Things to Consider When Choosing a Stock Fence
There are many different types of stock fencing materials to choose from, thanks to new technologies and improvements. When you are determining which stock fence is best for your farm, you need to consider the stock netting, including the type of wire and the type of knot, as well as the pattern in the mesh. Stock fencing has different tensile measurements that dictate how much pressure it can handle before breaking and you will want to make this determination first.
In addition to the stock fencing, you can choose wood, synthetic materials, barbed wire, and electric fencing. Each type of fencing has its own pros and cons; d which you need will depend on what kind of livestock you have.
If you have horses, you will first want to make sure that whatever fencing you install is something they can see. If you are going to use stock fencing, you need to make sure that it is clearly visible to the horse and you need sturdy posts to attach it to. You can actually use traditional wood post-and-rail fencing and add the stock fencing to it. Take a look at the following choices:
- High-Tensile Polymer: This material is sleek and modern, and it looks clean and professional. It is very safe for horses and holds up well in all climates. The biggest disadvantage of using it for horses is the visibility. If you space the posts closer together and use a top rail of visible fence, this will solve the problem.
- Wooden Rail: This is the safest type of fencing but it can be expensive both to install and maintain.
- Vinyl Rail: It resembles wooden fencing but it is easy to install. The biggest disadvantage is that it is less sturdy and rails can pop out easily.
- Barbed Wire: This is not safe for horses. It’s hard to see and it can lead to disaster if a horse gets caught up in it.
- No-Climb Fencing: This refers to strong wire woven in a grid. It attaches to posts. It offers a clean appearance but needs maintenance because the wire stretches. It will keep predators out of your fields. It is best for flat land and straight fence lines.
- Electric Tape: This is very visible and horses learn to stay away quickly. It doesn’t hold up well in windy conditions.
There are different options for cattle fencing but the most common to install is electric fencing, barbed wire, high-tensile smooth wire, and woven wire. You will need posts to attach the fencing to and you need to consider both the physical boundary and they visual boundary. The important thing is to make sure that the fence is 54 inches tall to keep the cattle inside. If you are separating cows from bulls, the fence needs to have a heavier gauge wire. These stock fence materials make good choices for cattle:
- Electric Fencing: One of the most popular and effective ways to ensure cattle don't escape, but is probably the most expensive.
- Barbed Wire: This keeps cattle away from the fence line. It forms a natural physical boundary. You can attach it to posts and leave a suspended wire below. It will sway, which helps cattle to see it.
- Woven Wire: This can have large or small spaces between wires. It is good for keeping predators out. It attaches to posts and is easy for cattle to see. It won’t hold up as well if a cow starts rubbing on it regularly.
- Cable Wire: This refers to steel wire cables made of strands of steel rolled together. It is strong and visible. It is expensive so better for holding pens or feeding pens.
- Mesh Wire: This is strong and safe for cattle. It is expensive so used more for holding and feeding pens and corrals.
- High-Tensile Wire: This is becoming more popular. It is safe, installs easily, requires less maintenance, offers an attractive appearance, and is great for keeping predators away.
When you are putting up fencing for hogs and pigs, you need to keep them inside but you also need to keep the predators out. Hogs are known for escaping so you need to make sure that they aren’t able to get out under the fence. You also want the fence to be strong enough to contain them as they grow. Here are a few options:
- Wire Mesh: This is just right for smaller pig breeds. It is 2.5 to 3 mm thick. Use five-foot wood posts with it. You can run a single strand of barbed wire along bottom near the ground to prevent pigs from trying to escape.
- Wood: You can always use wood fence but it is more expensive and requires more maintenance. You can also use the wood with wire mesh.
- Heavy-Gauge Wire Fencing: This is strong and keeps the hogs in.
- High-Tensile Wire: This is becoming popular for hogs because it is sturdy. You can electrify it to keep sexes apart.
You need fencing to keep your sheep in but sheep are at risk for predators and the fencing really needs to keep them out or you will lose your sheep. For this reason, electrified high-tensile wire is becoming a more and more popular choice for perimeter fencing for sheep.
- High-Tensile Electric Wire: This is inexpensive, is easy to construct, and lasts a long time. Use more strands for fencing to keep predators out.
- Woven Wire: This is the traditional sheep fencing. Use a strand of barbed wire or electric wire to keep predators out.
- Mesh Wire: This has smaller openings. It is more expensive so used for corrals and pens.
- Barbed Wire: This is not recommended for sheep as it is too dangerous.
- Wood or Synthetic Fencing: This will not keep your sheep in or deter predators unless there are electric wires between the boards or mesh attached to the boards with an electric wire along the top.
Goats can get through almost any kind of fencing. The best choice is goat net wire fencing. You really want a fence material specifically for goats or you will be chasing your goats down the road over and over again.
Once you have your goat mesh netting attached to wood, you will want to include an electric fence to train the goats to stay back from it. Additionally, you need to keep predators out because they will be drawn to your goats. Run the electric wire across the top of the fence.