September 15, 2014

Fence Design and Layout....What kind of fence should I install?

The kind of fence that should be installed depends
• Purpose of the fence
• Kind and class of livestock to be contained
• Operator preference
• Predator control
• Cost
Permanent or temporary fences may define
paddocks within the grazing unit. During initial
stages of paddock layout many producers prefer to
use temporary fences to create paddocks and lanes.
This allows for easy adjustment of the layout as
producers learn what size paddock they need, how to
easily accomplish livestock movement, and how
forages react to managed grazing. After gaining
experience, the producers usually install some type
of permanent fence to define paddocks and lanes.
A. Permanent Fences:
Permanent fences are used for the perimeters of
pasture systems, livestock corrals, and handling
facilities. Sometimes they are used to subdivide
pastures into paddocks. This is especially true
for certain kinds and classes of livestock, such as
1. High Tensile Wire Fences
This is a relatively new type of fence, which has
become increasingly popular in recent years.
Typically perimeter fences are 4-6 strands of
wire and interior fences are 1-2 strands of wire.
• Relatively easy to install and maintain.
• Can be powered to provide a psychological as
well as physical barrier.
• Several contractors available to do installation.
• Requires some special equipment, such as a post
driver for installing wooden posts.
• Fences with several strands of wire are not easily
• Wire is difficult to handle if fence is to be
2. Woven Wire Fences
Woven wire is a traditional type of fence. It is
used primarily for hogs and sheep. Woven wire
fences normally have one or two strands of
barbed wire installed above the woven wire.
• Not dependent on electrical power. Is useful in
remote locations.
• Provides barrier for smaller kinds of livestock
(sheep, hogs).
• Cannot be powered, provides only a physical
• Requires much labor to install.
• Not easily moved.
• Weed and vegetative growth promotes snow
3. Barbed Wire Fences
Barbed wire is a traditional type of fence, which
is still quite popular. Barbed wire fences should
be at least 4 strands for perimeter fences. When
used for interior fences, they are typically 3 or 4
strands. Barbed wire should never be electrified
because of greater potential for animal injury.
• Not dependent upon electrical power, thus is
useful in remote areas.
• Most producers are experienced with
construction of barbed wire fences.
• Not easily moved.
• Provides only a physical barrier.
• Susceptible to damage from snow accumulation.

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