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How to Choose the Right Fence Type for Your Livestock

What type of fence is right for your livestock? One fence doesn't fit all. If you plan to move your livestock around, portable fencing choices are important. Permanent fencing options are more appropriate for stationary paddocks. Here's how to choose the right fencing for your animals.

Horse Fencing

The most important consideration when selecting horse fencing is visibility. The horses need to be able to see the fence so they don't run into it and become tangled in it. Wood post and board fences (or their vinyl equivalent) are ideal for sight lines, but they are also expensive and labor-intensive to set up. Wide-strand, electrified poly tape fencing is lighter weight and easier to install, and equally effective. This type of fence is more portable in the long run, as well.

Cattle Fencing

Cattle fencing needs to be at least 54 in. tall in order to properly contain the cattle. While barbed wire and woven wire were common choices in the past, high-tensile wire fencing systems with treated wood posts are becoming more popular. If you need to separate a bull from cows, you will need a stronger system with thick posts and a larger gauge of wire. Electrify the fence for the best containment.

Hog Fencing

Feedlot panel fencing is a good choice for hog fencing. These heavy-gauge wire panels won't collapse when livestock run into them. You can configure your feedlot or pasture the way you like with these panels. Add a gate and you're ready to go. Electrified high-tensile wire is also becoming popular for hog fencing.

Goat Fencing

Goats can get through almost any fence. Your choice for goat fencing will mean the difference between chasing your goats down the road, untangling them from the fencing material (potentially dangerous), and raising happy, healthy, well-contained goats. Goat net wire fencing is a good choice, if you space the posts close together. You can electrify this fencing for further security. Use one strand of electrified wire on the interior of the fence.

Considerations for Electrified Fencing

Regardless of the type of livestock you're containing, if you're using an electric fence option, you need to carefully set up the fence. Get a "fencer" or "charger" that is powerful enough to electrify the total length of wire you're using. If you're using three strands of wire, you need to multiply the perimeter length by three to determine the total length. Make sure to properly ground the fence. The way you ground it will depend on the type of fence you use. Read and follow the directions! Lastly, always post signs so that people approaching the fence know that it is electrified.

To keep your livestock safe, always use the proper fencing type to contain the specific animal you're raising.