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barbed wire  RSS feed

 
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well....if all goes as planned and our help can make it down this weekend we will be pulling more wire. we have done field fence but this will be the first go at barbed wire. we plan to add 3 wires to the lower 1/2 of existing fence to make it ouchy for anything but the smallest goats to squeeze through.

I have read of success that others have with many strand barbed wire fence and goats. after much consideration we have decided to give it a go. the field fence is more of a hazard for entanglement with the few goats that have horns and it is rather inviting to climb which can result in entanglement also and it tends to sag over time. i can see on another fence line where field fence was placed that it simply doesn't last as long as the thicker barbed wire either. so as we very much want a permanent, virtually maintainance free fence, wire it is!

since I am rather useless physically right now I get to be supervisor any tidbits and suggestions?

I can't wait. dh wants to do more cross fence also but he says he just doesnt' really know where to start. he actually told me to go out with orange spray paint and just start marking where I want holes dug for corner posts and fence and to tell him what to do and what to buy! he says he wants some mindless work to escape his real job which can be rather stressful! wow. I can come up with some much work for him! he's gonna regret that comment.....

 
steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Barbed wire and goats, eh? 

Well .... I hope somebody here can give you good advice.  I have lots of experience with barbed wire and my position now is that it is worth the effort to take it out.  Which doesn't help you. 

(sorry Leah, I wanna support you, but as long as we're talking about barbed wire, I thought I would put my obnoxious opinion up on the topic)

 
Leah Sattler
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no problem! the adults stay in the barbed wire that is there already. it is only the adolescents that will get on their knees and crawl underneath right now.  tiny babies could/will go through probably but they don't go far from mom. I wouldn't expect it to work in paddock type situations where the fencing would get lots of pressure. its not  even acceptable for cattle and horses in those situations. this is going up on the existing perimeter fence. 

why do you take it out? what do you replace it with? field fencing just seems like it doesnt' hold up for long (as in decades like the barbed wire) and needs to be re pulled every so often if it gets any pressure from the animals. it seems to invite butt scratching horses which will sag a fence in a hurry. no climb..well it would be cheaper and easier to just put up panels. and thousands of feet of panels is probably never going to be an option on the table here. I am dealing with electric right now which pretty much sucks. the barbed wire works great for the horses and cattle surrounding us and most of the operations I have ever seen. the strands will be about 4 " apart on the lower half of the fence.

it took a while but we got one strand threaded through the trees. not sure dh will be able to get out of bed!
 
paul wheaton
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I've had too many animals cut to shreds by it.  I have a memory of a goat having cut open a teat. 

I've had really good luck with electric. 

 
Leah Sattler
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I have had rather poor luck with electric as compared to real fencing. I have also had animals cut by barbs. also had animals tangled in electric and animals caught in field fence. never forget the vet showing me a hoof from a horse who stuck its leg through field fence and completely amputated it before it was found. I have several goats that don't give a rats butt about going under the electric fence at high speed. and taking down one wire by an obnoxious animal with high pain tolerance grounds out the whole fence, breaks insulators and requires constant checking. it was a great cheap thing that enabled me to put goats out on browse quickly after we moved in and for that I am thankful. but  I am sooo sick of electric fence.

this is not a sure thing. but to me worth a try. our first run will be the most heavily pressured side. neighor has lots of rye grass that the goats don't have to walk far to get (lazy bastards)and just a few hundred feet from that is another herd of goats. all temptations that contribute to several of them scooting under the fence. and contibuted to my becoming very close to blowing the brains out of perfectly healthy potentially productive goats over the last few months
 
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Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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Red brand has a goat and sheep fence now that we are using
http://www.redbrand.com/products/product2.asp?category=Fence&subcat=2&productID=93

It works great for goats with or without horns, a little more expensive than field fence but way cheaper than non-climb.    We then use an electric stand-off wire 12 to 18" above the ground to keep the goats from scratching and leaning on the fence.   The buck pen also has a hot wire along the top to keep them from going over.   This has worked well for several years.   

 
steward
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We used barbed wire with our sheep and it doesn work. What we do is weave it with electric fence wire to make it look like chicken wire. This results in holes they don't try to push through. It has worked very well, and was fast to do. I guess we did it because I had left over electric fence wire and thought it would be a good idea.

 
              
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Location: West Iowa
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We have many miles of electric fence and it works great with our goats...but.. I have noticed during droughts, its not as effective...and some will test it and get out.  With other animals, like cattle, they seem to not test the electric fence like a goat does.  We can even string up a temporary electric fence and it won't be hot, but the cattle still respect it because of past experiences.
 
Leah Sattler
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LoonyK wrote:
We can even string up a temporary electric fence and it won't be hot, but the cattle still respect it because of past experiences.



that is how the horses are too... generally. they don't bother . small size makes a big difference. small size means a quick scoot under or through the electric with very little contact.

so far still good. and the area with additional strand of barb is now getting more pressure. since I am keeping them in the front pasture and forcing them to eat hay. they were wandering too far for comfort out the back where not only is there only three strands of barb up but I can't see if they cross the or are about to, and call them back with the shake of a feed can.  I can't see them for hours and I am not able to go track them down a few times a day to keep them out of trouble right now and I dont' need the worry.
 
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I would tend to think the risk of injury is not worth using barb wire around our animals, I removed the stuff from our property and sort of wish i had kept some to string up outside the animal safe fencing  to keep people out.

Electrified hotwire is a learning curve to set up right, don't laugh but it has taken me about 10 years to get it perfect  but once it is done correctly it is really the only thing that contains my horses on small 3/4 acres grass pastures despite perimeter rail fencing .  I now have it so I can change the configuration of interior fenced areas easily and have an integrated plan with planting hedgerows and running the hotwire from tree to tree. And i have it so i can use solar or grid electricity. 

 
pollinator
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wish you were closer i have a spool of barbwire i don't need..

have fun..
 
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Leah,

Hello, I currently own some cattle and a few hundred acres in Southern Missouri, and I'm considering adding some goats. Right now I have 5 strands of barbed wire for the perimeter fence, and I'm weighing my fencing options.

I was wondering how it went for you by adding more strands of barbed wire to your fence, in an effort of keeping the goats contained. Any insights to share 2 years later?

Thanks for your time.
 
gardener
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You'll need to PM Leah so that she knows to look here. Barbed wire was the 3rd most common cause of death during WW1, after artillery and small arms fire. Today the military uses razor wire which they say is worse.
 
joe frescoln
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Thanks for the help Dale.
 
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I started with barbed wire, but I will never do it again. I hangs up valuable animals and your self; I have several scars from it over the years. A good multi-stranded high tension wire fence is awesome and sometimes cheaper. I also really love a good high tension fence hung on insulators and electrified; it stop everything and does no real harm.


Here is a list to summarize why High-Tensile Fence is best:

Longer Life - much better coating on the wire.
Greater Strength and Resiliency - Kencove wire is about twice the strength of two strand barbed wire of the same gauge.
Low Cost - 2 cents per foot of wire is common. Wide post spacings give great savings.
No Barbs give greater safety to all. Tightening is simple by allowing wire to move freely at posts. The wire can expand over a long length giving it a very springy feel.
Versatile - the fence can be built to meet your needs.
Maintenance is easy with permanently installed wire tighteners.
Electrification on any or all strands is simple. The New Zealand type power chargers are much easier to keep hot in heavily weeded areas.
Installation can be much more enjoyable than working with prickly barbed or heavy woven wire rolls.
Control of deer, coon, bear, and coyote can be more effective and affordable with High-Tensile and high power electric fence chargers.

 
joe frescoln
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Thanks for the input Dan.

Yes, I think I agree. I will be using electrified high tension wire for any fence that I will be installing.

However my dilemma is that I currently have over 5 miles of 5 strand barbed wire already installed on the farm I bought. I'm researching options as to how to make this ranch manageable for goats.

I'm hoping to find someone with practical first hand experience who has tried multi-strand barbed wire or a hybrid system that has used or is currently using, before I decide to rip out 5+ miles of 5 strand barbed wire.
 
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joe frescoln wrote:Thanks for the input Dan.

Yes, I think I agree. I will be using electrified high tension wire for any fence that I will be installing.

However my dilemma is that I currently have over 5 miles of 5 strand barbed wire already installed on the farm I bought. I'm researching options as to how to make this ranch manageable for goats.

I'm hoping to find someone with practical first hand experience who has tried multi-strand barbed wire or a hybrid system that has used or is currently using, before I decide to rip out 5+ miles of 5 strand barbed wire.



Had the same problem. I ended up supplementing the wire with three rows of barbless, electrified. The existing barbed is grounded directly to the charger (NOT the top wire, it is grounded separately for lightning suppression). One wire installed below the bottom barbed and then between the next two sets.

You can't use regular electric wire, it will stretch and wrap around the barbed rows--grounding out the whole thing. It has to be tensioned as tight as the barbed wire, not quite high tension but as close as you can get without snapping wire or pulling posts. You want that bottom wire as low as your charger can manage. Also use ceramic insulators if you have any possibility of fire or prescribed burns.





 
joe frescoln
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R wannabe wrote:

Had the same problem. I ended up supplementing the wire with three rows of barbless, electrified. The existing barbed is grounded directly to the charger (NOT the top wire, it is grounded separately for lightning suppression). One wire installed below the bottom barbed and then between the next two sets.

You can't use regular electric wire, it will stretch and wrap around the barbed rows--grounding out the whole thing. It has to be tensioned as tight as the barbed wire, not quite high tension but as close as you can get without snapping wire or pulling posts. You want that bottom wire as low as your charger can manage. Also use ceramic insulators if you have any possibility of fire or prescribed burns.





Thanks for the reply R.W.

I have metal "T" posts for 95% of the property. Would you recommend short insulator or the longer insulator ?
 
Dan alan
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Location: Tyler Texas
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My first pasture had 6 strands of barbwire to hold my goats. I went back and added a single strand of poly rope electric fence at goat shoulder level to stop the goats from hurting them selves while rubbing out their winter hair. I had those mounts that extended the electric strand about a foot from the post and it actually worked very well; they even stopped climbing on the fence. Some goats would climb on the fence, but when they dropped down they would sometimes get a leg behind the electric strand and got quiet a few good shocks and by the time they got away they never went anywhere near the fence again! However, I had to re attach the electric strand once in a while until they all had a chance to get into it a couple times.
 
R Scott
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joe frescoln wrote:

R wannabe wrote:

Had the same problem. I ended up supplementing the wire with three rows of barbless, electrified. The existing barbed is grounded directly to the charger (NOT the top wire, it is grounded separately for lightning suppression). One wire installed below the bottom barbed and then between the next two sets.

You can't use regular electric wire, it will stretch and wrap around the barbed rows--grounding out the whole thing. It has to be tensioned as tight as the barbed wire, not quite high tension but as close as you can get without snapping wire or pulling posts. You want that bottom wire as low as your charger can manage. Also use ceramic insulators if you have any possibility of fire or prescribed burns.





Thanks for the reply R.W.

I have metal "T" posts for 95% of the property. Would you recommend short insulator or the longer insulator ?



I have had better luck with the short ones and keeping all the wires basically in-line. When I used the standoff versions too low, they will step in-between and then there is a bigger chance of them wrapping themselves up when they get startled. IMO.
 
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