I noticed the other day that the pigs were no longer showing the electric fence the respect it is due. I suspected that somewhere along the line I had a short, or two, or more…
Walking round and checking every part of the fence takes about half an hour or so, and really needs to be done in the middle of the day when the animals aren’t expecting to be fed, otherwise I tend to be mobbed as I go around. And Muga might decide to ram me in upset at my failure to provide food. Yesterday I took the opportunity to walk around just after lunch time.
There was a bit of grass touching the line in a few places, but this clearly wasn’t the problem, and it was some while before I found the real issue. One of the pigs’ water drinkers was touching the wire. This is the worst type of short as it’s metal on metal, so the whole charge is diverted and earthed. Also when it is touching properly there isn’t any sparking, which is what usually guides me to shorts. I moved the drinker and propped up the pipe leading into it, leaving the wire nice and clear, and continued on my way.
The next potential short I found was around where Muga has been trying to knock the fencing down, he’d managed to move the posts enough that the wire was resting against one of the wooden posts. It wasn’t sparking, but I figured that it was still likely to be shorting. At this point my common sense went for a wander and I decided to move the wire out of the way. With my hand. The electric shock didn’t hurt so much as completely freak me out. After some swearing and general imprecations I decided not to do that again. Clearly with it touching the wooden post it wasn’t losing much charge.
I found two more points where it was touching the wood, but no more with metal. I’ll need to fix the wooden touches at some point to make sure it has top zip, but all in all it’s back to a good power. This was admirably demonstrated this morning when the two young pigs both touched the wire, and jumped back with a squeal, while I was trying to pour out their food for them. Hopefully it will continue to keep them in, and foxes out of the poultry orchard.