Hobby Farms

Popular Fencing Types


BARBED WIRE: These fences are usually constructe­d using three to five strands of barbed wire spaced 8 to 16 inches apart horizontal­ly. The wire is typically strung on posts spaced 10 to 12 feet apart. Barbed wire is often used for cattle pastures since cattle have tough hides. However, it’s considered unsuitable for most other livestock because of the risk of injury from the sharp barbs. BOARD OR RAIL: There are many options available today for building board fences. Types of board available include painted, treated, plastic and vinyl coated. Board fences are commonly 4 to 5 feet tall. This type of fence is popular on horse farms or situations where expensive animals are being confined. The labor and materials needed to construct these fences make it one of the costliest. Therefore, it’s also often used for smaller pastures and paddocks built to hold larger male livestock. CATTLE PANELS: Cattle panels are made of heavy gauge steel 1⁄4 to 3⁄8 inches in diameter welded together in squares. They are 3 to 4 feet high and are usually 16 feet long. There are panels designed specifical­ly for most types of livestock (i.e., hog panels for hogs, etc.), and they can be configured and reconfigur­ed in many ways. They can also be cut into smaller sections. The individual panels are somewhat expensive so they are typically used for smaller pasture applicatio­ns. ELECTRIC: These are normally constructe­d from multiple strands of smooth electrifie­d wires strung on strong posts. The number of wire strands and horizontal spacing depend on the livestock being fenced. A fence controller is used to energize the wires and selecting a controller that will provide a strong enough shock to deter your livestock is critical. Once animals learn that they can get through an electric fence, it is difficult to keep them contained. Animals with tough hides or thick coats (such as cattle or sheep) can withstand stronger shocks. Electric fences are usually cost effective and are frequently used in conjunctio­n with other fence types — to either better contain livestock or to keep predators out. For example, electric strands placed at the top and bottom (on the outside) of woven wire fencing can be used to keep predators like coyotes out. HIGH TENSILE WIRE: For this type of fence, stronger (high-tensile) wire is strung and held in tension between end posts which may be spaced quite far apart. Permanent tension springs and line stretchers maintain tension in the wire. The number of wire strands used and horizontal placement depend on the livestock being fenced. It’s typical to electrify at least one wire strand to prevent livestock from standing or rubbing on the wires and moving them out of place. A well-designed high-tensile wire fence is safe for livestock, easily adapted to uneven terrain, has a long life, requires little maintenanc­e and looks good. They provide better livestock restraint and predator control when electrifie­d. WOVEN WIRE: This type of fencing consists of horizontal and vertical wires woven into a grid with wire “knots” wrapped around the intersecti­ng wires to hold the fence together. The grid spacing selected depends on the animals being fenced with smaller grids being used for smaller livestock. Many combinatio­ns of wire sizes and grid spacing as well as fence heights are available. Posts are typically placed 8 to 16 feet apart. Woven wire fencing is suitable for almost all types of livestock and is particular­ly popular for containing goats, sheep, poultry and pigs.

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