needs for dry land are totally different from those of wet grounds. After all, remember what an excellent conductor of electricity a wet ground is. A thick and dry ground on the other end will offer added insulation to the feet of a lighter or small animal.

Fence Size And Load

The length and load size (is there vegetation growing on the fence) play an important role in determining the appropriate voltage force to choose for your fence. The electric fence will not only interact with the animal but also the surrounding environment which includes the ground and whatever grows on the fence.

 If heavy vegetation grows on your fence, then, you may need extra voltage to tackle the vegetation.  Ultimately, even your maintenance plan affects the number of volts needed. Ask yourself questions such as “how often will I weed out the vegetation on the fence?”

Conductors Used

The conductors used on your electric fence affect the voltage output as well. For example, you will find certain wires that bear more electrical resistance than others. Highly resistant wires may limit voltage output over longer distances.

Voltage Requirements

How Many Volts is an Electric Fence: Voltage Requirements

As mentioned before,  different animals boast different voltage requirements.  Some of the common recommendations include:

Each voltage output is appropriately recommended for each animal species for necessary reasons. For example, cattle and swine have high voltage outputs as they are known to be aggressive animals.

You must be asking yourself why goats and sheep are smaller animals but still require higher fence voltages. This is because these species of animals bear thick hair coats which acts as insulators. Thus, to penetrate the thick hair coats and wool, you need higher voltage outputs.

In addition to the nature of the species you are protecting, the voltage recommendations consider the environmental parameters as well. For example, if you keep your cattle and heifers in separate areas, you will require lower wires and less spacing.

Deer on the other end requires higher wires as they spook easily and can jump quite high. For smaller pets and animals, you want to start wires from the bottom as they can easily penetrate or dig under the fence.

Animal SpeciesMinimum Recommended Voltage Per 5 Meter Perimeter
Voltage Minimum Requirements for HorsesHorses
3000 - 5000
Voltage Minimum Requirements for Cattles and SwinesCattle and swine
4000 - 5000
Voltage Minimum Requirements for Goat and SheepGoat and sheep
7000 - 9000
Voltage Minimum Requirements for PetPet
Voltage Minimum Requirements for PestsPests
 Keep in mind that the voltage recommendations show a minimum output value.  Thus, throughout the year, the voltage range varies. For example, if the voltage output on your fence is higher during winter and spring, it will still maintain adequate voltage to counter growing vegetation and control your animals during late spring and early summer.

To better control the voltage variation, it is a good idea to invest in a voltmeter.

As a general rule of thumb, it is acceptable for the voltage to drop to a certain value. However, ensure that the voltage doesn’t drop to half of the recommended voltage output.

Furthermore, you want to pay attention to any visible changes in your property. For instance, an increased accumulation of vegetation and weeds growing on your fence most certainly will affect the voltage.

Remember to focus on the voltage rather than the current. As the weather becomes warm and arid, vegetation will dry thus, leading to the dropping of the current. Yet, whilst the current drops, the voltage rises. After this, you will notice that the vegetation becomes drier and brown which is a positive result that the electric fence is working.


The question of “how many volts is an electric fence?” is an important one to address when looking for the appropriate security measures to contain your animals and to eliminate trespass. Whilst the voltage outputs are extremely effective at protecting your animals, it maintains incredible safety. You don’t have to worry about fatalities.

Sure, these electric fences are not lethal to animals or humans, even young children.  However, special care and attention should be maintained to avoid accidents, especially if you have kids on your compound.  The electric fences don’t deliver fatal shocks but, the pain can last for up to 10 painstaking minutes.

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