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Our Garden Fences: Keep Out All Small Animals above Squirrel Size: Build Your Own Fence

Plan/Build/Buy Your Own Fence
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Plan/Build/Buy Your Own Fence


To create a fence of this kind (for keeping out all small animals above squirrel size) you need the following materials: An electric fence charger/energizer, fence rolls, fiberglass posts, clip-on insulators, electric fence wire, hookup wire, a weed barrier, a ground rod, a fence tester, warning signs, and installation instructions.

To follow our step-by-step guidelines below, read each section and add appropriate items to your shopping cart.


Electric Fence Chargers/Energizers

One of the three low-key chargers (0.04 to .06 joules) below are all you need to repel small animals with a short fence. However, should you be dealing with a significant power drain problem (weeds or fallen branches touching the electric fence wires), you may want a stronger charger, so we offer a small selection of these. Should you want even stronger chargers more suited to dealing with livestock, deer, and bears, you can find them on our horse fence, deer fence, or bear fence websites.

AC-powered Chargers

Charger: AC-powered: Power Wizard PW50, 0.05 Joules - ON SALE - CLEARANCE (product details)
Charger: AC-powered: Power Wizard PW50, 0.05 Joules - ON SALE - CLEARANCE
  • ID: 01-PWIZ-AC.05J
  • Retail Price: $28.95
  • Our Price: $19.95
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Charger: AC-powered: Power Wizard PW100, 0.1 Joules (product details)
Charger: AC-powered: Power Wizard PW100, 0.1 Joules
  • ID: 01-PWIZ-AC.1J
  • Retail Price: $32.99
  • Our Price: $27.99
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Battery-powered Chargers 

Solar-powered Charger 


Fence Rolls

Unless you already have a barrier fence in place or want a pure electric fence, get enough of these fence rolls to place a low (18 inch) barrier all around your garden, just a few inches behind the electric fence.


Fiberglass Posts

If you are only building an electric fence (not recommended unless you already have a barrier fence), get only the 18-inch posts. Plan on getting enough to place one at each corner and then to space them roughly 8 feet apart around the outside of your garden. These posts should be inserted into the ground 9 inches.

If you are building an electric plus barrier fence, get both the 18 and 27 inch posts. Plan on spacing the 18-inchers about 8 feet apart and the 27-inchers about 6 feet apart around your fence. Plan on inserting both types into the ground 9 inches.


Get two for each of your 18-inch posts.


Fence Wire

Get enough electric fence wire (aluminum wire or polywire) to go twice around the fence. Most gardeners will want the aluminum electric fence wire. It comes in various lengths and lasts well. But once unwound, this aluminum wire cannot be wound up again, while the polywire can. So if you want to take your fence up in winter, or if you plan to move it about, get the polywire.

This product is unavailable or out of stock.
This product is unavailable or out of stock.

Hookup Wire

If you’re using a battery-powered or solar-powered charger you probably don’t need hookup wire. Just put your charger within a few feet of the fence; attach your wire (or polywire) to the charger’s positive terminal; and start hanging the wire from the appropriate insulators, making sure the wire touches nothing after leaving the charger until it reaches the first insulator.

But if you have an AC-powered charger and an AC outlet more than a few feet away from the fence, you definitely need hookup wire. That’s because running an ordinary extension cord from the AC outlet and plugging the charger into it near the fence is a poor idea. Here’s why: House current is dangerous, while the charger’s low-power pulsed output is not. So plug the charger into the AC outlet directly, and then carry the charger’s output to the fence.

Unfortunately, you can’t do this with an ordinary extension cord designed to hold in 200 volts. Voltage is the electrical equivalent of pressure, and your charger puts out harmless but very high voltage. So you need something that can hold in very high voltage, and that’s what electric fence hookup wire does.

Most people won’t need over 50 feet of hookup wire to get from the charger to the fence; but if you do, longer lengths are available.

This product is unavailable or out of stock.
Conductor: Insulated Hookup Wire, 1,000 ft. (Baygard) (product details)
Conductor: Insulated Hookup Wire, 1,000 ft. (Baygard)
  • ID: 02-32A
  • Retail Price: $187.99
  • Our Prices:
    1 $178.99
    2+ $169.99
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Weed Barrier

Get enough of this weed barrier to go once around the fence (underneath it). Weeds pose problems for electric fences—especially ones where the charged wires are low. If weeds come up and touch the wires they can drain away power. In fact, they can drain so much power that there’s not enough left to shock the target animals.

To help keep weeds off the charged wires, put a 3-foot wide strip of black polyethylene weed barrier under the path of the charged wire, and then put down an inch or two of wood chips or pine bark mulch on top of the poly film to keep the sun’s UV rays from destroying the film. (The inexpensive poly film we offer works well with either wood chips or pine bark to keep down weeds.)

Weed barrier, black poly, 1.3 mils, 3ft x 50ft (product details)
Weed barrier, black poly, 1.3 mils, 3ft x 50ft
  • ID: 14-36
  • Retail Price: $6.98
  • Our Prices:
    1 - 4 $5.98
    5 - 9 $5.68
    10+ $5.38
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Ground Rod

In general, short garden fences (where the whole fence is within 200 feet of the ground rod) only need a little 2-foot ground rod. Put this close to your fence and connect it to your charger with any metal wire (heavily insulated wire is not needed). If the ground along the fence line is very dry or frozen at times when the fence should be working, or if the fence is long, you may need the 6-foot ground rod.

This product is unavailable or out of stock.


Electric Fence Testers

Ordinary voltmeters can’t read the pulsed high-voltage output of your charger—either when it comes out of the charger itself or when it is on your fence. You need an electric fence tester for that. Our one-lite tester merely tells you that there is voltage present, and its light can be hard to read in bright sun (we use the tube from inside a roll of paper towels to view it). So for either of these reasons you may prefer to get the 5-lite tester, which lights up better and detects a range of different voltages.

Warning Signs (optional)

Your fence won’t harm anything, even sparrows. But warning signs will remind both the gardener and visitors of the fence’s presence.

Warning Signs, pack of 3 (product details)
Warning Signs, pack of 3
  • ID: 10-01
  • Retail Price: $3.69
  • Our Prices:
    1 $3.39
    2+ $3.19
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Gates (no supplies needed) 

Gates for barrier fences: You can make a gate in the barrier fence when you install it. At the place where you want the gate, cut out the proper width of barrier fence out of the 50-foot length of barrier fence with wire cutters. Overlap this about 6 inches with the barrier fence on both sides of the gate. Then take two 27-inch posts with two insulators attached (the top insulators with their hangers upside down). Insert the posts into the ground where you want them (one on each side of the gate) until their tops match the top of the fence. Put wires from the barrier fence and gate door into the top insulator on one post and slide the insulator down until the fence and gate door are set firmly on the ground. Repeat with the other post. Then slide the lower insulators up until they catch the fence wires on the gate door and fence, and continue sliding the insulators up until these wires are at the bottom of the insulators’ hangers. Your gate is now in place. To open the gate, slide the top insulators up and remove the gate door.

Gates for electric fences: Your electric fence is only 9 inches high, so for most purposes you don’t need a gate. Should you need to admit heavy equipment, you can create an opening by raising several of the  18-inch posts out of the ground and raising the fence wires high enough to admit the equipment.

Or else, if you really want a gate in your electric fence, do as follows:

1)    Put two 18-inch posts into the ground where you want the sides of the gate to be.

2)    Start running your charged wire along the top set of insulators where the charge comes in to the fence, continuing until you reach the nearest post at one side of the planned gate opening.

3)     At this gate post, run the wire down from the post’s top insulator to its bottom insulator, and then continue running the wire along the bottom run of insulators all the way around the fence, past the last post on the other side of the gate,and back to the gate post where you started the bottom run of wire.

4)    Here (at this same post) run the wire up from the bottom insulator to the top insulator, and then continue back (across the second gate post) all the way you came, stringing the wire along the top insulators until you get back to where the top run of wire began, at which point the wire can be terminated.

5)    To open the gate, go up to the gate post where all the action happened, lift the wire hanging from the post’s top and bottom insulators off those insulators, and pull the wire back to open the gate. To close the gate, simply put the wire back where it was on the gate post.


For gates designed for taller electric fences, visit the gates pages on our electric horse fence website.


Installation Instructions

Free installation instructions for your fence are available on this website. To view them click here


Purchasing Your Fence Materials

If you have gone down the above list putting the appropriate items in a shopping cart, you now have all the materials needed to create a McGregor Fence for keeping out all small animals above squirrel size and are ready to complete your purchase by checking out.

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