Fencing is necessary for livestock husbandry, but it can be daunting and time-consuming, especially if you’re doing it yourself. It requires careful planning and execution to build a fence that effectively contains your animals without causing undue stress or hardship. Here are six tips to make installing a livestock fence easier for you and your animals.
1- Choose the Right Type of Fence for Your Needs
Many types of fencing are available, and not all are equally well-suited for all situations. If you’re unsure which type of fence is right for your farm, consult a local fencing expert or agricultural extension agent. They can help you select a fence that will be both effective and humane. For example, barbed wire is often used for cattle, but it can be dangerous for other animals like sheep. Likewise, electric fences are a good choice for containing pigs, but they may not be tall enough to keep out deer.
2- Get the Right Tools for the Job
Installing a livestock fence is a big job; you’ll need the right tools to get it done right. If you’re working with wood, you’ll need a saw, hammer, and nails. You’ll need a post-hole digger, pliers, and wire cutters for metal fences. And for all types of fencing, you’ll need gloves, safety glasses, and sturdy shoes to protect yourself from the elements and potential injuries.
3- Have a Plan
Before you start building your fence, it’s essential to have a plan. Decide where the fence will go, considering your property’s layout and animal needs. Then, map out the fence’s route, marking where each post will be placed. This will save you time and effort later on. You may even want to create a scale model of your fence to help visualize the finished product.
4- Beware of Obstacles
When installing a fence, be aware of potential obstacles that could make the job more difficult. These include trees, rocks, and ditches. If possible, avoid these obstacles by routing the fence around them. If that’s not possible, take the time to dig a hole or clear away the obstruction before proceeding.
5- Avoid Digging Post Holes Too Deep
Digging your post holes deep enough to ensure a sturdy fence is important, but you don’t want to go too deep. If you do, you’ll just have to fill the hole back in, which is a waste of time and effort. A general rule of thumb is to dig the hole three times the post’s width. So, for a 4-inch comprehensive post, you would dig a 12-inch deep hole.
6- Hire Help If Needed
Installing a fence is a lot of work and should not be undertaken lightly. If you’re unsure you can handle the job independently, don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends, family, or even professional fence installation services. Having an extra set of hands will make the job much smoother and help you avoid mistakes.
Installing a livestock fence can be challenging, but it’s an integral part of being a responsible farmer. Following these tips can make the job easier for yourself and your animals. And in the end, you’ll have a fence that will keep your animals safe and contained for years to come.