Cattle, Horses, and Bison


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The problems that utilities have with horses, cattle, and bison (before you ask... yes, there are utilities in Indiana having problems with bison) are due to one simple fact...these animals are large. Strangely enough, though, each of these animals tend to cause a different type of problem.

The utility equipment involved are almost always poles and guy wires, and, if accessible, sometimes padmount (underground) transformers or switching cabinets.

Cattle, of course, are notorious for using guy wires as "back-scratchers". Cattle, like most herd animals, are creatures of habit and once they've formed an attachment to a particular guy wire, it is virtually impossible to talk them out of using it on a regular basis. Once cattle start rubbing against the guy wire it doesn't take long before the guy wires are loosened enough for the pole to start leaning. Dealing with cattle is definitely an example of "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Horses, on the other hand, tend to create collision problems more frequently than outages. Horses will run along the fence line and collide with guy wires. While this usually doesn't cause an outage, it can cause serious injury or death to the horse. If this occurs, the utility may be held liable for damages. That is not to say that horses don't also occasionally use guy wires as "back-scratchers". The burn on this horse was caused when the horse, rubbing on the guy wire, caused the pole to sway with enough force to snap the phase wire. Horses are nimble-footed and can usually avoid an obstacle, even at a full gallop, if they can see it.

Bison are being raised on private land in some parts of the country which is why some utilities are having a problem. Bison, however, are not domesticated animals. They are very large, very strong, and can be very dangerous. They will use any upright object they find as a "head-rub". They will rub the bark completely off trees and push over utility poles. In these cases, drastic action may be the only solution. That is, move the pole or barricade it.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
If you would like some help in designing and implementing a comprehensive program for getting your animal-caused outages under control, drop us a line. Don't forget to check the Bulletin Board. If you don't see anything there to help, leave a questionand we'll post it. Be sure to check the Product Catalog to see what commercial products are available


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