In order to safely contain cattle, you need an electric fence charger that is able to deliver a minimum of 2,000 – 3,000 volts – though, in the case of containing bulls, 4,000 volts is recommended, and 5,000 volts to keep predators out.
While there may be no shortage of fence chargers that are able to achieve this, here are your best options depending on whether you want a solar charger, need something more powerful, or are operating on a tight budget.
4 of the Best Electric Fence Chargers for Cattle
Best Overall: Gallagher M1100 Electric Fence Charger
The Gallagher M1100 is a feature-packed electric fence charger that is tough, reliable, powerful, and suitable for larger pastures.New: $575.99
The Gallagher M1100 is our top electric fence charger to keep cattle contained because it is tough, reliable, powerful, and suitable for larger pastures.
The M1100 is able to power up to a 110-mile single wire or 36 miles of multi-wire fence perimeter, covering approximately 280 – 650 acres of land. As the charger has been tested in extreme conditions, its reliability can’t be beaten either.
Electric fence chargers can sometimes be a challenge to set up, especially if you’ve never used one before. Fortunately, Gallagher has made the process as simple as possible thanks to split bolt terminals for easy installation.
The Quickscan output voltage bar graph so you can see the output voltage of the energizer at just a glance is another much-appreciated feature.
Other features that make the Gallagher M1100 stand out include its added power reserve, built-in lightning diverter, and adaptive output control technology that automatically increases the voltage output from the added power reserve when fence conditions change
Most Powerful: Zareba EAC200M-Z Electric Fence Charger
The most powerful electric fence charger that is also made right here in the USA.New: $394.02
If you’re looking for the most powerful electric fence charger for cattle, look no further than the Zareba EAC200M-Z, which is the most powerful U.S built electric fence charger available.
Featuring 15 output joules and suitable for use on up to 200 miles of steel fencing, the Zareba EAC200M-Z is the perfect choice if you want to sleep easy at night knowing that no predators are getting in and your cattle aren’t getting out either.
The EAC200M-Z features a system-indicator light, which flashes when active; comes with easy-to-use wingnuts to help secure your hookup wires; a heavy-duty case that includes 4 mounting slots; and a Zareba Storm Guard unit that delivers excellent lightning protection.
Best Solar: Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak 12
The Solar-Pak 12 is a solar fence charger that won't let you down when the weather turns bad.New: $299.99
Suitable for large pastures and with a range of 30 miles, the Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak 12 is your best option if you’re looking for a solar electric fence charger for cattle.
Some farmers and ranchers worry about using a solar charger in winter or in states that don’t get much sunshine. It’s a legitimate concern and some solar electric fence chargers will undoubtedly let you down. Thankfully, this isn’t the case with the Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak 12 that can be relied on all year around wherever you are.
Besides the charger’s reliability, what we really like is the intuitive and easy-to-read performance meter that indicates the charge level of the battery, and displays the amount of voltage on the fence.
Budget Pick: Zareba EAC25M-Z
A USA-made, ruggedly constructed electric fence charger at this price point can't be beaten if you need to cover a small area.New: $96.78
If you’re operating on a tight budget, you can’t do better than the Zareba EAC25M-Z. Built in the USA, the charger is reliable with a rugged construction and is able to energize up to 25 miles of fence, or up to 12 miles with light weeds or poly fence line.
Installation is quick and easy too thanks to the charger’s easy-grip screw-on terminal knobs that connect to your ground rods and your live fence wire.
At this price, you can’t expect in-depth monitoring. So it’s no surprise that there is just a simple “Fence OK” light that informs you whether the charger is functioning properly or not. Still, this should be good enough for most.
What to Consider When Buying an Electric Fence Charger for Cattle
- Solar vs. Mains Powered
The first thing you should consider if you want to buy a cattle electric fence charger is whether you should opt for a solar-powered or mains-powered fence charger.
For some, this decision has already been made if there isn’t an electrical outlet nearby. For others, the decision comes down to weather conditions, the power required, and costs.
The range advertised is usually in the best-case scenario under optimal conditions. So you always want to leave a little room for error. It’s, therefore, better to buy an electric fence charger that has more range than you think you might need than less.
Additionally, you should know the kind of fence you’ll be using, the grounding, as well as any vegetation and undergrowth in the area you’re planning on putting up a fence.
At a minimum, you need a fence charger that is able to deliver 2,000 volts to 3,000 volts to the fence line. If you want to contain bulls, though, 3,000 volts to 4,000 volts is recommended. To keep predators out, a minimum of 5,000 volts is recommended.
Remember that the length of the fence, the type of wire, and if there’s any vegetation in the way can all affect voltage levels too.
- Weather Conditions
Besides the amount of sunlight, which isn’t always necessarily that important considering the solar fence charger that you buy, and as long as no shadows or vegetation block the path of light, you also want to consider the wind, rainfall, and lightning strikes.
A dependable charger should be able to handle the elements, even in extreme cases.