How to confirm a hot electric fence?
The advice below works on all normal agricultural electric fences. However, if you’re seeing dead birds on the fence, this is not a normal electric fence!! KEEP AWAY! For normal agricultural electric fences: Take a piece of green grass about 10″ long and touch the end of it to the fence. If you don’t feel anything, slide the grass 1″ closer to the fence. Continue to slide the grass closer to the fence. If the fence is hot you should feel a tingle at some point. If not, you’re safe. There is lots of resistance in the grass to protect you from a full shock.
No, throwing something at it would not cause sparks. The easiest way to tell if a fence is hot is using a screw driver (making sure it has an insulated handle). Hold onto the insulated part of the screw driver and lay the main metal part of it against a metal fence post, then slowly lean the tip of the screw driver towards the fence. If it’s hot, you’ll see the spark (and depending on how hot the fence is you’ll hear it too.) If you can get to the point you can touch the fence with the screw driver and still not see the spark, hold the fence with your hand and feel for it. If the fence is hot enough to hurt you, you would have seen it with the screw driver trick. Most fences are not hot enough to hurt you. Whoever owns the fence will need to spend quite a bit of money to get it hot enough to hurt you. Remember that most electric fences have a “pulse”. They are not electric all the time. The fencer only sends out the shock about 1 per second (which is why you move the screwdriver slowly