How to Install Poly Rope on an Electric Fence

Livestock owners and gardeners alike often turn to electric fencing to provide a successful method of fencing animals in or out of a specific area. Electric poly rope is constructed of a sturdy, synthetic polyethylene or polypropylene material intertwined with multiple thin strands of stainless steel wire that conduct electricity. Electric poly rope is a psychological barrier; once animals become familiar with your electric poly rope fence, you should be able to contain them easily, even if your electricity is turned off for short periods of time. According to Cherry Hill, author of "Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage," you should plan on using at least five wires to create a general purpose livestock fence that can contain animals ranging in size from horses and cattle to sheep and goats.

Use your poly rope fence to contain cows and other livestock.

Step 1

Check the spacing of your fence posts. Ideally, wooden posts or steel T-posts should be no further apart than about 18 to 24 feet. If your fence has temporary posts, such as metal rebar posts or step-in plastic posts, make sure they're spaced more closely, typically between 10 and 16 feet apart. If your posts are spaced too far apart, simply adjust the spacing by hammering additional steel T-posts or metal rebar posts in between the posts that your fence already has. It's better for your fence to have too many posts than not enough.

Step 2

Install plastic poly rope insulators on your posts. If you're constructing a 5-wire general purpose electric fence, place the insulators approximately 6, 12, 22, 32 and 42 inches from the ground on each corner and line post. Use hammer-in insulators for wooden posts, snap-on insulators for T-posts and slide-on insulators for metal rebar posts.

Step 3

String poly rope through the entire bottom set of insulators, pulling it taut and tying it off on itself with a simple double knot when you get back to the first insulator. Repeat this process for each of the other strands of poly rope on your fence.

Step 4

Connect all charged ropes in your fence together using insulated cable; typically, you should plan on charging every other rope in an electric fence, starting with the bottom strand. Cut a section of insulated cable that is long enough to reach between the bottom wire and the third-from-the-bottom wire. Strip back the first 2 to 3 inches of insulation; connect one end of the insulated cable to the bottom wire and connect the other end of the insulated cable to the third wire. Repeat this process to connect the third wire to the fifth wire.

Step 5

Measure out a section of insulated cable that is long enough to reach from the bottom strand of poly rope to your fence charger unit. Strip back the first 2 to 3 inches of insulation from both ends of the cable. Attach one end to the bottom strand of your fence and the other end to the positively-charged fence terminal on your fence charger unit.

Step 6

Cut white plastic bags into 6-inch-long strips that are about 2 inches wide. Tie the strips to the poly rope every 10 to 12 feet to make the strands more visible to the animals and to any people who may be working near your electric fences. Attach yellow or red warning signs to your poly rope to prevent instances of accidental electric shock.