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Living livestock fence

 
                              
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Was researching something natural and cheaper than a manufactured fence to keep my future livestock in and came across living fences.  Now I realize the concept is nothing new, so I was wondering if anyone has any experience using them to keep their animals in.  The article from Mother Earth News is pretty good and gives Osage Orange hedge the primary nod.  I guess the claim back in the day (when it was used extensively throughout the midwest) was "Horse high, bull strong, hog tight." 

I think at this time we're thinking about doing mainly the perimeter fencing in O. Orange to not only contain animals but perheps let it grow tall and provide a visual barrier against the neighbors too (we're on a small acreage that borders "town".  I really like the weaving it together idea so that it's tight for smaller animals, since we have plans to let poultry range the pastures as well.  And according to Sepp the thorny bushes can act as predator protection for your flocks too.

I'd love to see some pictures if anyone has them.  In the M.E.N. article they reference George Washington preferring Honey locust for his livestock hedges.  I keep thinking with putting that much plant material in, it would be really nice to put in something that added nutrients to the pasture like the two locusts (Honey & Black).

Thoughts?
 
Tyler Ludens
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You'll probably have to fence livestock away from the fence for the first 5 years or so.  My sheep will eat just about anything alive.  They will eat through the bark of standing trees, killing them.

In the right climate, large-growing Opuntia (prickly pear) might be an option.

 
Carlos Romero
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Location: Citra Florida
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"Horse high, bull strong, hog tight."  is used for high-tensile wire fence.
I have thought about using momordica seeded on the line to establish a quick wall on ht.  muscadine would be my second choice after the momordica dies off during winter leaving a skeleton.
 
Marissa Little
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Search for "cactus fence" and you will see what we have around here.  I always thought that would be cool.

 
Cj Sloane
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
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gjhinesjr McCoy wrote:In the M.E.N. article they reference George Washington preferring Honey locust for his livestock hedges. I keep thinking with putting that much plant material in, it would be really nice to put in something that added nutrients to the pasture like the two locusts (Honey & Black).

Thoughts?


black locust is toxic to cattle and horses. There are quite a few threads on living fences.
 
Jordan Lowery
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my advice,

if you go with osage orange. coppice it young so it sends up suckers, creating a thick hedge, rather than a sparse hedge where animals can get through.

next dont plant just one species, we also plant sechuan peppercorn, black locust, blue agave, and a few others for a living fence. preferably that gives me more return than just a fence.

interplant nitrogen fixers, your hedge will grow faster and thicker this way.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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