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Old 10-08-2016, 10:53 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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Default Barbed Wire fence Questions

need some advice on wire fence, I know almost nothing about it.

I had a large part of my property cleared this summer, I plan on fencing in at least 10 acres and as much as 23 acres in the spring. I then intend to get 4-6 cows or steers to keep for beef. I am hoping to get some Highland cattle, but if I can't find or afford them i'll get whatever I can get cheap. I broadcast seeded the cleared area with clover, oats, and buckwheat and a number of grasses colonized it from the nearby hay fields. I plan to just put some calves in there in the spring and mostly let them forage and keep the brush down, break up ruts and stumps walking around and putting some fertilizer down. I plan to buy a supply of hay in the fall to feed them over winter then let them finish out the following summer and butcher in the second fall. I will buy new calf in the following spring.

to fence them in I am planning to cut the brush and trees along the property lines to clear around the old fences and create a 10 foot wide cleared area. I then plan to use 3 or 4 passes of high tensile 18 guage fence wire and use trees and cedar posts to support it. this wire is called short term and I am hoping the calves will learn to respect it before they get big enough to break it. I don't know how long this stuff might last, but its the cheapest I can find. i will also get an electric fence setup on a solar panel and run a wire around to partner with the barbed wire to create 3 lines of barbed wire and 1 electric wire (mounting those plastic insulators on trees and cedar posts as needed.

I would like any advice or suggestions from the Forum Community, will this work, should i get better fence wire (will eventually) how long might this setup last, etc.
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2016, 11:14 AM
doc doc is online now
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Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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I've been renting my Wi property to the neighbors. It's surrounded by 4-barbed wires on steel t-posts or make-shift log posts. It's probably more than 10 yrs old (maybe 20) and works just fine. A single wire electric fence has worked without problems to isolate the 20+ cow/calves & bull from my living area for the past 2 yrs. You gotta keep the electric line weed free. They're using it with a car battery charged in the garage and alternated (no pun intended) as needed.

I'm using high tensile wire to fence off my horses. It's cheaper and really easy to run, but I don't know how well it would work for cattle.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2016, 07:20 PM
traded Male traded is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Upstate New York
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Default Fencing

You speak of using High Tensile and barbed wire in your post, not sure which material you are actually going to implement. I grew up using barbed wire for beef cows (Red Herefords) and didn't have much trouble with it. The perimeter fence utilized the trees in the hedgerows and where there were no trees we would pound in posts either cedar or locust. This fence when maintained can last quite some time 20 plus years if taken care of. A downfall to using trees though is the tree has to grow! If the fence is left alone for to many years then the trees will grow over the fence line, insulator, or anything else causing a great headache when trying to mend fence, move, or remove.

Currently I have 11 head of Highland cattle, that includes 2 bulls, 3 cows, 4 heifers, and 2 soon to be steers for meat. Initially I installed high tensile fence 5 strands 2 energized the other 3 grounded as a perimeter fence around 5 acres. I rotate the animals through this pasture by subdividing with 2 strands of electric twine(poly twine with steel conductors). Once rotated through this I move them to the hay pasture after it grows back from 1st cutting. This I use 2 strands of the electric twine as the perimeter fence and 2 strands for subdividing. Using t posts on corners and dips, and plastic step in posts for support.

Keep in mind my cattle are handled almost on a daily basis, are quite docile and have good feed on pasture. The key seems to be ensuring that the animals have decent feed and they will not bother trying to wander(granted there are some animals that just need to be free!). I do run them in two separate groups the heifers in one and the rest in the other. This is the reasoning for 2 strands in subdivision I feel better with two separating the bulls from my heifers(not wanting them to be bred at this time).

I would suggest starting with a strong energizer and temporary fencing until your new pastures have become established and a better idea of what will work best for your homestead. I've found rotational grazing to be quite beneficial for pastures and animals included. The material for fencing isn't cheap, I wouldn't skimp on the energizer, purchase the best you can afford, and make sure as doc stated, "You gotta keep the electric line weed free."

I really like using the temporary fence, it's quick and easy to put up, I have all the fencing on spooled reels allowing for easy install and take down. They can get a little heavy, I have 2640' on each spool; walking them out isn't to bad, pickup can be a good forearm workout though. Another benefit is if the line breaks, turn the fencer off tie the two ends back together, turn fencer back on, mended!

Sorry for the long post!

Traded
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:27 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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thanks for the replies, I had not decided what kind of fence to use, haven't even decided what kind of livestock to get, budget wise I doubt I could buy enough cattle to come close to what the pasture can support, I may buy goats instead, I can get 10 for the price of 1 cow. just researching the options at this point, and buying supplies as I can afford them
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:16 AM
traded Male traded is offline
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Smaller animals are certainly much easy to maintain and "cut your teeth on" so to speak. Goats are a great idea, have you ever heard of Katahdin sheep? They are a meat breed that grow fairly quickly. They are a hair sheep so there is no need for shearing. They eat everything similar to goats and finish well on pasture with no grain needed. We just had two lambs 7 months old butchered, between 50 and 60 lbs a piece finished product take home. The butcher was impressed with how lean and healthy they were. There are many options out there, take your time and experiment with a few animals prior to jumping in head first. Good luck and any questions feel free to ask!
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2016, 02:55 PM
humbug Female humbug is offline
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We are going to fence our property with 4 ft field fencing with 2 strands of barb wire on top. it should hold goats and sheep.
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