Agricultural fencing is used to keep animals in or out of an area. They can be made from a wide variety of materials, depending on terrain, location, and animals to be confined. Installing fencing on your farm can be extremely time consuming and costly, so before you begin it’s important you choose the right kind of fencing for your farm.
Conventionally in the past, wood was the best choice for fencing as the material could easily be sourced and made to fit on a farm. However, farmers of the past would use hardwood trees which had a lifespan of about 100 years with little upkeep, but this kind of wood is hard to get your hands on these days.
Wood fencing currently would have a lifespan of around 20 years with regular painting and staining. There are other woods to consider, however, such as pressure-treated lumber which will last up to 7 years without any painting and staining but this kind of wood is a much higher cost. Wooden fencing is best used on small pastures for separating certain animals.
Barbed wire can be difficult to work with due to its capability to tear skin. Additionally, barbed fencing is dangerous to animals, and should never be used to contain horses. However, barbed wire can be effective with containing certain animals. In pastures containing sheep or cattle, a couple of strands of barbed wire can be used with woven wire to discourage cattle from reaching over the top of the fencing and will stop sheep from crawling underneath.
Smooth wire is basically the same as barbed wire, without the sharp barbs. In agricultural fencing, this kind of wire has it’s advantages such as eliminating the chance of lacerations and cuts to animals. However, it does have downfalls such as the animals are more likely to lean or jump on it, which can loosen the wire from the post and alter the shape of the fencing.
Smooth wire is inexpensive and can be used as an alternative to barbed wire in order to contain horses.
High tensile wire
High tensile wire is more springy than that of smooth wire which would help to avoid the issues caused by animals leaning against the fencing.
This kind of wire is more expensive than other mild steels but it requires far fewer posts so the overall cost usually works out similar. Additionally, because it doesn’t stretch, animals are less likely to become trapped in the wire.
Woven wire is particularly effective in agricultural fencing because it can be used with pigs, goats or sheep. With this method, many choose to put a strand of barbed wire at the top of the wire fence or electrified wire underneath to prevent digging.
Woven wire is more costly to purchase and can be time-consuming to install compared to the basic wire but is often safer and is still cheaper than wood and other materials.
Synthetic fences incorporate a range of products and materials. For example, vinyl coated wire fencing is usually based on a high-tensile wire with a vinyl coating. Depending on what you need the fencing for, you can choose to make them electric.
Electric fencing provides flexibility and is fairly low maintenance as long as it has been constructed correctly. Additionally, it is fairly inexpensive and is highly effective in keeping your livestock together. To install one you will need a fence charger which will send out pulses of energy, which will send an uncomfortable shock to the animals but will not be harmful.