Farm Fence Types and Tips by Livestock Species

Posted by Brett McCutcheon on Apr 13, 2017 1:36:39 PM

Fence Types Livestock Species

Farming isn’t cheap. To do it well, you need to protect your investment, if it’s land, crops, or animals. Fences keep your livestock in and predators out. Fencing also presents one of the costlier up-front investments you will make. But, pay for it now, or you’ll pay for it later in repairs and lost animals.  Livestock come in many sizes and there is no such thing as a one size fits all fence. Here is a list of fence types by species, and a description of why they are suited to the animal.

Chickens:

Fence Features Needed:

A chicken fence needs to keep chickens in and pests and predators out. Predators, like racoons and foxes, will happily eat your chickens if given the opportunity. Pests, like mice, love to eat chicken food and that can be a costly mistake, especially if you are feeding them organic.

Fence Type Suggested:

You may immediately think of the aptly named chicken wire as the obvious choice. It is lightweight, keeps chicken in, and is easily installed. But, both pest and predator can circumvent chicken wire. And if your chickens don’t have some place safe to sleep at night, like a closed coop, you may not have all your chickens in the morning. We suggest galvanized hardware cloth. It has smaller openings, is still flexible, and resists rust. It should be installed against posts with galvanized staples from a pneumatic gun, like the Beck Fence Stapling System®, to ensure a lasting quality product.

Goats:

Fence Features Needed:

A lasting goat fence is almost an oxymoron. Goats are wily and active and prefer to do as they please. They are also incredibly persistent and if one finds a weakness, they’ll repeatedly exploit it and eventually the whole herd will join them. The goat fence needs to be durable. The holes need to either be small enough to keep curious heads in, or large enough to let them freely peek out and pull back through. If they can get their head through, but their horns get caught on the way back, they get stuck and are basically bait for predators.

Fence Type Suggested:

4” or 12” spaced goat fencing, anything in between leads to stuck goats. If you are in an area with lots of small predators, you’ll probably want the 4”, but remember, it triples the amount of wire needed to make it and the price will reflect that. Fencing should be rigid and resist sagging at the constant rubbing of goats along it. Don’t space your posts further than recommended by the fence manufacturer, and use lots of staples. At eye level, you’ll want to run a single, heavy-gauge galvanized wire to prevent would-be climbers. You may want to go the next step and electrify that top piece as well.

Cattle:

Fence Features Needed:

Cows are big and strong, so a fence needs to hold up to them. It needs to provide a physical barrier as well as a visual barrier.

Fence Type Suggested:

There are three acceptable materials for a cattle fence: woven wire, barbed wire and high-tensile smooth wire. These each provide a physical and visual barrier when enough are used, and in the right combination. If you choose the woven, you’ll want to consider interspersing a strand of barbed or electrified high tensile along the top and in the middle. This will deter cattle from trying to get a good belly rub on it. The key to cattle fences are strong posts in combination with strong, lasting fasteners.

If you’re considering livestock farming, for business or pleasure, you need to include the fence costs in your planning and budget. A strong fence, built well, and with durable materials, can last you up to ten years. A cheap fence will need regular repairs, costing you time and money, and likely lead to loss of livestock. When installing a fence, use the best staples and a pneumatic installer, like the Beck Fence Stapling System®, because a fence is only as good as the fasteners holding it together.

View the Video: BECK Fence Stapling System in Action

Topics: Fencing, Fence Stapler

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