If you’re raising cattle and planning to install a new fence, you’d naturally want to choose the best possible option. To do this, you’ll have to assess the advantages and disadvantages of different fencing materials. Even the most experienced livestock producer can learn something new about cattle fencing – we hope our expert tips will be helpful.

1. Selecting the Right Fence

Usually, livestock producers use board, cable, barbed wire, mesh, woven wire, electric, high-tensile, or a combination of two or more of these fence types on their farms. You can use most fence types for cattle, so you need to assess factors such as life cycle, cost, and ease of construction. Barbed wire and woven wire are commonly used.

Consider having heavy posts with cable or thick-gauge wire installed if bulls are penned separately. Handling facility fencing should be robust, visible, and tall.

If you’re choosing a fence for horses, visibility is key. Barbed wire can hurt a horse’s hide and high-tensile fences can trap horses.

If you’re rearing sheep, predator control is of paramount importance. Predators like coyotes and wild dogs are discouraged by electric fences. Barbed wire is not recommended because it gets covered in sheep’s wool.

You need a sturdy fence built low to the ground if you’re looking after pigs to keep them from rooting and escaping. Many farmers run barbed wire along the bottom of the fence.

2. Consider a Galvanized Fence

There’s no denying the strength of steel. It is heavy, powerful, and durable. A galvanized fence, which has undergone a chemical process to avoid corrosion, serves as a protective barrier, much like a security gate. A farmer can also use galvanized fencing for sloped or uneven land.

Chain-link fencing is a type of galvanized fencing that’s affordable, durable, and low-maintenance and simple to install. However, for a more robust, long lasting and durable option, galvanized woven wire fence is much more commonly used for cattle.

3. Keep Posts Spaced Apart Correctly

As Red Brand has previously written on its blog, most fence posts can be spaced 8 to 12 feet apart. Still, keep in mind this is a rule of thumb that doesn’t apply to all scenarios. For example, high tensile fences can have bigger spacing, with as much as 20-30 feet for high-tensile smooth and barbed wire.

4. Proper Corner Post Installation

A reliable fence starts with corner posts. To dig a good hole for the post, you need to go down between 33% and 50% of the post height above ground. For example, you have to dig down at least 2 feet if you have a 6-feet tall post. The hole needs to be three times as wide as the post you’re planning on using. You need to dig an 18-inch wide hole for a 6-foot wood post. For a gate, the diameter of the hole should be at least 12 inches with an average depth of 38 inches in the ground.

Corner posts are crucial to fencing integrity. They take the biggest load, in particular in the process of building the fence. If you don’t fix corner posts to the ground and provide them with some support, the fence will gradually start caving in!

5. Fence Staples are Important

Your livestock is likely to cause the most wear on your fence. However, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t consider outside factors. Tree limbs could lean against the fence wires or heavy snow could pile up against the fence line. Robust fence stables are your best defense.

6. Be Aware of Property Lines

As Red Brand found out some time ago, failure to contest an incorrectly placed property line may lead to the fence’s becoming a border, so you could end up gifting land to your neighbor. You could be fined for fencing on government property.

In the long run, it will cost less money to call a surveyor so you can establish where exactly the line is. It will also cost less effort, because the issue with fences and property lines is quite complicated.

For example, if there is an existing fence on your property that you want to replace, how do you know who owns it? It’s a common misconception that houses own the fence on their left side as you look at them from the street. There is no general rule governing ownership of the fence depending on the side.

Your conveyance or transfer deed may express the boundaries you bear responsibility for in words. If it does not, then the deed might utilize the convention of applying a T-mark to the boundaries, for which the owner of the property bears responsibility. An H-mark (two T-marks mirrored on the boundary line) is the symbol conventionally used if responsibility for the boundary is shared.

7. Keep Animals and Unwanted Critters Out

Did you know groundhog burrows can reach up to 66 feet? This can be costly because that’s plenty of space for a cattle leg to get sprained. Groundhog burrows can also cause problems in fields where there is no livestock. For example, an unseen burrow could damage the axle of a tractor driving over it, and an axle is inconvenient and expensive to repair.

Another risk lies in the fact that possums and groundhogs spread diseases, which could harm your livestock a great deal. Although wooden fence boards have their strong points, which include keeping your animals in, they can’t always keep pests like the above-mentioned ones out.

The first step to ensuring safety is fencing around your pastures. We can’t stress this enough! Unwanted critters can also devour crops. If you have a garden, a wild animal like a rabbit could signify the end of it. Red Brand has a series of fence products that will help keep your garden safe.

Tight, woven wires that are spaced out at about an inch will halt pests. The horizontal wires for this type of fencing are spaced close together at the bottom of the fence, stopping unwanted elements from entering. With such tight spacing, only mice could enter the enclosure.

Trey Tennell is the Marketing Category Manager at Red Brand, a line of premium agricultural fencing products that is known as the most recognized brand of farm fence in the United States.

Red Brand knows that your cattle’s well-being and safety are your top priority. Their website offers a wealth of additional information and tips to keep your animals safe.