Electric fencing is an excellent method to contain nearly all types of animals,
including exotics such as llamas, emus and ostrich, and deer and elk. Like other
animals, exotic animals will quickly learn to avoid the shock of an electric fence.
However, unlike conventional domestic animals, exotic species pose additional fencing
challenges. For example, they may have long, shaggy coats or thick plumage that
do not conduct electricity well. In addition, many species exhibit excitable behaviors.
Unfamiliar and unexpected sounds or stimuli, like honking traffic or barking dogs,
may create stress and erratic behavior.
We recommend electrified high tensile fence as a safe and secure solution for most
species. A high tensile fence will not only contain your exotic animals, it also
will keep predators out. Choose a low impedance energiser that maintains high energy
levels on the fence. Wire spacing should be close enough to prevent the animal from
stepping through or putting its head between the wires. One electrified wire should
be at the animals' nose level.
An electrified top wire above the animal's head
is recommended if it is a habitual jumper.
If you are unfamiliar with fencing for a particular species, please contact Rutland
Llamas are very intelligent and quickly learn to respect an electric fence. As highly
sociable herd animals, they are more comfortable around other llamas, making them
easy to control and train. However, they present some unique challenges because
their thick coats do not conduct electricity well and predators can be a problem,
especially for young crias (baby llamas).
We recommend electrified high tensile fence as a safe and secure solution. A high
tensile fence works well to contain llamas and also serves to keep predators out.
Llamas require an energiser that can maintain 4,000 - 5,000 volts on the fence line.
Voltage levels are impacted by vegetation on the fence line, length of fence and
type of wire. A minimum of 5,000 volts on the fence line is required to keep out
Wire Spacing Guide
Depending on a variety of factors, the number of fence wires can vary from
four to six, depending on: whether you will separate crias at weaning, if you keep
breeding males separated, and if predators are a problem.
Although llamas have a natural dislike for canines and can protect themselves by
kicking, they may be bothered by predators. However, crias are more susceptible
to predators. A high tensile fence with properly spaced wires will deter predators.
Ostriches, emus and rheas can be challenging to contain. However, electric fence
provides an affordable, easy to install, low maintenance option that will safely
contain Ostriches whilst excluding predators.
Ostriches have a tendency to reach over, under or through any type of fence to eat
grass on the other side. Plus, they can grow to more than 2 metres tall. While these
birds don't fly, they do jump. This means the wire spacing needs to be close together
and at least 2 metres high.
If using electric fence with ostriches, consider that feathers are not good conductors
of electricity. Therefore a high powered energiser must be used. Two-legged species
have less contact with the ground than four-legged animals, thus making a properly
installed earth system essential.
Existing or Shorter Fences
A closely spaced woven wire fence, 5 cm x 10 cm, (2 inches x 4 inches) at least
1.5 metres (approx 5 feet) high will contain the birds. An electrified wire installed
on the top inside of this type of fence will prevent ostriches and emus from jumping
over. Electrified wires placed on the outside bottom will keep predators from digging
under the fence.
Note: We do not recommend using electric fencing to contain
chicks. Use either chain link or closely spaced woven wire. Never use barbed wire
fencing, as it can cause injury to the birds.
Wire Spacing Guide
A 2 metre (6 feet) electric high tensile fence used around the perimeter
will both contain the birds as well as keep out predators. Use a minimum of 15 wires
starting 10 cm (4inches) from the ground, and 10 cm (4 inches) apart for the first
1.25 metres (4 feet) of height and 20 cm (8 inches) apart for the top 0.75 metres
(2.5 feet) . The "hot" wires should be on the outside of the fence to keep the predators
out, while also containing adult birds.
Remember deer are wild animals and are not conditioned to human contact. They tend to
range over wide areas to forage, are highly motivated to reach food sources, can
jump higher than most other animals, spook easily, and are prone to predator attacks.
For these reasons, deer need fencing that provides both a physical and psychological
barrier like electric high tensile fence. An electrified high tensile fence is the
best choice because it can be tall, durable and secure, and also serves to keep
Deer can exhibit excitable behaviour. Unfamiliar and unexpected sounds or stimuli,
like unfamiliar people, barking dogs or traffic may create stress and erratic behaviour.
Electrified high tensile fencing is an excellent choice for a permanent perimeter
fence. These low-maintenance fences can last up to 20 years and
are the best solution for deer control. Consider using Rutland Electro-Wood, the
self insulating timber from sustainable hardwood forests on permanent high tensile
fences. It consists of posts and droppers so is simple and low cost to install,
highly durable and environmentally friendly. The high tensile wire and spring system
of a high tensile fence allow it to flex and return to its original shape if run
into, making it optimal for deer.
Deer require an energiser that can maintain 3,000 - 4,000 volts on the fence line
and a minimum of 1.5 joules of energy, higher on long fences. Voltage levels are
affected by vegetation on the fence line, length of fence, and diameter of wire.
Wire Spacing Guide
For farmed deer, wire spacing should be close enough to prevent the animal
from stepping through or putting its head between the wires. Attach seven to nine
wire strands to posts that stand at least 2 metres above ground. Be sure that wires
are placed near the nose level of the animal. Use a low impedance fence controller.
Note: To prevent jumping, an electrified top wire above the deer head is recommended.
If unfamiliar with fencing for a particular species, you may want to consult
Rutland Electric Fencing Company customer service experts at +44 (0)1572 722558.
What do I need to consider in setting up an electric fence for llamas?
Llamas are fairly easy to contain and rarely try to escape, especially if there
is more than one llama fenced in.
Electric fence is the safest fence to use for llamas, as it easily contains the
llamas while keeping out any predators. It is recommended to have secure, tight
fencing at least 1.25 metres high for the perimeter fence, as it will provide safety
and security for the llamas and crias (baby llamas).
At times, internal temporary fencing is recommended to separate the breeding males
and females and the newly weaned crias.
Are electric fence systems safe for containing ostrich?
Electric high tensile fence systems work well for ostriches as an external perimeter
fence, especially where predators are a problem. It is also effective to place an
electric wire at the top and bottom of an existing mesh or chain link fence to keep
out predators (wire is on the outside of the fence) or to keep the ostriches from
jumping over the fence, particularly if the fence is less than 2 metres high (wire
is on the inside of the fence).
That being said, electric fences may not be the best overall solution for ostriches,
as these birds have a tendency to reach over, through or under fencing, which could
risk their getting caught in the electric wires. Chain link or closely meshed woven
wire fences 2 metres high (6 feet) are the safest and most effective.
Never use barbed wire fencing, as it can cause damage to the birds.
Why do you recommend at least a 2 metre electrified high
tensile fence for deer and elk?
Deer and elk are not easily domesticated - they are accustomed to roaming where
they please, which is usually to food sources. Since they are strong jumpers, they
can easily clear a fence that is their height. In addition, they may "test" the
electric fence by running into it to get out, so the fence needs to be durable and
resilient to pressure.
Electric high tensile fence is the ideal solution since it is long lasting, extremely
strong, and will maintain its shape even if run into. It can easily be built to
2 metre or taller heights.