It's one of the quintessential parts of any well-managed farm; the properly constructed fence. It's so important that many people just assume a fence was always there on a well-planned farm.
But of course, this isn't the case. Fences aren't natural products of the environment, they have to be built. More importantly, they need to be built properly.
There are so many mistakes that can be made when building a fence for your cattle range. Be it a barbed wire fence, an electric fence, or otherwise, you need to know the things to avoid.
That's where we come in! We've gone through these common mistakes so that you know the best ways of avoiding them.
Cattle Range Fence Mistakes: The Posts
The most common area where cattle range fences are made incorrectly is to do with the posts.
The posts themselves are often too loose because they haven't been placed deep enough. Or, they were undersized, to begin with.
This can be a disaster for your cattle range, as too much pressure put on the fence can cause these posts to come unloose and the whole fence to collapse. Then you'll be spending the next few days trying to round up your cattle and fix your fence.
Make sure you size up your posts well before you install them. The depth that they are placed into the ground should be at least similar to, if not further than the highest wire of the fence.
If not, then they aren't deep enough. Another common issue is people inserting too many posts for their fence, to the point where they aren't spaced out enough.
Spacing posts too far apart creates weak points, whilst too many is a sign of bad design. Knowing how far your posts should be apart will depend on what kind of fence you are erecting, so make sure to look this up before you measure!
Where's The Gate!?
The main way of entering a cattle range is through the gate in the fence or a cattle grid. It is crucial that this entry point is placed in the right place for you to get into and out of your range regularly.
You should consider adding several points of entry so that you don't have to trek the entirety of your range every day just to get out. It is a simple question of efficiency.
Think of it like this; your fence is designed to keep your cattle in and safe, but its also designed for your personal convenience. You need to ensure that the entry point is properly installed so that you can get into the range to do your job easily.
With your gate for an electric fence, make sure you've purchased the right equipment to install it safely also, like using rubber handles.
Follow The Rules
Another classic mistake of erecting a fence is not checking the regulations in your area first. Many people get caught on the wrong side of an argument when a fence has been built outside of your property.
This is a simple thing to check, but you'd be amazed how many people forget to do so before erecting their fence. Another thing to think about is what's beneath your land, as well as whats beside it.
Remember what we said about the posts earlier? Now, imagine you're pushing your post down and you end up severing a water pipe. That's a whole lot of time and effort to fix!
Make sure you check these things before you build so they don't come back to bite you later.
When it comes to electric fences on cattle rangers, the energizer is an important part of the process.
But many people are using the wrong kind of energizer for the job. Not only is this more expensive, it means the fence is more susceptible to shorting out.
As a general rule, your energizer should provide 1 joule of energy for every mile of fence you use. This is regardless of how many different wires you're using. A good fencing provider will have energizers with a variety of different joule outputs.
If your energizer is producing more than this, you're wasting money. If it's using less than this, your fence isn't properly powered and your cattle could break loose.
Another point to consider with electric fences is using steel poles - don't! You'll be relying on the insulation to keep cattle penned and this isn't a reliable method.
Be Flexible in Response to Wildlife
The initial response to wildlife and your fence is that you want to keep them out at all costs like garden pests.
But the truth is that a more flexible approach is better for you and the wildlife. If you're focusing on harming wildlife and keeping them away, your fence is more likely to be damaged regularly by wildlife and need repairs.
If you instead go with flexible measures that allow some give in response to wildlife, you'll not have to repair your fence as often.
This approach ensures that your cattle are safe and that your fence doesn't break as often as it would normally. Not only that, but it is a reasonably simple change to make with the right materials and approach.
Technology is now transforming the realities of farming; think about how you can upgrade and improve your fencing overall.
Where Can I Find Out More About Cattle Range Fencing
These are some major mistakes that people make in their cattle range fencing erection. If you keep a note of them all when building, you'll likely have a far stronger and more reliable fence long into the future.
But we know how complex cattle range fencing is, and there are many more questions to be answered.
If you're looking to install a cattle range fence in the future and need assistance, make sure you contact us directly. We're always on hand to assist with any and all agricultural product needs, including when it comes to your cattle range!