Fences are a vital part of any successful farm. They keep your animals and crops separated, keep your animals on your property, and prevent unwelcome visitors (be they wild animals or other people) from trespassing onto your property. Therefore, the fences you install on your property must be up for such an important task.
How do you know if your fence is up to snuff? It’s all about choosing the right kind of fencing from the very beginning. There are a variety of fence types and fencing materials out there, and the one you choose can make all the difference between a fence that holds for years and a fence that’s more trouble than it’s worth.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing farm fencing.
What’s the Fence For?
Anytime you select farm fencing, you do it with a specific purpose in mind. To achieve these goals you’ll need a certain kind of fence. Here are some of the fencing requirements for common fences on the farm:
- Cattle: cattle need tall fencing, often with barbed wires to prevent cattle from leaning or chewing on the fence lines.
- Sheep: The number-one priority for fencing in sheep is keeping away predators, which makes electric fencing popular here.
- Horses: horses need fences with a lot of visibility and/or flexibility. Woven wire fencing will create a barrier for the horses but can bend if necessary when a horse is spooked.
- Pigs: Pigs like to root around low to the ground, so a shorter fence with barbed wire along the bottom to prevent rooting is best.
- Field: Fencing in your field requires fencing that is easy to maintain, so you can keep weeds and other overgrowths away.
Once you figure out what the needs are for your specific fence, you can start your search for the ideal farm fencing.
Before you select your farm fencing, you need to take a little time and make sure you understand the layout of your new enclosure. How large will it be? Where will you put gates, corners, t-posts, etc.? These details can affect the fence’s stability over time.
When studying your fence layout, make sure you spend time at the actual fence site to get a good look at the land itself. Try to avoid conditions that are rocky, hard, or sloped that can weaken the fence line and lead to maintenance problems in the future. Plan out your fence as much as possible and you will be better off.
The Fence Material
Once you’ve created a layout that you’re happy with, you can start thinking about the fencing material you want to use. There are many options available today, and they all have their unique benefits. Here are some of the most common fencing materials you see on farms today:
- Woven wire: This type of fencing is lightweight and durable, and it is useful for fencing in a variety of animals. Just choose the right height to prevent animals from jumping over.
- Welded wire: Welded wire is also lightweight and strong, and it’s often more affordable than woven wire options. This wire is a great choice for small crop areas or feedlots.
- Barbed wire: Ideal for cattle or pig fencing, barbed wire is inexpensive to set up and maintain (and it’s very effective at keeping animals both in and out).
- Electric: electric fences are very effective at keeping predators out and setting a psychological barrier for your animals inside the enclosure.
- Rail fencing: Wooden rail fencing is the most attractive kind of fencing, which is why it’s often used as a border fence on a farmer’s property.
Select the farm fencing material that will help you accomplish your goals. With the right materials, you’ll be able to erect a high-quality fence that lasts.
Of course, many decisions on a farm (or in life) come down to budget. In some cases, a property owner may need to select fencing materials based on what he or she can afford to pay, rather than the fencing that best serves their needs. Luckily, many versatile and durable fencing materials are also pretty affordable, like woven wire or welded mesh fencing.
Finally, it’s important to consider maintenance costs and labor when you select your farm fencing. Remember, fences do require upkeep. You have to inspect the wires and posts to look for breakage, sagging, or other damage. You need to trim away weeds and keep the fence line clear. Keep this in mind and look for fencing materials that you can maintain easily (for example, wire fencing suffers less damage from the elements than wood).
And whatever kind of farm fencing you need, remember that Red Brand has a variety of materials, gear, and tools ready for your next project. Check out your local dealer or our online store today, for more information on our fencing options.