Energized fences

Energized fencing can effectively and practically reduce goose grazing on your yard. It is useful in situations more severe than hazing or bird scare tape can handle. Most home owners prefer portable fencing that can be set up in 1-2 hours and quickly taken down for storage when not in use.

Key components of an energized fence for geese:

  1. Energizer - The energizer is the power source for the fence. Energizers can be battery powered or 120 volt. Low impedance energizers which deliver a short electrical pulse of at least 4,000 volts once every second are safe and effective.
  2. Fence wires - Most home owners prefer the ease of using polytape. Polytape is a ½-inch-wide material consisting of polyethylene fibers inter-woven with conductive wires (preferably 5 or more strands of stainless steel) to carry the electrical charge. Stretch two strands 8 inches and 18 inches above the ground. Tighten wire to remove visible sag. Connect fence wires to the fence terminal on the energizer.
  3. Grounding system - The grounding system is a series of three 6-foot galvanized steel rods driven into the earth at 12-foot intervals. Connect the rods in sequence using steel wire and connect the series to the ground terminal on the energizer.
  4. Voltmeter - a voltmeter is a device used to measure voltage on an energized fence. A voltmeter is essential to ensure that the system is working properly and to pinpoint problems when they occur.

When a goose touches an energized fence, the electric pulse passes from the energizer through the fence wire, through the goose, into the earth, to the grounding system, and back to the energizer. The result is an uncomfortable, but harmless, "shock" that geese learn to avoid.

Energized fencing must be properly constructed and maintained to be effective. Make the fence long enough so geese won't walk around it. Measure voltage weekly and keep fence wires clear of vegetation. Install energized-fence warning signs at least every 60 feet. Check the Homeowners' Guide to Goose Problems pdf for detailed information.

Energized fencing is prohibited in some cities. If you are interested in using energized fencing for geese, check local ordinances and contact your DNR Area Wildlife Office for more information.