Agricultural Fencing - Horse and Forest Fences
An agricultural fence acts to keep livestock confined and protected. It is important to realise that confinement and protection are separate concerns, and your fence must reflect the mix of these dual purposes.
The size and strength of the agricultural fencing is contingent on the size and strength of the livestock it needs to hold. If your agricultural fencing needs to contain more than one type of animal, select the fence that will hold the largest one.
Choices of agricultural fencing include:
- Wire mesh, or woven wire fence is the traditional choice to restrict livestock. This fence is made of galvanised metal wire, with mesh generally in the 60 – 100mm range. This metal fencing is manufactured in a variety of weights (wire gauge), mesh size and height. It is sturdy, highly visible to the livestock and serves well as both confinement and protection. This fence is particularly friendly for horses, as they react best when the fence in which they are enclosed is highly visible. Take care when choosing wire mesh that feet, paws and hooves cannot easily be snared in the openings.
- Barbed wire has a long history as an effective cattle fence. It is inexpensive, installed easily, can be run great distances, serves well in both the restriction and protection roles, offers little wind resistance, is generally unaffected by vegetation, and offers a clear view. Barbed wire can use for the whole fence, or in conjunction with other fencing styles. It is not recommended as horse fence (horses can be easily injured by it) or to contain sheep because the wire barbs often clog with wool and are rendered ineffective.
- High tension fence is a wire fence where the posts are placed farther apart than most other fencing. The wires are made of high tensile steel, and move very flexibly. As livestock contacts on one part of the fence, other parts react to the pressure and contact the animal in unexpected locations. There are stays installed in this fence that keep the wires apart from each other and do not touch the ground. It is the whipping action of these fences that makes them effective, so vegetation and terrain must be suitable. This is not good fence for horses, as they can become tangled in the wires.
- Board fence comes in a variety of styles, materials and colors, generally featuring 2 to 4 rails between posts. Construction material for this type of fence has traditionally been wood. Fences of this type are also constructed of steel or steel pipe, usually featuring a durable powder coating finish.
Electric fence is designed to deliver a quick shock to livestock and predators that come into contact with it. The fences are powered by electric fence chargers that deliver a quick pulse along the fence's length. This fence can be used in a stand-alone mode, or can also be used in conjunction with other fences (board fences and suspension fences). This type of fence works well with containing all livestock, and is also effective against incoming dogs, badgers or other unwelcome visitors.