Installing a fence on a farm or ranch is time intensive and costs money. You should choose your type of fencing carefully to make sure it is worth the time and money you will put in. The type of fencing you need will be determined by your animals, space, time, and budget. Consider the different types and which one will suit your purpose best.
In earlier years, wood was the best option for fencing. It was hard and lasted long without too much maintenance. Today, this type of wood is no longer available. Fence-building wood is softer and requires a lot of maintenance. A good wood fence can last up to 20 years with a diligent and regular maintenance schedule.
Woven Wire Fences
This is a type of fence that many farmers and ranchers prefer. It is very good for keeping sheep, pigs, and chickens contained. They cannot fly or dig through it or climb it. Woven wire fencing is less dangerous for horses and other animals because they are less likely to get tangled in it. If you have any of these animals, woven wire fencing might be your answer. These fences can last up to 20 years with little maintenance. Areas with heavy snowfall may have a shorter life span for these fences as the snow weighs it down.
Electric fencing is another good option. It keeps animals in or intruders out without harming them. A well-installed electric fence has great flexibility and does not require a great deal of maintenance. Livestock receives aggressive responses when challenging a herd leader. The electric fence’s short bite of shock has the same effect without harming the animal. It is very important that an electric fence has a good quality energizer. Poor quality or cheap energizers can harm your animals or cause fires.
Synthetic fencing has gained a good reputation in the last decade or so. In previous years, it had a reputation for being unreliable and easily damaged. Today, PVC and other synthetic materials are used for fencing. The great thing about synthetic fencing is that it gives when an animal runs into it. There is a low danger of entanglement and it reduces injury. Synthetic fences might be a bit costly to install, but their longevity is worth it.
Barbed Wire Fences
Barbed wire fencing has been used since the 1850s to help keep animals contained where wood was scarce. Barbed wire is not an ideal material for fences as they tear up clothes and flesh no matter what you do. It is also dangerous for the animals because they can get stuck easily. Some animals get so badly injured while struggling to get free, that they need to be euthanized. Some places require barb wire fences and do not allow other types. Check to see if there are restrictions in your area before installing a fence.
This should guide your decision on fencing materials. The purpose of your fencing installation and the type of animals on your farm or ranch will tell you which material is best to keep your animals safe.