Best Electric Fence Charger for Cattle of 2020 | Reviews
Electric fence chargers provide the power required to keep your electric animal fencing live and healthy. Energizing your fencing is imperative if you own a large area of land with lots of cattle, horses or goats running around. Most people will have some sort of fencing in place to stop animals escaping, or even predators getting near them, but electric fencing is required for stopping larger, more powerful animals from escaping or entering.
There are a whole range of different electric fence energizers to choose from, each one varying in power, range coverage, as well as having the option of a standard or solar powered charger for your electric fence.
The right option really depends on your electric fence setup, as well as what animals you are looking to contain or deter. We have listed our picks and reviews of the best 5 electric fence chargers for containing your cattle, or even deterring those unwanted bears or deer.
Top 5 Rated Comparison Table
Best Range & Power
Great AC Pick
The Best Electric Fence Chargers for Cattle Reviewed
My #1 best overall choice comes from Parmak, a very well known electrical fence product manufacturer from the USA. The Parmak DF-SP-LI is a solid solar fence charger that’s economical and has great functionality. It’s one of the most popular models out there on the marketplace, and a quick look at Amazon shows that it’s a consistent top-seller. It’s designed for smaller to medium-sized land that contains livestock.
What I like about this energizer is that it offers a little bit of everything, at what I see as a reasonable price. Firstly, it covers up to 25 miles of land which can adequately charge a medium sized pasture's electric fencing. Being solar, it is also a very economical solution that appeals to people that own cattle and livestock, and are running on a tight energy budget. The unit itself is also robust, long-lasting and handles poor weather conditions fairly comfortably.
Depending on the size of fence and the size of livestock you’re trying to contain with your electrical fence, the 1.4 joules output may not be strong enough for you. There have been some quality control problems with some models for consumers, however, Parmak are usually quite responsive to any problems or questions. It is one of the more expensive cattle fence chargers on our list, but I believe the price is justified because of the solar feature and how much money that could save you in the long run.
Verdict: Best Overall
- Made in the USA
- Great for small-medium sized pastures
- Strong, robust unit for all weather conditions
- Economical energy solution thanks to the solar panel
- Parmak are responsive to any problems
- Some quality control issues - contact Parmak
- May not be strong enough for larger areas of fencing
- Expensive - but justified thanks to the solar panel
Another pick from Parmak, the Solar-Pak 12 is more powerful than the DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6, and is our best solar fence charger for cattle pick. We’ve been clear in highlighting the fact that Parmak owns a respectable share of the fence charger market, and this energizer is another reason why. We know that solar models are popular for livestock as they help you save money, but why does this particular model stand out?
The reason that this is our top solar pick is the power output that it offers. It can cover an electric fence range of up to 30 miles and puts out 3.1+ joules of power, making it an ideal pick for larger pastures. Again, you are purchasing an energizer that’s manufactured in the USA and is designed to withstand all weather conditions, with Parmak putting their full trust in it with a 2-year warranty. The solar panel that this unit has built-in is very efficient and in my opinion, the best out there.
The obvious thing that sticks out and may hold you back from purchasing this is the price. It is very expensive compared with our other picks, but it is designed for larger areas of land with more cattle moving around. Another thing that you have to be careful with when purchasing one of these is knock-off models, there are a lot of fakes floating around on the market.
Verdict: Top Solar Pick for Cattle
- Powers up a large area of fencing - 30 miles
- Strong output
- Great solar charging
- Robust and long-lasting
- Very expensive
- Knock-offs floating around
My budget pick comes from the lesser-known manufacturer Patriot. This is a small electric fence charger that you can hold in one hand comfortably, weighing in at roughly 1.5 lbs. The Patriot PE2 is not made in the USA like other models on the list, instead, it is actually manufactured in New Zealand. Offering a 1-year full replacement warranty, it provides a smaller energy output of 0.10 joules.
I simply picked this as it’s a reliable, cheap and good value for money charger. It can be relatively expensive for a good electric fence charger, and not everyone has that kind of money to spend, especially if you manage livestock, that’s why this little energizer appeals to people on a tight budget. As mentioned above, it’s also very light and easy to carry. Installation and setup is simple and straightforward. It’s a reliable model that offers a small output of energy for a cheap price.
With that being said, the energy output of 0.10 joules will not be enough to power up larger pastures that contain cattle. Typically the Patriot PE2 is more suited to smaller areas of fencing, and is primarily designed for keeping out smaller animals such as dogs, but we thought we would add it to the cattle list as a cheap, low-power option.
Verdict: Budget Pick
- Very cheap
- Reliable and long-lasting
- Easy to install
- 1-year warranty included
- Low energy output
- Not designed for bigger areas of fencing
- Not manufactured in the USA (depends if you see that as a negative or not)
Zareba have been a well-known face in the electric fence industry for over 60 years, offering everything you would ever need when setting up, maintaining or upgrading your electrical fencing. The EAC200M-Z is our pick for the best range and power, packing some serious power with a 15 joules output and being capable of powering up to 200 miles worth of electrical fencing. Manufactured in the USA, this is a very powerful solution that’s perfect for containing horses, cattle and livestock, as well as deterring unwanted wildlife and predators such as deer, coyote, hog, bear etc.
This is a powerhouse pick that offers power and range that’s hard to match. It’s by far the most powerful pick on our list at 15 joules output and 200-mile coverage. You’ll be hard pressed finding an energizer on the market with this kind of power, making it perfect for people with large areas of land. If you have a large area of electric fencing then sometimes this requires the installation of a few models to power it up, but the Zareba EAC200M-Z has enough power in 1 of these units alone. You also get the reassurance that you’re buying into a charger that Zareba believes in, which is why you’re covered with a full 3-year warranty with this purchase.
The obvious downside is the price. It is very costly and the most expensive model that we reviewed. Another thing that may put you off purchasing is the fact that this AC powered unit is not waterproof. This means that you will have to plug it into a mains connector that is undercover and protected.
Verdict: Most Powerful and Best Range
- Very powerful at 15 joules output
- 200-mile range
- Storm guard lightning protection included
- Lots of useful features included
- 3-year full warranty
- Perfect for containing and protecting lots of livestock
- Manufactured in the USA
- Very expensive
- Not waterproof
Gallagher are a trusted brand in the electric fence industry that are known for producing quality products that are designed to last, this is backed up by the fact that Gallagher offers a full 7-year warranty on all their energizers. We have chosen their M300 model as a reliable alternative choice to any of my other non-solar picks. This is an ideal pick for smaller-medium sized pastures that contain horses, goats and cattle.
One thing that stands out with the Gallagher M300 is the astounding number of positive reviews and high customer satisfaction rate that it has, this is evident on the Amazon product page. It offers a reasonable 3 joules of energy output and can power up to 50 miles worth of fencing. This is a decent amount of power for your cattle fence and will be enough as to keep out some unwanted animals. The actual unit itself is quality and will provide enough charge for many years after purchase, Gallagher gives you peace of mind by offering a 7-year warranty on their chargers which says a lot about their design.
If you have a medium - large+ sized pasture or area of land, then this would not be the right charger for you. It also may not have the power to deter bigger intruders such as bears if they are a problem in your area. This AC powered unit is sealed but is not waterproof, therefore, you will have to ensure it is protected and concealed somewhere from the elements.
Verdict: Great Non-Solar AC Pick
- Quality design
- Long-lasting AC unit - backed by 7-year warranty
- High customer satisfaction rate
- Ideal non-solar pick for small-medium pastures (50 miles)
- Reasonably priced
- Not enough energy for bigger pastures or areas of land
- May not deter larger intruders
- Is not waterproof
Things To Consider When Buying A Good Fence Energizer
Joules and Range
This is the level of energy that the charger puts out. Different models have different joule outputs, this is why it’s important to first be aware of how much electrical fencing you need to charge, and the size of animals that you want to contain or deter with it. If you have a larger pasture, then something with more joules and mile coverage would be required, though at the same time, you have to ensure that the output is correct for the size and level of animal that it will potentially shock, you don’t want anything that could potentially kill the animals. You can check the output of your fence to make sure it's working correctly by using a special electric fence tester.
There are 3 types of energizers that you can purchase - AC, DC and solar powered. All 3 of them use a different power source to energize them, with AC models needing to be plugged into a power source, DC is connected to a battery, and solar models use a panel to generate energy from light.
Because we’re playing with electrics and the outdoors here, the last thing you want to do is purchase a charger that’s not waterproof and leave it out in the rain. Typically, AC powered units will not be waterproof as they’re usually plugged into a power source, along with DC models they may need something built around them to protect them from the elements. Most solar electric fence chargers you will find will be waterproof and designed to stand up to rough weather, this is simply because they need to be out in the open to pick up light that they can turn into energy.
Warranty and Returns
Fence chargers can be expensive, especially if you have a large pasture or area of land that requires more than one model to power the electric fencing. Most units you’ll find on the market are covered by good warranties and return policies. All the manufacturers listed in this review offer a warranty, with some offering much bigger warranties than others. Most of the manufacturers in this industry are responsive, and pretty easy to deal with when looking to return a unit or have it repaired.
That’s our 5 top electric fence charger picks for keeping those cattle and horses in check on your pasture or land. Just remember to take into consideration the mileage of your electric fencing and what power is required for the animals you wish to contain or deter. Cattle fencing isn’t just about containing, you have to get the power balance right and use something that will not harm your horses or cattle, but at the same time be powerful enough to deter unwanted animals such as bears, coyote, deer and hogs. Electric fencing is no joke and can be dangerous, take you and your animals safety seriously by purchasing the right energizer for your setup.