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An electric shepherd is a reliable guard not only for cows, but also for other domestic animals. The device saves the nerves and forces of the owner, effectively solving the problem of safe grazing of pets. Under the protection of an electric watchman, cows are not afraid of predators and stray lovers of fresh meat. Thanks to a clever device, the costs of paying for the services of employees are reduced.
What it is used for
The job of a livestock farmer is not only to take care of the livestock, but also to prepare conditions for pasturing the wards. Not all farmers have their own pasture, so it is sometimes impossible to enclose it with a hedge, and the cost of a capital fence is high.
Some owners prefer to use the services of a hired shepherd, but finding a responsible person is not easy. It is risky to trust an outsider with the life and health of breeding animals. In addition, the work of the hired employee will have to be paid. You can solve the problem with the help of technology. The electric shepherd is a real salvation for cattle owners.
The device is an insurmountable barrier for livestock, consisting of light posts with an electrically conductive strip-tape attached to them. An invisible guard encircles the territory of the pasture and, with the help of a slight effect of electric current, stops any attempts of the pet to go beyond the boundaries of the site.
Scheme and principle of operation
The device can be in the form of a simple metal mesh, conductive strip-tape, or a completely bare wire stretched over poles. Supports are dug in along the perimeter of the grazing area. Every second, the generator sends a short electrical signal to the conductive element of the device.
On contact with a hedge, the cow is exposed to an electric current. The blow will not harm the pet, because the current strength does not exceed 3 mA, however, it will inevitably cause unpleasant sensations in the cow.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
After a few days, the cows will reflexively avoid contact with the "biting" fence. The main condition for developing a habit is the constant location of the electric fence.
The system consists of 6 components:
- Metal, wood or plastic pillars. A wire is pulled between the supports in several tiers. Position it so that the lower tier is 25 cm above ground level. The height of the wire fence is 100-110 cm. Insulators are installed on the posts.
- The main element of the system is the generator. The device continuously transmits short electrical impulses along all conductive paths.
- Conductor. The device is responsible for the positive direction of the current along the conductive tape.
- Earthing switch. The device ensures the safety of people and pets.
- Lightning rod. A protective structure is installed in order to protect the generator from electrical discharges during a thunderstorm. Place a lightning rod between the generator body and the wire fence.
- Entrance gate. The device allows you to let pets in and out without shutting down the generator. The gate is equipped with a plastic handle, insulator and springs.
Pros and cons of an electric shepherd
Like any device, the electric shepherd has its own advantages and minor disadvantages.
The system is easy to disassemble and mount on another pasture. Thus, the farmer controls the condition of the grass cover and rationally chooses grazing areas. This maneuver helps to increase the milk yield of the cows and improve the quality of meat and milk.
The device helps to reduce the cost of arranging pastures. There is no need to hire additional workers to graze animals. In addition, the installation of an electric shepherd will cost significantly less than the construction of a capital fence. The difference in the money spent is from 35 to 40%.
There is equipment for sale made of quality materials. Such a device is not afraid of frost, rain and wind.
The electric shepherd is completely safe for horned pets. Slight painful sensations only show the animals the boundaries of the site.
The equipment is powered only by electricity.
Owners of thick wool hardly feel the effect of the current, therefore such a hedge is rarely used for grazing sheep.
The ribbon-like conductive element sometimes breaks. Due to the peculiarity of the design, the tape is difficult to repair.
Over time, the fence will become overgrown with tall grass, and the performance of the device may decrease. Therefore, the grass has to be mowed periodically.
Review of popular models
On the territory of the Russian Federation, domestic equipment is in great demand, as well as electric shepherds from European manufacturers.
The price of the devices depends on the power of the generator and the material from which the elements of the device are made.
- In recent years, devices of the Hungarian company are gaining popularity. The company supplies not only portable, but also permanent electric fences. Inexpensive equipment works great not only from a regular 220 V network, but also from a small 12 V power source. A model called COWBOY 8000 MAGNUM reliably protects pets within a radius of 50 km.
- The products of the Polish company Electro-fence have proven themselves quite well, they are assembled in Europe and operate from 12 and 220 V. The price of the equipment is quite acceptable, the most inexpensive electronic device AGRI 500 costs a little less than 6,000 rubles. Manufacturers guarantee uninterrupted operation of the equipment for 1 year.
- Finnish-made artificial shepherds are very popular. OLLI manufactures reliable equipment for use on pastures up to 10 km.
- The security system manufactured by LLC Riks-TV enjoys a good reputation and is perfect for safe grazing of pets. The company is known as the developer of a fundamentally new pulse generator.
How to choose a ready-made device
When choosing a device for workover, it is necessary to find out information about the power sources of the unit. The electric assistant can be powered by the mains, battery or storage solar panels. Commercially available combination devices that operate on both battery and solar panels. The latter type of equipment is the most beneficial.
The breeder should pay attention to the number of volts indicated in the characteristics of the equipment. The choice depends on the age of the pets. When it comes to adult cows, you need to purchase a powerful device. For small animals, it is sufficient to install equipment with a medium voltage rating. You need to know how high the grass grows in the intended cow grazing area. The installation does not work well when it comes into contact with dense plant matter.
Homemade electric shepherd
For self-manufacturing of an electric assistant, you need to prepare supports, an electrically conductive mesh, tape or galvanized steel wire and a generator.
The number of pillars is harvested from the calculation: 1 support for every 7 m. The pillars can be metal, wood or plastic. Supports are dug into the ground along the entire perimeter of the grazing area. The stretched wire is decorated with brightly colored pieces of fabric. This is done so that the pets get used to the boundaries faster.
Insulators are made from scraps of bicycle tubes or plastic bottles. Grounding is constructed using metal rods. The optimal length of the iron pin is 1.3-1.5 m.
Instructions for use
Work begins with the installation of the corner supports of the future fencing. These pillars carry the main load, so they are fixed with great care. After installing the remaining supports and the entrance gate, insulators are attached to the surface of the pillars. Parts are needed to fix the conductive tape. 3 rows of wire are pulled onto the posts. Each tier is located at a certain distance from the ground level. The lower wire is stretched 25 cm from the ground, the average height is 50-55 cm, and the upper wire runs at a height of 90 cm.
The generator is installed on a special stand. A ground is installed near the device. The metal pin is buried 120 cm into the ground. The generator is designed with 2 wires. One of them is connected to a conductive tape, and the other to a ground electrode. The final stage of work is the installation of a lightning rod. The impact power of the equipment is calculated based on the composition of the herd of animals. For ordinary, medium-sized cows, a standard 10 kV mode is connected. For large individuals, the power settings are increased.