what is the best fence?

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Well I am going to put up some fence this spring. What is best Electric, woven wire, either, niether? it will fence hair sheep, goats, maybe a cow, maybe a horse. I have never builp a fence before. give me some tips please Grant

-- grant (organicgrange@yahoo.com), January 11, 2001


Unless u can check the fence line every day a woven horse wire, 2" x 4" sections would be advisable otherwise the gots can get their head caught and will die if not removed. Havent used any electric fence to comment on so cant help there.

-- Charles steen (xbeeman412@aol.com), January 12, 2001.

grant, we are on a limited income, so we have gone as cheaply as possible. This is what has worked best for us over many years. We went with the cheapest stock fence, and put a single hot wire about midway up to keep them off the fence. We used 4 strand electric but somehow the goats knew when the fence was off. If we used just the stock fence, no matter how good, they were climbing all over it.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), January 12, 2001.

I've dealt with this issue over and over. Both with my animals and with my friends and clients. (I manage horse ranches.) IMO, the absolute best, which is also the most $$$ is V-mesh fencing. It keeps the animals in, unwanted pests (human and animal) out and is the safest for the animals.

Being as I don't have that kind of money, I currently am running 2x4 fence, 4' high with 2 strands of electric fence. One on top to keep the horses and cattle from reaching over it, and one on the bottom to keep sheep, chickens, goats, pigs and dogs from going under it. Be sure to train your animals to the hot wire. We just get handfuls of hay and bait them close to the fence until they hit the wire. Because they get a couple of bites of hay without getting zapped, they don't relate the zap to the hay or to us. You ususally only have to do this once and then they figure out the rest on their own.

We use solar fence chargers because we're off the grid. Even when I have grid power available, I prefer the solar chargers. It is essential that you buy a good quality charger and ground it WELL. Be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions to the T ! Life expectancy on these chargers is supposed to be 2 to 3 years, but I have one that has been in continuous use for 8 ! I had to replace the battery once, which cost me about $20 - $25. The good ones have an indicator dial that reads from "dead fence" to "shock ya' good." They will usually continue to work even through some brush. They are rated for a specific length of fence, ususally given in miles. Get the largest one you can afford, because once you get used to using it, you will want to fence more and more stuff in.

One caution: I tried to use just electric fence once and what a disaster ! I made the fence 5 strands high. The first two were about 6" apart, then 1 foot between 2nd and 3rd strand, and then 18" between 3rd and 4th and 4th and 5th. The sheep and the chickens learned that if they ran real fast, they would hit the fence and go through it before it could shock through their feathers or wool. This, of course, lead to broken strands of wire. Then the goats, pigs and horse would just wiggle through the holes and everyone was loose ! Luckily, I have a perimeter fence of chain link, so noone got off the property ! But what an adventure I had when I got home from work !

Wood fences look really nice, but the maintenance, health risks and lack of flexiblity for different types of stock rule them out for me.

Chain link is too dangerous !

Pipe corrals are too inflexible and too expensive.

That's my $2.00 worth, hope it helps and good luck ! Monica.

-- Monica (zpepenovia@excite.com), January 12, 2001.

I have 4'field fence with electric at the top. This keeps in my goats and a cow. Don't think about keeping a cow without electric. They like to lean on fences to scratch and will soon ruin it. The main cost in electric is the box. The wire and clips are cheap and it's fast to put up. Good luck.

-- Nancy in CA (sonflower35@icqmail.com), January 12, 2001.

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