There is nothing more beautiful and useful than a well-constructed and maintained fence. Whether you live in the city and need a fence to keep the dogs from wandering off or you live in the country and need to corral your livestock, you have plenty of options. Some of the most popular are wire fencing, including no climb varieties for horse owners, barbed wire for cattle, and more. In this week’s Urban Farmer’s Almanac, we’ll look at several wire fencing options and help you decide if one is right for you.
No Climb and Woven Wire Fencing
It’s important to minimize the chance for injury when fencing a horse. No climb horse fence, also known as woven wire or field fence, features narrow vertical mesh. This mesh keeps horses, and other large animals, from stepping into the fence and getting stuck. These fences are also flexible and smooth on both sides.
Benefits: No climb fences keep other animals (such as dogs) out. The tight weave works for horses, sheep, goats, and donkeys. It’s also fairly easy to install, with 2- and 4-inch weave and various gauge options.
Maintenance: These fences need to be tightened seasonally and posts tested annually. If your horse rubs the fence regularly, you may need to tighten it more often. Also, it’s a good idea to spray weeds and other grasses before they have a chance to grow up and into a no climb fence. Unchecked vegetation can put strain on the fence and shorten its lifespan tremendously.
High-Tensile Nonelectric Wire Fence
If you’re looking for a fence you can install quickly and requires less maintenance, then this is your fence. However, sheep and pigs can navigate under the fence and cattle have been known to just walk through without barbed wire.
Benefits: Easy to install and even easier to maintain. Plus, a high-tensile fence looks great.
Maintenance: Because of the high-tensile installation, you won’t need to tighten these fences all that often. Choose a higher gauge wire, and you’ll enjoy the fence for years.
Barbed Wire Fence
According to historians at the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum, barbed wire helped shape the American west following President Lincoln’s Homestead Act. The law offered 160 acres of free land to anyone settling it for five years. Before barbed wire, it was nearly impossible to fence in those 160 acres. After all, there wasn’t an abundance of timber lying around the Great Plains. When American inventor Joseph Gliddon developed barbed wire in 1874, it was hailed by settlers and lawmakers alike. However, barbed wire quickly got a reputation as a dangerous fence for horses and humans. The invention was used in World War I as a defensive barrier.
Benefits: There are thousands of varieties of barbed wire to meet almost any need. Barbed wire is often inexpensive and is a great way to keep cattle fenced into a specific area. Plus, the life of a barbed wire fence often exceeds 20 years.
Maintenance: Tightening at corner posts is required periodically. Breaks can happen, but are fairly easy to fix with the right tools and knowhow.
Get Your Fencing at Coastal
You’ll find posts, post drivers, tools, wire, stretchers, and a ton of answers to your biggest fencing questions at your nearby Coastal Farm & Ranch. While you’re at the store, check out our full line of tack, feed, and animal health supplies.
Little Known Barbed Wire Fence Fact
When the telephone companies first started putting up line to connect homes across the country, rural areas were largely ignored. There just weren’t enough people to justify the cost. But country folk are ingenious. They helped connect telephone networks together using thousands of miles of already-installed barbed wire fencing. It didn’t have the same audio quality as copper line, but it worked.