About Mr. McGregor's Fence®
McGregor's Fence and Small Animal Control: Essay
Common Questions about the Fence
How an Electric Fence Works
Quote on Your McGregor Fence
Keeping out Deer
Keeping out Bears
Photos of Mr. McGregor's Fence®
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A An ordinary electric fence works like this: The fence charger's positive (+ , active, red) terminal sends an electric charge out onto the electric fence wire. The charge seeks a way to flow back to the charger's negative (- ground, green) terminal and thereby complete the circuit and restore the electrical balance. It is only when the circuit is completed by the animal and the charge flows through the animal's body that the animal gets a shock. For a fuller explanation with drawings, click here.
A It works by combining two fences, one a barrier fence, the other an electric fence. The two fences work together as a unit. If you put up only a barrier fence, climbing or digging animals will climb over or dig under it. If you put up only an electric fence, the animals will find a way to scoot between or under the wires and - because their fur insulates them - they won't get zapped. By putting the low barrier fence a few inches behind the electric fence it will stop the animal long enough so that it will investigate the situation with its nose or paw and will then come in contact with the electric wire. This works whether the animal tries to climb over the wires or under them. It will get zapped and it will turn tail and go away.
A With the help of a friend it should take no more than 2-3 hours to install the complete system.
A The fence system is really easy to install. All you have to do is roll out a plastic weed barrier, put up an 18-inch high barrier fence, attach plastic snap on insulators (electric wire hangers) to 18" high green fiberglass posts, reel out and hang aluminum electric wire on the insulators, and connect the electric fence energizer to the aluminum wire. We provide clear and illustrated instructions to ensure that someone unfamiliar with fence systems will have no difficulty installing the kits plus we have installation video clips you can view.
A In all likelihood you can. You need to take into consideration the height of the existing fence and what it is made of. Read on.
If you already have a chain-link or tall wooden fence and want to mount electric fence wires on top of it you must first ensure that the invading animal is grounded at the moment it touches the electrified wire or wires. You can do this in 3 ways:
1.) For a wooden fence staple 12" wide grounding mesh on top and down the side from which the animal will come in such a way that the animal's feet will be on it when it touches an active (electrified) wire with a nose or paw. Then run a wire (electric fence wire or insulated cable) from the grounding mesh to the ground terminal on the electric fence charger/energizer.
2.) For a bare metal fence (chicken wire or chain link) no special grounding material is needed because the fence itself is a conductor. Be sure to keep the charged wire out of contact with the rest of the fence at all times. You will also need to run a wire from the chicken wire or chain link to the ground terminal on the electric fence charger.
3.) You can also run a ground wire in parallel with an active wire at the top of the fence, keeping the active and ground wires at least 4" apart. In this case the animal will have to touch both wires at the same time in order to be shocked. You will also need to run a wire from the ground wire to the ground terminal on the electric fence charger. If you are grounding the fence as in 1) or 2) above:
On wooden fence posts attach nail-on insulators directly to the top of the post. On chain link install a row of clamp-on insulators right near the top or universal insulators to the top. Now run electric fence wire through the insulators the length of the fence. The final step is to run a piece of wire from the active wire on the fence to the active terminal on your electric fence energizer.
If you are grounding as in 3) above you need 2 wires (one active, one ground). On wooden fence posts it will be necessary to drill a 3/8" hole about 8-9" deep to allow the setting in of 18" fiberglass fence posts. Attach 2 snap on insulators to each post, the first 4-5" above the top of the fence (measurements after the fiberglass posts have been inserted into the wooden posts), the second 4-5" above that. Run electric fence wire along each row of insulators. Do NOT connect the rows to each other. Run a piece of electric fence wire from the active wire to the active terminal on your charger. Run a second piece of electric fence wire from the ground wire to the ground terminal on your chargerer.
If you already have a wire mesh barrier fence held up by wooden fence posts, metal T-posts, or metal U-posts and want to electrify it, there are 3 ways to do it, depending on your fence setup:
1.) Run a line of 18" fiberglass posts about 5-6 ft apart all around the fence at a distance of about 4" from the fence. Attach 2 snap-on insulators to each post, the first one at the top, the second one 4" down. Hang electric fence wire along one row of insulators. Then bend the wire up (or down) to the second row of insulators and run the wire back to where you started. Secure the wire to the last insulator and leave enough wire to reach the active terminal on the electric fence charger before cutting. Attach this to the charger's positive (active) terminal. In moist areas drive a ground rod into the ground and connect it to the negative (ground) terminal on your charger by means of a length of electric fence wire. In dry areas lay down grounding mesh in front of the posts and anchor with stones or stakes. Run a piece of electric fence wire from the grounding fence to the negative (ground) terminal on the charger. If you have a gate see instructions below.
2.) On sturdy wooden fence posts you can attach 2 rows of nail-on insulators. The first row should be 4" above the ground, the second should be 8" above the ground. Hang electric fence wire along one row of insulators. Then bend the wire up (or down) to the second row of insulators and run the wire back to where you started. Secure the wire to the last insulator and leave enough wire to reach the active terminal on the electric fence charger before cutting. Attach this wire to the charger's positive (active) terminal. In moist areas drive a ground rod into the ground and connect it to the negative (ground) terminal on your charger by means of a length of electric fence wire. In dry areas lay down grounding mesh in front of the posts and anchor with stones or stakes. Run a piece of electric fence wire from the grounding mesh to the charger's negative (ground) terminal. If you have a gate see instructions below.
3.) On T-posts or U-posts you can attach 2 rows of T-post or U-post insulators. The first row should be 4" above the ground, the second should be 8" above the ground. Hang electric fence wire from the insulators so as to form two inter-connected circles of wire around your garden. Then connect the electric fence charger to your fence by means of a piece of aluminum wire, one end of which should be attached to the fence wire being charged and the other to the positive (active) terminal on the charger. Drive a ground rod into the ground and connect it to the negative (ground) terminal on your charger by means of a length of wire. If you have a gate see instructions below.
If you have a gate, attach 2 rows of insulators on the gate at the same height as the ones on the fence posts. On the gate hang electric fence wire along one row of insulators; then bend the wire up (or down) to the second row of insulators and run the wire back to where you started. Secure the wire to the last insulator and cut the wire. You should have a continuous loop on the gate. On the hinge side of the gate connect the wires on the gate to the wires on the fence with a piece of insulated hookup wire long enough to allow for some play when the gate is opened and closed.
A You can surround the three open sides with a Mr. McGregor's Fence® system and place a charged wire (mounted on insulators) at the top of the wall or existing fence.
A No, it doesn't. You do have to be sure that all the active wires are connected together and that the charger is connected to them at some point. But the wires work fine whether or not they go full circle.
A There's almost no chance of that, because all our chargers an handle up to half a mile of system. Some can handle more.
A All our fence kits and parts are child safe, pet safe, and wildlife safe. That's because they don't have to stun an enraged bull. All they have to do is administer a little zap - something a bit stronger than the zap you can deliver to a friend on a dry day after shuffling your feet along a carpet.
A There is no difference in effectiveness between the kits. The amount of 'zap' the animal gets from each of these energizers is comparable. So choosing a kit will depend on your preference and local conditions. The solar and DC (battery) powered kits are very easy to install but need to be checked periodically to be sure their battery is still charged. For the solar powered kit to work at maximum efficiency it needs a southern exposure with full sun for the better part of the day. The AC powered kits are ideal if you have an AC outlet near your garden. The Deer and Critter kits have slightly more powerful chargers (but remain absolutely child and pet safe) that will tolerate more weeds.
A Mr. McGregor's Fence® kits protect against woodchucks, groundhogs, raccoons, rabbits, skunks, opossums, cats and most dogs. With an inexpensive squirrel barrier they will also keep out squirrels.
A Although they could easily jump over the fence they generally don't figure that out.
A People frequently ask why woodchucks (also known as groundhogs) don't try to burrow under the barrier. If they tried, their backs would probably touch the lower charged wire. But many years of experience with this system have shown that they don't try. Woodchucks are wary creatures, so perhaps they explore the barrier before making themselves vulnerable by climbing or burrowing and so discover the charged wire that way; or perhaps the barrier is so low that they invariably try to climb it and so connect with the electric wire that way. In any case, they do connect with the wire and they do go away.