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Author Topic: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?  (Read 5680 times)

Offline andersonjk4

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Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« on: June 03, 2016, 09:38:37 AM »
Hey guys.  Looking for opinions on fencing.  I recently bought a new house on 5 acres with about half of the 5 acres being pasture.  The previous owners had a weak two wire electric fence set up for awhile and then got rid of their animals and removed all of the fence wire after a bull moose took a bunch of it down for them.  Anyway, I want to feed out a couple steers next year and need to get the fence back in shape before then.  If you were going to fence off a couple acres what would your preference be?  Barbed wire, or electric wire?  3 strand, 4 strand?  Wood post or t-posts? Also, I have a 9-month old and potentially more children in the future to consider.  I am leaning toward a 3 or 4 strand barbed wire with a hot wire around the top.  But the previous owners left the electric wire on spools, so I wouldn't have to buy much if any electric wire.   

Offline WSU

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2016, 10:03:23 AM »
I had field fence with a hot wire top and bottom. Then I got a steer that would ignore the hot wire and fence. He paid attention when I electrified a strand of barbed wire. Hot barbed wire is the way to go from my experience and is pretty cheap.

Offline Encore 280

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2016, 10:15:49 AM »
My neighbor has 5 acres that has 4 strands of hot wire to keep the coyotes away from the sheep and goats. Haven't seen a 'yote around in a long long time. They used to come in and take the babies at night but not anymore. I imagine if the bottom one was hot, that might work.  :twocents:

Offline andersonjk4

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2016, 10:25:14 AM »
I had field fence with a hot wire top and bottom. Then I got a steer that would ignore the hot wire and fence. He paid attention when I electrified a strand of barbed wire. Hot barbed wire is the way to go from my experience and is pretty cheap.

I've known people with some real stubborn steers.  That's why I am leaning toward a real stout 4 strand barbed wire fence with a hot wire along the top.   

Offline andersonjk4

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 10:29:07 AM »
My neighbor has 5 acres that has 4 strands of hot wire to keep the coyotes away from the sheep and goats. Haven't seen a 'yote around in a long long time. They used to come in and take the babies at night but not anymore. I imagine if the bottom one was hot, that might work.  :twocents:

Has 3 strand or 4 strand of hot wire been sufficient for people?  I want a long term solution that I am not having to repair every year or having to chase down loose animals.

As of now I don't have any plans of getting anything smaller than weaned cattle, so coyotes aren't much of a concern.  And I have 3 bird dogs that would probably appreciate not having a hot wire on the bottom. 

Offline Blacktail Sniper

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 10:30:45 AM »
We have just under 10 acres and have been replacing all the stretched wire fencing with Gallagher Equifence. 

The fencing can be set with posts up to 50' apart with a couple stays in between, the first section was done this way, with three strands and a charger, kept our longhorn cattle contained with no problems.

I have settled on a five strand with posts about 20' apart on average, depending on the layout. Doing the work myself, it is running about $4.00 - $5.00 per foot, but again, I am using double the reccomended posts, and they are the round, pressure treated wood posts vs the metal tee posts.

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Offline andersonjk4

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 10:40:00 AM »
We have just under 10 acres and have been replacing all the stretched wire fencing with Gallagher Equifence. 

The fencing can be set with posts up to 50' apart with a couple stays in between, the first section was done this way, with three strands and a charger, kept our longhorn cattle contained with no problems.

I have settled on a five strand with posts about 20' apart on average, depending on the layout. Doing the work myself, it is running about $4.00 - $5.00 per foot, but again, I am using double the reccomended posts, and they are the round, pressure treated wood posts vs the metal tee posts.

I like the looks of the equifence product.  I like the higher visibility than standard high tensile wire.  I will have to look into it some more.  Thanks!  :tup:

Offline LDennis24

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 12:27:40 PM »
Parmak makes some good high tensile poly braided rope with aluminum or stainless conducting wire woven into it. Its like 3/8 inch diameter rope instead of the tiny electric string. They also make the webbed strap type too. They have a really good solar charger on Amazon too for around $150. It's a low impedence 25 mile range zapper that's guaranteed to never rust and has lightning warranty as well. Low impedence zapper's are better if you use anything with poly because the higher rated zapper's will actually melt the poly when they get grounded on a blade of grass or a stick and ruin your lines.

Online Badhabit

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 01:10:14 PM »
This might help if you go barbed wire.

http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=16.60.010

The RCW is silent in regard to an electric fence. RCW 16.60.011 is vague in its description of what an alternative legal fence would be.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 01:16:49 PM by Badhabit »

Offline Birdguy

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2016, 07:39:53 PM »
We have had all types of fence over the years, the best by far for us is the New Zealand four or five strand electric. The tensioners built in make a world of difference when a tree falls on it or a truck drives through it  :bash:. You can electrify as many or few of the strands as you want by just hooking up or disconnecting a jumper. The key to any electric fence is the best charger you can afford and solid grounding system for it  :twocents:. Good luck.

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2016, 08:04:15 PM »
Field fence with three rows of barbed wire one above, one in the middle, and one a little off the ground. Keeps them from rubbing it plus not pushing it out to get grass on the outside of it. Then if you ever resell it horse folks like it better than barbed, plus keeps the yotes out if you keep it tight to the ground.  :twocents:
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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2016, 03:20:01 PM »
It depends if you want to keep something in or keep something from going through. We have miles of electric fencing for cattle. I use smooth wire. 2 strands.  One thigh high and the other belly high on me.  Me being a strapping 5'10".  As long as it is electricified you should have no problem.  In the winter we use only a single strand around corn fields.  Once again. As long as it is hot you will have no problem unless something is chasing the bovines.   We used to use the horse fencing for gates bit over time you will have problems with arcing within the nylon wrapped wire.  If you do not electrify your fence eventually the livestock will start reaching and pushing.  I love a good hot wire fence
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Offline PolarBear

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2017, 09:42:51 AM »
DO NOT electrify barbed wire!  Critters can get tangled up in it, panic due to the shock and die.  Very dangerous.  If you go barbed wire go with a minimum or 5 strands and 12.5 gauge if you can get it or no less than 14.  I have 5 strand 12.5 4 point barbed with stays between each post.  I also run a heavy gauge hot wire 12" off the ground and another 2' up from that. 
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 09:51:09 AM by PolarBear »
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Offline andersonjk4

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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2017, 11:12:11 AM »
DO NOT electrify barbed wire!  Critters can get tangled up in it, panic due to the shock and die.  Very dangerous.  If you go barbed wire go with a minimum or 5 strands and 12.5 gauge if you can get it or no less than 14.  I have 5 strand 12.5 4 point barbed with stays between each post.  I also run a heavy gauge hot wire 12" off the ground and another 2' up from that.

I was just going to bring this topic back up as I am going to start building fence in the next few weeks when the pasture is a little less marshy.  I'm leaning toward 5 strand barbed wire with one or two hot wires on the inside as Polar Bear said.  About half of the pasture is already fenced with 5 strand barbed wire so at least this way it would be consistent.  Here is a picture of the existing fence.


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Re: Pasture Fence Preference - Barbed Wire or Electric?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2017, 11:26:46 AM »
DO NOT electrify barbed wire!  Critters can get tangled up in it, panic due to the shock and die.  Very dangerous.  If you go barbed wire go with a minimum or 5 strands and 12.5 gauge if you can get it or no less than 14.  I have 5 strand 12.5 4 point barbed with stays between each post.  I also run a heavy gauge hot wire 12" off the ground and another 2' up from that.

I have field fence because it was there when we bought the property.  It's not enough for cows.  They lean on it, push it to reach brush and grass on the other side, and, if you have the wrong cow, simply ignore it and go through it.  I electrified some wire about a foot off the ground and strand of barbed wire on the top.

I had one steer that ignored the hot wire I use for cross fencing.  I replaced it with a strand of electrified barbed wire and that solved it.  I know a lot of people electrify barbed wire, but suppose I could see Polar Bear's point.  It sure is effective though.

 

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