NEW YORK – An important aspect of a farm is a fencing system. Fences control livestock, divide land and improve the organization – not to mention the appearance – of farmland.
Tough to choose. There are various fences on the market today, and it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you.
However, whether you’re putting up fencing for the first time or replacing older fences, a little planning can ensure that a good fence lasts from 25 to 50 years.
Here are the five most popular types of fencing from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Rail. Rail fences are attractive borders usually placed around farm buildings or the main farmhouse. Sometimes, it is used to display expensive show animals.
However, this type of fencing does not deter predators or restrain animals that are prone to wandering.
The height of a rail fence usually falls between 4 to 5 feet. Vinyl, vinyl-coated wooden boards, treated wood and painted wood all make solid rail fences.
Barbed wire. Barbed wires dissuade intruders with a strong statement of ownership and demarcation of boundaries. They also keep cattle from roaming with a sharper reminder than basic wire fences.
Standard barbed wire fences leave wires loose, but suspension barbed wire fences are best for livestock because the strands are stretched taut, discouraging animals from trying to pass through.
Woven wire. Woven wire fences, though expensive, are effective borders when drawn tightly around the perimeter of land for animals like goats and sheep.
They also provide visual barriers for both the enclosed animals and potential predators like coyotes and bears. Heights range from 26 to 96 inches, depending on the size and jumping abilities of the animals.
Mesh wire. Mesh wire fences are strong and provide a high level of security for animals. However, they can be even more expensive than woven wire fences and are often used to border smaller spaces like holding pens or feed lots.
The small openings in the fence ensure that animals hooves don’t get trapped, and there are no exposed sharp edges that could cause a cut.
High-tensile wire. Here, wires are held between posts, keeping them permanently taut because of tension springs that hold them.
One or more of the strands are usually electrified so that animals don’t scratch on the fence and move the springs out of their positions.
The high-tensile wire fence is especially safe for livestock because the electrification provides protection against predators.
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