Monday, January 7, 2013

Fencing

A week or two ago Linda Lu asked about the fence I use.  I have had several other inquiries as well so this is for all of you who have wondered about my fencing.  I am a firm believer that electric fence is the only way to go.  Wooden or wire mesh fencing is expensive, high maintenance and has to be reinforced with electric anyway or else the horses rub and chew on it.  I have also seen horses impale themselves on broken fence boards and get tangled in wire. 

The two types of fencing that I will never use are barbed wire and high tensile.  I know many people use high tensile and think it is safe for horses, but it is not.  The stuff will cut a horse to ribbons if they run into it.  I have seen it happen and I know personally of several horses who were either gravely injured or killed by high tensile. 

The fencing you see in many of my photos is designed for rotational grazing.  It is a light weight poly twine with tiny stainless-steel filaments running through it.  The posts are fiberglass.  It is the only fencing that I have used for a number of years.  I would like to build a more substantial perimeter fence around my property using wide poly tape and wooden posts at some point, but due to expense, that is far off.  While the fence does not look very substantial, to the animals it is.  Electric fence is more of a psychological barrier then a physical one and I have found this fencing to be highly effective and very safe. 

The main thing to remember about all fencing, no matter what it is, is that animals will challenge it if they are crowded, discontented, panicked or overly hungry.  This fencing works well for me because my animals are none of those things, they have enough space that even in a panic they don't go through the fence.  This is not good fencing to use if animals are crowded or in populated areas where keeping people out is just as important as keeping the critters in. 

Farm Buddy also uses this same fencing for her cattle and has done so for at least twenty years.  This field is separated into two large rectangles (you can just see the divider fence on the right side of the picture going up the hill).  You can't quite see it, but there is another fence about 100 feet behind the cows.  Every day Farm Buddy moves that fence a little ways up the hill giving the cows fresh grass.  When they reach the top, they start down the other side.  By the time they get back to the starting point, the grass is ready to graze again.
All of the fence that we are currently using came from Kencove.  If any of you decide to try this fencing, I would recommend getting your supplies from either Kencove or Premier Fencing.  Their posts and wire  have a special coating on them that prevents them degrading in the sun and getting horribly splintery.  As much as I like TSC, I won't buy their posts.  A week in the sun and they feel like grabbing a cactus.  I hope this is helpful.  Happy fence building.

9 comments:

  1. Such beautiful cows! Does she milk them?
    One question: where is the power source for the electricity? Are there solar fences? (ok, three questions). And do they draw lightning?

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    1. These are all beef cows, we raise grass-fed beef and these are our mom-cows with their babies.

      The fencer is plugged into an outlet in the barn. There are solar powered chargers as well as battery powered. If you have a barn with electricity, the plug-in chargers are the easiest.

      Fences do get hit by lightening sometimes and it will kill the fence charger. There are lightening arresters that you can put on the fence, it is basically a fused emergency switch.

      There is a lot of info about chargers at the Kencove or Premier websites although their chargers are very expensive. ValleyVet also has a good assortment of chargers that are not quite so expensive. All chargers need to be attached to a ground rod.

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  2. I tried it, and I'm very happy too.

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  3. Our fencing is Kencove, the thick white wire. We had it professionally installed, and we love it. I wouldn't buy any other brand.

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  4. Thanks so much for the info, Kris! Now I get to do some research on Kencove. I would also like to know about a power source

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  5. Thanks for the info, Kris! I'll do some research

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    1. Check out my reply to Bow Street Flowers above. Let me know if theis answered your question or not.

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  6. Have you heard of Paddock Paradise? The idea is about keeping your animals moving forward and was created by a farrier. There are many neat things you can do by creating pathways through your paddocks, placing hay bags here and there or toys or areas of gravel/ sand for hooves, etc.

    I am planning to do this in one part of my small meadow so that I can reseed some of it. Check it out on line for some great ideas! Electric fencing is perfect for this!

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    1. I have heard of it and I have been thinking about trying it out this summer. I need to buy a lot more fencing though. sigh

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