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Old 12-22-2013, 10:15 AM
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Default Critique my goat cattle field fencing and gate



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This spring I plan on fencing in a few acres to put cattle and maybe some goats and sheep on. The field is about 7 acres. I hope to only put a handful of cows at any one time, and maybe a horse later on.


Lets start off at the gate:

Should I go with a mesh gate, or a regular tubing gate? My concern is small goats could get through the tubing gate.

Mesh gate - http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...esh-gate-10-ft

Tubing gate - http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...ube-gate-10-ft


Fencing, my brother and I talked about this yesterday. He suggested going with 42 inch tall wire and a strand of barbed wire 6 inches above the fence for a total height of 4 feet.

42 inch cattle fence - http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...-fence-42-in-h

Or go with 48 welded wire and put a strand of barbed wire on the top of the welded wire? http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...48-in-x-100-ft

The barbed wire to prevent a horse from leaning over the fence and bending the wire.

I thought about putting a hotwire on the inside of the fence post to keep the animals away.

What are your thoughts and suggestions?
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:26 AM
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Why not just go all electric? I put up 6 strand electric with a 3 strand hot wire that I rotate from time to time. If you have a horse, you definitely want a hot wire up higher than you would need for the goats. It would save you lots and lots of money and is an easier project. I made my own H and L posts from cedar trees on the property. The poles between are smaller cedar (2-3 inch diameter). Just know how to treat the wood that is underground so it won't rot (roofing tar, kerosene mix and wrap with a garbage bag).
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:39 AM
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I would go with the mesh gate as a small goat with developing horns could stick its head thru the tubes and get stuck. There is nothing as fun as getting a stuck goat out of a fence (personal experience with this).

Our horses pushed down on the barbed wire and itched themselves on it and still damaged our field fence underneath it. Also, the horses can injure themselves on on the barbed wire causing significant lacerations (again, personal experience with this).

You might consider a strand of electric fence down low to keep the goats from getting to close and testing the fence, and electric horse tape up top to keep the horses off of it.
http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...nce-poly-tapes

Going back to the goats, don't treat them like pets. We had one we made the mistake of doing this with a baby goat. He grew up thinking our kids were his pack mates and wanted to rough house with them. Not a good thing to have a full grown Boer goat trying to ram the kids.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by America's Patriot View Post
Why not just go all electric?
No power at field location.

Well, there are power lines that run near the field, but to go all electric is not feasible.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by TexasR.N. View Post
and electric horse tape up top to keep the horses off of it.
http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...nce-poly-tapes
the tape does the sale thing as electric wire? Just more visible?
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:54 AM
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You'll do better with quality woven field fence made for the unique animal needs that you plan to house there. Welded wire is absolutely wasted money, as even baby goats can nose through it and snap the insignificant tack welds apart.

Goat Fence, 48 in. x 330 ft.

Quote:
$219.99

Length - 330 ft.
Material - Low Carbon Steel, Zinc Coating
Mesh - 4 in. x 4 in.
Size - 48 in x 330 ft.
Wire Size - 12.5 g
This can work, but a goat with horns has a head like a fish hook. Young ones can and will stick their head through that 4" x 4" opening to graze and the small horns are the barb. The fence usually has to be cut to free them. It's hapened to me many times, but it was pre-existing hog wire of that approximate opening that snared my goats. The sad thing is a couple that were stuck there over 24 hours before I checked them and saw it. I could tell by the pawing on the ground that they were there a long time. They cannot free themselves. At all.

So, when I selected my next wire I went with this one. It is superb in my opinion:

Non-Climb Horse Fence, 60 in. x 200 ft.

Quote:
$349.99

Smooth on both sides to prevent snags
Narrow vertical mesh keeps horses from stepping through or walking down
12.5 gauge wire
Woven fence
Class 1 zinc coating
2 in. vertical spacing
You also mentioned a horse at some point. This woven mesh is small enough that a horse cannot get a hoof in it, as they can walk loose fence over. It's small mesh will not allow a goat head in. It rocks for keeping in my dogs as well. It is a multi-animal wonder product in my opinion.

The added benefit is that a person cannot easily climb this fence! I put it all along my frontage and hope to increase my coverage as I can afford it. With tall posts and barbed wire on top it is an incredibly hard barrier for a person to get over.

You will probably come to see that you will need barbed wire to enhance this fencing.

I ran one strand of 12 gauge 4 point a couple of inches off the ground all around the outside of the field fence to keep goats from being able to "nose under" it after it relaxed a bit. Dogs too can nose under loose field fence between posts. Were the ground perfectly level and the fence perfectly stretched this would not be an issue, but neither of those are likely to hold true.

I also ran a strand of barbed wire a couple of inches below the top of the field fence so that there is an extra 12 gauge wire preventing any animal from leaning on the wire between posts. Goats will walk over it if it gives any. You noted the horses leaning on it above.

And I ran a final strand of 4 point 12 gauge wire over the top of the field fence to encourage two legged varmints to go another direction. It is a very intimidating obstacle from the outside looking in. My large dogs loose on the inside further discourage any ideas of going over and alert me to anyone out there

That's my view. You can see the significant difference in price. It's your place. Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
the tape does the sale thing as electric wire? Just more visible?
Yes, that is my understanding. There is a thin stranded version, but the 1" wide or wider tape allows the horse to see the "fence". I believe you can set this up with a solar charger and a battery if you don't have power run out to the current location.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by REM View Post
You also mentioned a horse at some point. This woven mesh is small enough that a horse cannot get a hoof in it, as they can walk loose fence over. It's small mesh will not allow a goat head in. It rocks for keeping in my dogs as well. It is a multi-animal wonder product in my opinion.
How about this in 48 inches tall?

http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...48-in-x-200-ft

Then run a line of barbed wire along the top of the wire?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The plan is to use 6 foot t-post, 2 feet in the ground, 4 foot above ground.

Starting from the corner H brace, 4 t-post, then a 5 inch treated post, 4 t-post, a 5 inch treated post,,, repeat until I hit 200 feet and put up another H brace.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasR.N. View Post
Yes, that is my understanding. There is a thin stranded version, but the 1" wide or wider tape allows the horse to see the "fence". I believe you can set this up with a solar charger and a battery if you don't have power run out to the current location.
I would like for the barn and fence to be solar powered.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:32 AM
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FWIW, every so often you can find someone on Craigslist selling used T-post for 1.50 - 2.00 per post. Once in a blue moon someone will be on there selling field fence as well. I just bring this up as a cost saving measure, as fencing can and does get expensive.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
How about this in 48 inches tall?

http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...48-in-x-200-ft

Then run a line of barbed wire along the top of the wire?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The plan is to use 6 foot t-post, 2 feet in the ground, 4 foot above ground.

Starting from the corner H brace, 4 t-post, then a 5 inch treated post, 4 t-post, a 5 inch treated post,,, repeat until I hit 200 feet and put up another H brace.

I would like for the barn and fence to be solar powered.
The 4 foot wire will work fine. You might consider 6.5' T-posts, so that you have a few inches above the field fence to place a strand of barbed wire if you do want to make it difficult for two legged varmits to cross the fence.

My thinking is more on the lines of a real protective perimeter of the home place, making it difficult to approach my home and to keep my dogs and livestock in. I might be a little ahead of you. I'm not sure how far away moving onto the place is for you. You might only be interested in minimal fence to hold a few animals at this point. I do know that fencing is a very considerable investment and looking at possible future needs now is a good idea so that you can do it once and not be thinking "I wish I had.." later on down the road. Anything on your perimeter deserves special consideration in my view.

Solar chargers, gate openers, lighting and all sorts of solar is possible. I have a solar powered gate that's three years old and has never given me any problem. At some point I will have to replace the battery, though.

Electric fencing works for horses and cattle as long as they have plenty to eat, drink and have shade, comfort, etc. and do not want to get out. It will not work for goats, although there will likely be dissent on that point. For cross fencing within a well fenced area is the only place that I use it.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:42 AM
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You can also use that 4" x 4" woven wire if you cleanly dehorn your adult and debud your new born goats. Aside making it hard for humans to cross and horses stepping it down goat heads are the main concern in my preference of the 2" x 4" woven wire. Standard hog wire is a contender, too.

Debudding is taking a hot iron and touching it to both horns of new born goats for 15 seconds. It kills the horn pretty much and the goat grows up with a smooth head that will not get caught up like a horned head. They get pretty excited and it smells bad, but it does not appear to be inhumane or cruel. They are fine a minute after you let them go.

That's also a good idea for personal safety. I've had several hear eye-horn misses while I was leaned over putting out feed. They will be all over you when you have a bucket of feed. Kids are far safer if they don't have horns, too.

Topping the woven wire with a solar powered electric wire will stop horses and cattle from leaning over the wire.

That's just another way of planning it out and making the fence selection that best suits your long term needs.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:48 AM
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Default i thought cedar post's

were known far and wide as 20 year fence material.
requiring no treatment as they grow in a swamp.
at least when we fenced the farm 32 years ago we never treated our cedar and aprox 50 % of the 32year old posts are still original.
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Why not just go all electric? I put up 6 strand electric with a 3 strand hot wire that I rotate from time to time. If you have a horse, you definitely want a hot wire up higher than you would need for the goats. It would save you lots and lots of money and is an easier project. I made my own H and L posts from cedar trees on the property. The poles between are smaller cedar (2-3 inch diameter). Just know how to treat the wood that is underground so it won't rot (roofing tar, kerosene mix and wrap with a garbage bag).
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by REM View Post
I'm not sure how far away moving onto the place is for you. You might only be interested in minimal fence to hold a few animals at this point. I do know that fencing is a very considerable investment and looking at possible future needs now is a good idea so that you can do it once and not be thinking "I wish I had.." later on down the road. Anything on your perimeter deserves special consideration in my view.
My wife and I have already moved to the land. Now its just a matter of getting everything in place.

This video shows the field, and me talking about putting up the fence.

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Old 12-22-2013, 12:18 PM
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Nice!! That's a bunch of growth for one year after logging.

Goats love that sort of stuff. Weeds, vines, etc. You have a great start!
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:25 PM
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Welded wire fence will not last as long as woven wire with livestock. That's more for home users. The "non-climb" type woven fence has smaller holes but costs 3X more, so I use regular 47" field fence.

I always get the mesh gates because they keep dogs and coyotes and other critters out. I believe a small bear could slip through the bars on the tube gates. Of course a bear will climb right over a fence, whether or not there is barbed wire on top... I've seen them do it.

I would use an electric wire at the top instead of barbed. I have a battery powered fence charger I got at the feed store for ~$70. A car battery hooks up to it and will last for weeks.

Don't forget your brace posts and brace beams

If you haven't done this before you might want to get a fence stretcher and fence wire twister. You can do the job without those tools but they make it so much easier and faster. I also have the crimp connectors and the tool for connecting fence wire. What I do is connect both ends as tight as possible (which is never tight enough) then go to the middle, cut the fence, put on the fence stretcher to tighten it up, cut off the excess, then crimp the wires together. Makes a good tight fence. You could twist the wires instead of crimping at this point, but the crimper makes it faster.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...0?cm_vc=-10005

http://www.tractorsupply.com/product...1_CrossSellPDP
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:33 PM
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What we have come up with so far,

12 foot mesh gate
4 - 5 inch post for h-brace
48 inch non-climb horse fence - http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...48-in-x-200-ft
6 1/2 foot t-post - http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...33-lb-per-foot
Wire cutters and crimpers

How does that look?
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:43 PM
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As long as we are spending your money...

http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...nce-tool-combo

In all seriousness, fence pliers are one of the most versatile tools there are.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:00 PM
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We have horses, albeit a different set up than what you propose, however you are looking at vet bills with barbed wire. Some horses could care less about barbed wire. TSC sells zareba solar fencers, and they work great. You can run multiple strands of wire/tape, even to keep the smaller animals in.

Wire fencing, we used this http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded...322262?N=c3lp# for a smaller holding paddock and it works just fine, plus much less than TSC. Even though its a slightly thinner gauge, it works fine.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:21 PM
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If you feel the need for the strength of the tube gate, you can tie or weld woven wire or a hog panel to it.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
What we have come up with so far,

12 foot mesh gate
4 - 5 inch post for h-brace
48 inch non-climb horse fence - http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...48-in-x-200-ft
6 1/2 foot t-post - http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...33-lb-per-foot
Wire cutters and crimpers

How does that look?
Looks good, don't forget a fence stretcher:
http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...ence-stretcher

I made a homemade version because I needed it at the time, and was sick of driving to town that day.

Don't know if you are familiar with putting up field fence, but I have found this to be one of the best ways to put the fence up:
Sorry about the quality but it was one of the shorter clips I could find.

I made a similar stretcher except I used a single eye bolt in the middle of the the 2x4 and then used a come-a-long anchored to a fence post to pull it up. Just roll the fence out, attach the far end it an anchored post first, come back and ratchet up the other end. The fence will just stand up and you can set your T-post where you want them distance wise.
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