Best Electric Fence Charger for Horses, Cattle, and Goats

Farm animals of any type can be escape artists, whether it is the goat trying to get out of its yard or the dog who wants to ‘escape’ into your chicken coop.

Sturdy fencing can keep this from happening.

However – you know your animals better than anyone. You know that it’s is only a matter of time before they find the right (or wrong) spot.

Electric fence chargers can be so helpful!

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They teach your animals that even getting too close to the fence is painful, so your animal can’t get close enough to the fencing to find a week spot.

So, here are some of the best electric fence chargers if you want to keep your animals safe and secure on your homestead, starting with our top pick!

Our Top Pick

Parmak Magnum 12

  • Built-in performance meter so it’s easy to make sure your fence is working right
  • Works for 3 months on a single charge
  • Weatherproof and portable
  • Made in the USA
  • Fences 30 miles

Our Best Electric Fence Chargers for Horses, Cattle, and Goats

  1. Parmak Magnum 12 (Our top choice for goats and sheep)
  2. Parmak Mark 8
  3. Zareba EDC25M (Our top choice for larger livestock)
  4. Parmak Super Energizer 5
  5. Patriot PE10
  6. Cyclops Brute 8
  7. Gallagher S100

Though I listed them in the order that I think is best, it might be different for you, depending on the type of animal you are trying to contain.

Horses and cows are smart enough to avoid the wires very quickly. Unfortunately, goats and sheep can be much more stubborn.

That is why goats often need a higher voltage to keep them contained.

So, the Zareba EDC25M might be best if you have larger livestock, and the Parmak Magnum 12 is the better choice for goats and sheep.

# 1 – Parmak Magnum 12

Parmak MAG12-UO 12-Volt Magnum Low...
228 Reviews
Parmak MAG12-UO 12-Volt Magnum Low...
  • 12-volt magnum low impedance battery operated 30-mile range electric fence charger
  • Parmak's exclusive built-in performance meter tells the exact condition of your fence;...
  • Magnum 12 provides up to three months of continuous operation between battery charges
  • Weatherproof, portable outdoor model for installation
  • Made in USA

Parmak is a great company that sells various electric fence chargers, with their Magnum 12 being my favorite. It is a reasonable price, covering 30 miles worth of fencing without any problem. The 12-volt battery puts out 2 to 10 kilovolts.

Its small size is supposedly an advantage, but I have found that it can be a disadvantage if you can’t remember where you put it or try to find it to check on it during a storm.

I liked that it has a meter showing that it is working and how much battery your unit has left before it needs charging. The fact that this Parmak charger has a 3-year warranty makes it stand out from those that don’t one at all.

What is lacking in this electric charger is the mounting bracket, which is only really needed to attach it to metal fence posts.

Though it claims weatherproof resistance, the humidity can sometimes get to it too. But, this is the same for most electric fences – as you know, if you live in a muggy part of the world.

What We Like

  • A 30-mile range for excellent flexibility.
  • Built-in performance meter helps to eliminate guesswork or uncertainty.
  • Up to a three-month uninterrupted operation on a single battery charge.

What We Don’t Like

  • No mounting bracket used to help attach to metal fence posts.
  • I question if any fence chargers are reliably weatherproof over the long-haul.

# 2 – Parmak Mark 8

MARK8 Low Impedance 110/120-Volt 30-Mile...
174 Reviews
MARK8 Low Impedance 110/120-Volt 30-Mile...
  • Low impedance 110/120-volt 30-mile range electric fence charger
  • Advanced solid state circuitry featuring Parmak's exclusive built-in performance meter,...
  • Ideal for livestock or predator control
  • Designed for medium pastures
  • Digital meter shows voltage on fence

This Parmak charger also covers 30 miles of fencing. The fact that it can put out several kilovolts means that it has enough of a bite to dissuade most animals.

What is nice about this one is the digital display that lets you know what output you are getting.

Another great feature is the replaceable fuses.

Eventually, your charger will get struck by lightning during a storm. Having replaceable fuses allows you to replace just a few parts instead of the whole thing.

Unfortunately, this unit is made for indoor use, meaning that it won’t stand up to the weather outside. It can make electrifying your fence inconvenient if you don’t have a shed or shelter near a part of your fence.

What We Like

  • Voltage of 110/120 packs plenty of punch – perfect for predator control and livestock.
  • Get voltage status at a glance via the built-in meter.
  • Works with single-wire or multi-wire fences.

What We Don’t Like

  • Unit must reside indoors. No weather resistance!

# 3 – Zareba EDC25M

Zareba EDC25M-Z 25-Mile Battery Operated...
63 Reviews
Zareba EDC25M-Z 25-Mile Battery Operated...
  • 25 mile range
  • Heavy, weed conditions
  • For controlling horses, pigs, cows and exotic animals, helps keep out rabbits, skunks,...
  • 12 Volt battery with pulsed DC output (1 second intervals)
  • Battery not included

This electric fence charger is by another good brand that I like.

It is a little shorter than the last option, as it only covers 25 miles, but this is long enough for most people. The voltage of it is over 11,000 volts, and it runs off of a 12-volt battery.

It is very weather-resistant, on top of having moisture-resistant internal parts. This last feature is necessary if you live in a humid area like I do.

This charger does have an indicator light that shows when it is working, though this doesn’t give you any indication of how low the battery might be getting. But it makes up for that by having a digital timing feature.

My favorite thing about this fence charger is that the 2-year warranty covers your charger even if the damage was due to lightning.

Since lightning is one of the worst killers of electric fence chargers and is often not covered in warranties, this makes this charger stand out.

What We Like

  • Handles heavily weeded conditions.
  • Accommodates pigs, cows, horses, plus exotic animals.
  • Helps to repel skunks, woodchucks, rabbits, and raccoons!

What We Don’t Like

  • Batteries not included!
  • Only covers 25 miles – the previous two fence-charging models cover 30 miles.

# 4 – Parmak Super Energizer 5

Parmak Super Energizer 5 Low Impedance...
391 Reviews
Parmak Super Energizer 5 Low Impedance...
  • 4 Low impedance 110/120 volt 50 mile range electric fence controller S.E. 5
  • Equipped with a built-in digital performance meter, which tells you the exact condition of...
  • Over 8,000 volts of holding power with 500 OHM load.
  • New color coded fence and ground terminals; red to the fence and black to ground; controls...
  • Charges over 50 miles of fence – 6.3+ Joules

This fence charger is perfect for large fields, covering 50 miles of fence.

It’s made for indoor use, though, so you will need to have at least a covering of some sort for it so that it stays out of the weather. It can give 2,000 to 4,000 volts without any problems, though.

This higher amount is perfect for those stubborn goats. You can also effortlessly tell the output you are getting at any given moment, thanks to the digital meter that shows it in kilovolts.

One thing about this Parmak charger that I think is nice is the clicking noise that it gives off almost every second. You may find this clicking sound annoying – but you can also know if the fence is working by listening to the sound.

What We Like

  • Massive 50-mile coverage! Perfect if you have boatloads of cattle.
  • Handles thick weeds, grass, and brush.
  • 8,000 volts and 500 OHM load pack tremendous power.

What We Don’t Like

  • Clicking sound may be undesirable and off-putting to some homesteaders and farmers!

# 5 – Patriot PE 10

Patriot PE10 Electric Fence Energizer,...
433 Reviews
Patriot PE10 Electric Fence Energizer,...
  • No load voltage = 5,000
  • 500 ohm load voltage = 3,200
  • 1 year full replacement warranty
  • Made in New Zealand
  • Main color is black

The Patriot PE 10 s what you might call the ‘cheap’ option regarding electric fence chargers.

Still, it is more than enough to do what you need it to do. It covers 10 miles worth of fencing, which is about the right amount to cover a small area.

Though small, it can still charge a fence between 5,000 to 9,000 volts. It does this in a pulsing method, so it is not a steady stream.

For stubborn animals, the pulsing isn’t ideal. But, the pulsing action also lightens the load on your electric bill. So, you will have to decide for yourself if this is right for you.

What We Like

  • Low-cost option for small homesteads of up to forty acres.
  • Generous warranty of 1 year.
  • Made in New Zealand!

What We Don’t Like

  • Fence charger doesn’t offer a constant charge.
  • The fence charger pulses once per second.

# 6 – Cyclops Brute 8

Cyclops Brute - 8 Joule Fence Charger -...
75 Reviews
Cyclops Brute - 8 Joule Fence Charger -...
  • Strongest Line, Battery and Solar Operated Chargers Built in the USA - 100 acres - 8 miles...
  • Strongest Lightning Protection in the World
  • Best Quality Parts Available Worldwide
  • Price/Performance - Beats New Zealand Imports
  • Built in the U.S.A. / Unsurpassed Animal Holding Power

This electric charger is the one that you may want to get for that stubborn bull that is determined to get to the other side of the fence. It has 8 joules of power that cover a fair amount of area.

My favorite part about this charging unit is the lightning protection that it gives. This is in a pulse instead of a steady stream, but the power in each pulse is more than adequate for keeping animals contained.

Also, Taylor Fence – the company that makes this electric charger – says that they will gladly test any other units up against their own so that you can have a better comparison.

Though they don’t say how long it will take them to do this, it is not something other company volunteers to do.

What We Like

  • Excellent versatility with seven models ranging from 1.5 – 30 joules.
  • Lightning protection helps to keep your fence charger alive longer.
  • Built in the USA.

What We Don’t Like

  • Some of the other fence chargers have the Cyclops beat on price.

# 7 – Gallagher S100

Gallagher S100 Solar Electric Fence...
12 Reviews
Gallagher S100 Solar Electric Fence...
  • TAKE IT ANYWHERE – The S100 Electric Fence Charger is perfect for remote locations with...
  • PORTABLE AND SUPER TOUGH SOLAR FENCE ENERGIZER: The Gallagher S100 is a portable, super...
  • PACKED WITH FEATURES – The S100 Solar Electric Fence Charger comes with 360-degree...
  • BUILT TO LAST - Gallagher is the trusted name in animal management solutions. The S100...

The Galagher S100 is the only solar-powered electric fence charger on my list. It is a bit more expensive, being solar, but it has several other features that I know you will like.

The 1 joule of energy is enough for around 30 miles of fencing, which is about average for chargers and more than enough for most farm needs.

This solar charger does have a battery – so it will work for a couple of weeks even with no sun. In addition, it is both waterproof and weather-resistant, so you can feel free to put it almost anywhere.

What I like most about the Gallagher S100 is the fact that you can program.

Thanks to this, you can have it frequently pulse during the day, when your animals are more active and trying to escape, and less frequently at night.

Such a schedule can save on the energy it has to put out, helping the unit have a longer life.

What We Like

  • Perfect if your homestead is in the middle of nowhere – runs on the sun!
  • Generous 3-year warranty.
  • Smart batteries can run up to three weeks without new sunlight.

What We Don’t Like

  • Advanced technology comes with a high cost!

Best Electric Fence Charger Buyer’s Guide

Using solar energy to power an electric fence on the farm

Buying the best electric fence charger can make you ask yourself a lot of questions.

So, it is best to go over at least a few of these electric fence variables. That way, you have a better idea of what you would like in a charger vs. what you need in one.

Why Are Weed Conditions Vital When Choosing Fence Chargers?

Weeds, especially weeds that are tall enough to touch your electrified wire, often hold a lot of moisture in the early hours of the morning.

This moisture can cause the plant to act as a grounding rod! The rod transfers some of the electricity from the wire down into the ground.

As a result, the wire beyond that weed is not as electrified as it should be if it has any electricity in it at all.

Some electric fence chargers put off enough electricity to ‘burn’ through the weeds, killing them when they touch it. This weed-frying action makes caring for your wires easier, but you should still walk around and clip back weeds yourself regularly.

How High Should My Electric Fence Be?

The height is going to depend on the type of animal that you are containing.

  • Cattle need the wire to be at least 49-inches high;
  • For bulls, you will want it closer to 60-inches.

As for the height for chicken fences? That depends more on the type of animal you are trying to keep out of your coop.

The right height for goats will vary as to whether you have minis or not.

  • However, most goats and sheep are stubborn enough to be better suited by having multiple electric wires.
  • One wire can go around 40-inches high to prevent them from jumping over, and the other can be lower down at roughly 20-inches.

You can do more than two, but you probably want at least that amount.

Also, be careful about the possibility of your goats or sheep getting their horns stuck. You may wish to find a voltage that irritates them, but that won’t kill them just in case they do get their horns caught on it.

Also worth noting is that the lower to the ground your electric wire will be, the more vital it is that it be able to handle weeds well.

How Can You Tell if Your Fence is Working?

Most electric fence chargers have some way of letting you know if the wire is ‘live’ or not. Sometimes there will be a simple indicator light on the box that lights up, but there can also be digital displays that tell you how much voltage your unit is giving off.

Your electric fence unit might also have a clicking sound if there are no lights or numbers.

The clicking sound is more common in chargers that pulse, and you hear a click every second or so according to how fast the pulsing is.

If worst comes to worst, you can purchase a wire indicator.

Speedrite Fence Alert
215 Reviews
Speedrite Fence Alert
  • Can be used on any type of electric fence including steel or aluminum wire and on portable...
  • Works with all energizers,the item is not intended to flash when the fence is operating...
  • No ground wires or external powers sources required
  • Typical battery life is 5 years on standby or up to 2 weeks of continuous flashing
  • Two preset voltage triggers can be selected

If all else fails, you can keep a metal screwdriver with a plastic handle nearby. Touching only the handle, tap the electrified wire and you should see sparks and maybe even get an arc of electricity.

Choosing the Best Electric Fence Charger Made Easy

Hopefully, this talk about electric fence chargers has answered a few of your questions.

The Parmak Magnum 12 electric charger is my favorite. I never have a whole lot of money to spare! So, it is nice to have a good quality fence charger that I can get for a reasonable price.

An electric fence can save you a whole lot of trouble, as I learned from experience when I learned that my baby goats could get over my 5-foot fence by running along the side of it somehow.

Even watching them do it – yes, they did it with me standing right there without being shy about it! – I still couldn’t believe them.

Read Our Best Cow and Cattle Guides!

Last update on 2021-10-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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