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goat fence vs horse fence

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I'm comparing options for fencing in a paddock behind the barn for five sheep (three Clun Forest x Tunis and two Shetlands - they'll be coming in the spring as lambs, and put away in the barn at night) - We're planning a mesh fence with a strand of barb wire atop and below the mesh. There appear to be two options that fit within my budget at the moment - 48" high goat/general livestock fence that comes in 330 foot rolls or 47" high general purpose field fence that comes in 200 foot rolls at $169.00. Both are 12.5 gauge wire....both scored high in customer reviews - why is the second so much more expensive than the other? Is the claim that the horse fence is "non-climbing" worth double the price? I want my sheep to be safe, but also want to save $$$ for fencing in the orchard later on....that area is about 10 acres and will require a major investment!

 

See the fence ads here

 

Thanks,

Liz

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On the 47" high x 330 foot roll, the vertical stays are set at 4"- making a 4" x 4" square. The "non-climb" fence's vertical stays are set every two inches- making the squares 2" x 4". There are 1200 vertical stays in 200' of wire (at 2") and around 990 vertical stays in 330' (at 4"). There is more wire used in the 200 feet of fence, so the price is higher. metal prices of all types is currently going through the roof, as well.

 

ETA: Assuming my math is correct, anyway.

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Why barbed wire? I would choose one strand of high-tensile electric top and bottom if I was to choose anything for those locations. We had dairy goats for many years and found that a strand of electric top and bottom was very effective. IMO, barbed wire provides no useful restraint and offers opportunities for injuries.

 

Best wishes!

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Why barbed wire? I would choose one strand of high-tensile electric top and bottom if I was to choose anything for those locations. We had dairy goats for many years and found that a strand of electric top and bottom was very effective. IMO, barbed wire provides no useful restraint and offers opportunities for injuries.

 

Best wishes!

No electricity on that side of the road as yet -- the barbed wire hopefully will discourage critters from climbing over or crawling under the fence into the paddock. It's done quite a lot "in these parts " to what degree of effectiveness remains to be seen...

 

Liz

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On the 47" high x 330 foot roll, the vertical stays are set at 4"- making a 4" x 4" square. The "non-climb" fence's vertical stays are set every two inches- making the squares 2" x 4". There are 1200 vertical stays in 200' of wire (at 2") and around 990 vertical stays in 330' (at 4"). There is more wire used in the 200 feet of fence, so the price is higher. metal prices of all types is currently going through the roof, as well.

 

ETA: Assuming my math is correct, anyway.

I'll accept it -- I teach English -- Math is my very weak point. In my small experience, I think the horse fence is very wobbly - it's hard to get it tight unless you put boards up, which defeats the purpose of "non-cimbing" as something could very easily scramble up and over the boards....

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Thats the exact fencing I used to section off my back 40 and to built my roundpen.

I ordered it from Premier 2 rolls last year - no Tractor supply around here :(

 

The major drawback with this is that theopenings allow young livestock to get through. I had to put an additional fence on top of the goatfence in my roundpen, my baby nubian goats managed to get out, so it was not really cost effective! Also, and this might only apply to goats B), they do get their head stuck in openings, and that can either injure then badly(let me know if you want the horror story B) and/or really do a number on the fence. I am planning on redoing with cattlepanels little by little ;)

 

Thats my 2 cents worth B)

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No electricity on that side of the road as yet -- the barbed wire hopefully will discourage critters from climbing over or crawling under the fence into the paddock. It's done quite a lot "in these parts " to what degree of effectiveness remains to be seen...

 

Liz

 

Solar fence charger

 

ETA-Maybe that's more feasible here in sunny AZ than your neck of the woods

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Solar fence charger

 

ETA-Maybe that's more feasible here in sunny AZ than your neck of the woods

I should take a picture of the view outside my window this morning, but it would only depress you :)...snow, slush, rain...sigh... we will have spring eventually :). Solar is in use up here, I'd like to plan to incorporate in a larger way as we grow...the well pump,fencing, even barn lights, could all be solar/electric back up...

 

 

 

@ The Good Shepherd -- I get the picture re: babies...definitely something to think about...

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Electricity and solar are not the only options for an electric fence - you can run a battery-powered fencer that recharges with solar if the weather allows

(or not). Of course, you do need to keep your fenceline a bit cleaner with any form of electric fence but some fence chargers are very effective even when the fenceline is weedier - others are not. My advice is to always get "more of a fencer" than you think you may need, particularly if you won't be keeping the fenceline as clean as you'd like and go with high-impedence.

 

We see a lot of barbed wire down here - it was the "fence du jour" for ages but it has so many drawbacks that I would not even consider it. I realize that it is probably cheaper in the short run than any form of electric but I believe it to be so ineffective (and dangerous) that I would not use it.

 

But, what works for one is not necessarily what works for someone else and their situation! We only have cattle, and that's a whole different can of worms!

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Electricity and solar are not the only options for an electric fence - you can run a battery-powered fencer that recharges with solar if the weather allows

(or not). Of course, you do need to keep your fenceline a bit cleaner with any form of electric fence but some fence chargers are very effective even when the fenceline is weedier - others are not. My advice is to always get "more of a fencer" than you think you may need, particularly if you won't be keeping the fenceline as clean as you'd like and go with high-impedence.

 

We see a lot of barbed wire down here - it was the "fence du jour" for ages but it has so many drawbacks that I would not even consider it. I realize that it is probably cheaper in the short run than any form of electric but I believe it to be so ineffective (and dangerous) that I would not use it.

 

But, what works for one is not necessarily what works for someone else and their situation! We only have cattle, and that's a whole different can of worms!

 

Well, the budget is definitely a consideration in the short run -- I'm not a fan of barbed either and not looking forward to installing it - (rather painful memories of getting tangled in the stuff as a kid, myself) but it's been suggested as the best, least expensive line of defense against dogs or wild critters digging under or going over the fences -

 

Liz

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I am not convinced that barbed wire would deter any coyote or similarly-minded animal. Of course, neither would smooth wire without a good jolt to it.

 

Best wishes on getting what works for you, and enjoy your sheep!

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.... In my small experience, I think the horse fence is very wobbly - it's hard to get it tight unless you put boards up, which defeats the purpose of "non-cimbing" as something could very easily scramble up and over the boards....

 

If possible, the 2X4 no-climb fence is better IMHO. I agree about little heads getting through, and then getting stuck, in the 4X4.

 

I have 2X4 no-climb, without a top board, and have had no trouble with it loosening up i.e. wobbling. If you can use a tractor to pull the fence taut before attaching to the posts, that should provide a tight installation. BUT what will you be using for posts and how far apart do you plan on spacing them? These may be factors that affect how tight your fence is/will be. I have wooden posts set ~15' apart. I would think that if you used metal posts, depending on how close they were spaced, you may not be able to pull the fencing as taut.

 

Good Luck.

 

Jovi

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You might want to consider electric for another reason: Unless you want your sheep to turn your fence into a scratching post (and bending it all over the place, no matter how tight it is), you'll want to run an offset hotwire at about sheep shoulder height. We have one on our perimeter & garden fences, and it keeps the goats & sheep from rubbing and climbing on the fence, and the sheep do a pretty good job of grazing underneath it to keep the grass down.

 

ETA: We have standard field fence, and I've never had a polled or dehorned animal get stuck in it. They'll put their heads through- another reason for the offset hotwire. I do, however, have a ram with only one horn because he got tangled in a fence when he was a yearling.

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Woven wire specs are usually written something like this: 13-48-6. The first number is the number of horizontal stays, the second number is overall height in inches, and the third is the spacing of the vertical stays in inches.

 

But this only tells you so much about the fence. There are two basic categories of woven wire fence: hinged joint and solid joint. Hinged joint fence is much less expensive initially, but will be floppy and will break if animals rub on it. Solid joint is extremely durable, doesn't flex at each joint, and wills stand up to an incredible amount of animal pressure.

 

A well-designed woven wire fence should have small openings at the bottom and larger ones at the top. In the 13-48-6 fence that I have as a perimeter fence on my headquarters farm has openings at the bottom that are 1.5 and 2 inches by six. Nothing gets a head through those except squirrels and other rodents. At the top, the openings are 6X6, but those are four feet up and don't need to keep lamb head out. Just coyote heads. Which they do.

 

My advice to anyone who is building perimeter fence is to build the best and build it once, even if it means you have to do it in stages. Building inadequate fence several times is not a good way to save money. I have not seen any fence sold at TSC that I would consider adequate. They seem to carry Red Brand fence, which is okay but not great. Many other manufacturers use better galvanization and have better fence designs. My personal favorite is Solidlock by Baekert. While it certainly costs more initially, it will save you money in the long run because you won't have to replace it in 10 or 15 years.

 

Solid lock fence also requires fewer posts than hinge joint fence, which helps offset the cost somewhat. With hinge-joint fence, you should really have a post every 10 feet, and with solidlock you can go to every 20 or even 25 feet on level ground.

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Woven wire specs are usually written something like this: 13-48-6. The first number is the number of horizontal stays, the second number is overall height in inches, and the third is the spacing of the vertical stays in inches.

 

But this only tells you so much about the fence. There are two basic categories of woven wire fence: hinged joint and solid joint. Hinged joint fence is much less expensive initially, but will be floppy and will break if animals rub on it. Solid joint is extremely durable, doesn't flex at each joint, and wills stand up to an incredible amount of animal pressure.

 

A well-designed woven wire fence should have small openings at the bottom and larger ones at the top. In the 13-48-6 fence that I have as a perimeter fence on my headquarters farm has openings at the bottom that are 1.5 and 2 inches by six. Nothing gets a head through those except squirrels and other rodents. At the top, the openings are 6X6, but those are four feet up and don't need to keep lamb head out. Just coyote heads. Which they do.

 

My advice to anyone who is building perimeter fence is to build the best and build it once, even if it means you have to do it in stages. Building inadequate fence several times is not a good way to save money. I have not seen any fence sold at TSC that I would consider adequate. They seem to carry Red Brand fence, which is okay but not great. Many other manufacturers use better galvanization and have better fence designs. My personal favorite is Solidlock by Baekert. While it certainly costs more initially, it will save you money in the long run because you won't have to replace it in 10 or 15 years.

 

Solid lock fence also requires fewer posts than hinge joint fence, which helps offset the cost somewhat. With hinge-joint fence, you should really have a post every 10 feet, and with solidlock you can go to every 20 or even 25 feet on level ground.

 

It was the Red Brand we were looking at - and I thought it had the smaller openings at the bottom then graduated to larger at the top, but I'll be sure to look again because that is what I wanted. We're planning for a wooden post every ten feet -- the ground is not steep but it does have a gentle curve -- better safe than sorry. The Solidlock is definitely what we have planned for the perimeter fencing of the ten acres comprising two small meadows and the orchard where they will eventually spend most of their days but, as you point out, it might be preferable to go ahead and put it on the paddock behind the barn and be done with the job.

 

Now, about gates.....do you build your own? I'd like at least one that mimics those in the penning phase of the trial competions

 

Liz

 

Thanks,

Liz

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For livestock gates, I'd just buy steel pipe gates. All of ours are hung so they swing both ways. We also use one hinge with a bottom "bar" that helps keep the gate from sagging. (I can not find a picture of it on the web!) Our gate openings are either 16' wide (2 - 8' gates) or 12' wide (1- 8' and 1- 4' gate). We chose to do two gates instead of one big one mostly because we were given a pile of 8' pipe gates in great condition.

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I grew up (partly) on a chicken farm that also had huge grain fields where other people's cows and horses overwintered. We had barbed wire fences that were easily 4' high and I can tell you that I've seen coyotes sail right over them. They occasionally left a tuft of belly fur, but that only taught them to jump a bit higher. These were just 4-strand fences. They could easily have gone under the bottom wire, but no, they jumped them. But I never saw a coyote in the paddock where my donkey lived, and it was just 1 strand of hot wire about 2 1/2' feet from the ground. Of course, it may have been the donkey and not the fence that kept them out of there. :)

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I too prefer Bekaert fence (high tensile woven). For gates we prefer the Behlen Country galvanized wire filled gates with the 2"x4" wire spacing (available from sheepman supply).

 

This gate does not show up on most Behlen websites; it is listed in their catalog you can download (see page 12).

 

Behlen Country Catalog

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I too prefer Bekaert fence (high tensile woven). For gates we prefer the Behlen Country galvanized wire filled gates with the 2"x4" wire spacing (available from sheepman supply).

 

This gate does not show up on most Behlen websites; it is listed in their catalog you can download (see page 12).

 

Behlen Country Catalog

That is the kind of gate I had in mind. The catalog is very helpful, thank you.

 

Liz

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