All farms need quality fencing, whether it’s for security purposes, to establish property boundaries, or to keep your livestock from straying away. However, choosing the ideal livestock fencing for your farm can be challenging due to the numerous options available. To ensure you get the right livestock fencing for your property, here are five questions […]
When you put a lot of time, energy, and money into your farms or homesteading lifestyle, you need to protect all of that effort and expense with the best farm fencing and gate hardware. In the end, strength matters, but stronger does not necessarily equal better if you take other factors into account. Farm’s profit […]
Easy to install and shockingly versatile, a solar electric fence will give you the power to keep your animals in the pasture, even if you’re off the grid. Electric fencing can be installed with basic hand tools and no prior fencing experience. And by adding a solar-powered fence energizer, you’ll make installation even simpler by […]
Our First System The first setup was installed about 12 months ago. It is currently running about 3 miles of single-strand wire. We live in a fairly high rainfall area, so consequently, we have pretty good weed pressure on the fence through the summer. We have not had to do any mowing under the wire […]
Folks asked me to do a video showing what it looks like as I’m getting ready to turn cows out this Spring. So here’s a video from April 4.
In this 3:30 video, we visit the fence I built in 1999 that is still functioning as sheep pasture. It uses 4 strands of high-tensile, 12 gauge, 180,000 psi wire set at 7, 13, 19, and 30 inches so that it can keep in goats, sheep and guardian dogs. Our posts are 4 foot high, 5/8″ fiberglass posts spaced at 25 feet. Our corners don’t have braces. Instead, we pounded our long posts deeper into the ground so they have the leverage to hold the fence tight. You’ll also see the sheep grazing seedheads off fescue, bluegrass, and orchardgrass, encouraging the grasses to put out new leaves.
You’ll also want good gates, so this second 5:06 video shows how we avoid expensive metal gates and install something economical and sure to keep in sheep, goats and guardian dogs. (I apologize for the windy day that affected the sound.)
I gave up using poly tape and switched to this quarter-inch rope from Powerflex. With 22 steel filaments, it’s a lot stronger than poly tape and doesn’t catch in the wind. On one end the gate Powerflex rope is attached to the electrified high-tensile fence, and on the other to a fiberglass post. In the video I show how I drill a hole through the fiberglass post, string the rope through and then use a slip knot to attach it there so that I can tighten it easily as necessary.
This is my second summer buying, breeding and flipping yearling heifers in New York. I use two-day moves and high density grazing to get good animal performance and pasture utilization.
My success of depends on my herd respecting a single electric wire. To make sure they have that respect, I’ve made some adjustments to my fencing. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Choose Heifers Trained to a Single-Wire
Most of the heifers I buy are already trained to a single polywire upon arrival at my farm. This prevents most containment issues before they happen. The best yearlings for a single-wire grazing program are ones born in a single-wire cowherd. Don’t set yourself up for escapes by buying cattle that have never seen a single wire before. I did buy a group this year that were raised on a three-wire perimeter only, but their extremely docile temperament made me confident that they would train well.
Acclimate New Animals to the Herd and the Fence
I don’t recommend delivering new arrivals into polywire, unless they are unloaded directly into an existing trained herd. Even then, it is probably better to put them in a hard-sided corral for a day or two, until they get over the trucking stress and acclimate to their new home. Keeping them isolated from your other cattle for a few days also allows you to detect and treat potential health problems. If your cattle are not already trained to electric fence, this is a good time to introduce them. (Check out Don Ashford’s technique here.)
I turn out from my corral into a 2-strand offset paddock, that looks like this.
Lightning is an unavoidable threat to livestock, farms, and ranches. Since most farm operations are located in areas where there are ample pasture land and plenty of open space, farm buildings and fences can often attract lightning during stormy weather. Since this electricity follows the path of least resistance from the sky to the ground, it is […]
When left to their own devices, livestock can be picky eaters, Dr. David Fernandez, Extension livestock specialist and interim assistant dean of academic programs for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, said. Animals allowed to graze freely over an entire pasture will often repeatedly graze the […]