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'Breakaway' electric creek fence.

Mike Wargo, Williamsport, Indiana, used metal clothes hangers and plastic conduit to run a "breakaway" electric fence across a creek that runs through his pasture.

"It's an easy, cheap way to keep livestock from escaping," Wargo says. "The electric fence that surrounds the pasture is about 7 feet above the creek. I didn't want to install a barbed wire fence under it because every time the creek flooded, logs and other debris would take the fence out, and I'd have to fix it again."

To solve the problem, he added a second strand of high tensile wire about 2 feet below the original fence. He uses tin snips to cut the hook off each clothes hanger and then straightens them out. Once the clothes hanger is straight, he uses pliers to bend one end into a small hook, which is hooked over the wire. He uses wire cutters to trim off the bottom end of the wires to within about 1 foot of the ground, following the contour of the land.

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The plastic conduits have a pre-molded slit, allowing them to snap over the wire. The conduits serve as spacers to keep the wires apart.

"I've got four of these 'breakaway' fences on my farm and they really work good. I haven't had any problems with them in two years," Wargo says. "The hooks allow the hanger wires to sway back in a flood, allowing water, trash and other material to flow through without damaging the fence. They also maintain electrical contact while keeping the hangers from coming off the fence wire."

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Title Annotation:Rural Ingenuity Sparks Solutions from our friends at Farm Show
Publication:Grit
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2009
Words:264
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