Selecting the best fence for livestock on your acreage can be a real dilemma. Following are considerations is selecting the best fence.
- What specie and age of livestock will it be used for? Sheep and goats do not need as tall or strong a fence as cattle and horses. Younger calves and horses don’t need as strong of fence as larger mature horses, cows, and bulls.
- How much pressure will be placed on the fence? Fence around a large pasture will not be subjected to the same pressure as a fence around a small lot where sorting and doctoring will be done.
- How important is appearance to you in the location you are planning to place the fence? Some fences have a more appealing appearance but may be more costly to build and maintain.
- What is the cost of construction and maintenance? Pipe or plastic may be more expensive to construct but will have less maintenance costs as time goes on. For estimates on fencing costs, review Fencing Material Costs.
- Is the fence safe for the specie you intend to fence? Barbed wire works well for cattle pastures but can cause a lot of cuts on horses since their skin is thinner and cuts easily. Goats sometimes get their horns caught in woven wire and are unable to get them out without help.
- What is the strength and visibility of the fence? Strands of wire or cable are usually the most economical but lack strength, visibility, and appearance.
Wood is medium in price but high in maintenance and repair. Pipe is strong, and visible but can be costly. Fiberglass, PVC, or plastic fencing is very nice in appearance and strength but is the most costly.