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How to keep cows out without fence ?

 
Posts: 94
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Hello friends,

We've got 40 acres in AZ high desert with great soil, great location. But we've got a cow problem. We didn't know laws favored our 4 legged friends over human rights so they are destroying our land. There's no point in building ponds or planting anything as they will destroy it. We can't afford to build a fence around it as that would cost as much as the land did. Does anyone know of any good solutions that could keep cows away ? Any deterrents ?

Thank you all for your time.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4328
Location: Anjou ,France
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"We didn't know laws favored our 4 legged friends over human rights "
Could you explain this . Its your land, why not capture the cows and bill to owners to get them back ?
Or buy a bull and charge them stud fees
Or build something dangerous to Cows like a cross between a haha and a swale .

David
 
Enrique Garcia
Posts: 94
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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If we could buy a stud we could pay for the fence . law here states it is the responsibility of land owners to keep someone else's cows off your land. The owner of cows has no responsibility whatsoever. Which is crazy I know but most people in the USA are crazy. A friend hit a cow with his car & wanted the cow owner to pay for his car but he ended up having to pay for the cow.

I know there are things you can plant but we don't want to poison the cows or kill them. But is there something that is a deterrent much like radishes deter squash bugs etc ?
 
David Livingston
pollinator
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McDonalds ?

Seriously I ave never heard of such a plant that could repulse Cows

David
 
pollinator
Posts: 517
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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Since you can't afford to build a full fence at once, could you start building a stretch of fence, and add to it every time you can afford it? Eventually you'll be fenced in, which is better than doing nothing.
 
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Trained dog??


e-fence (they are pretty cheap) so the dog never chases them further than your property line.


Conversation with the cow owner??? What is their response? Even if it's not their legal responsibility, maybe they have morals...


hth,

troy
 
pollinator
Posts: 723
Location: Porter, Indiana
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A quarter mile of barbed wire can be bought for about $60. A single strand around the property might help deter the cows from entering and wouldn't break the bank.
 
Enrique Garcia
Posts: 94
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Thanks everybody !! You are all greatly appreciated !! I also asked Geoff Lawton. He said Solar electric fencing is cheapest .. which it looks like it is ... we got some work to do
 
pollinator
Posts: 3513
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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So AZ is a fence out state. Solar electric is cheapest initially, but barbed or high tensile wire will last much longer.

There may be laws saying you have to give accesses to water. Look into it and plan accordingly.
 
David Livingston
pollinator
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"there may be laws saying you have to give accesses to water"
even nuttier So you have no right to the water that falls on your roof plus you cannot prevent cows coming on to your land to take your water ?

Just a thought Cows are creatures of habit Why not concentrate your fencing where it matters dependant on the topology of your land . They cannot climb cliffs well for instance . Hence the use of haha's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ha-ha
David
 
David Livingston
pollinator
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Actually there is one idea I missed , you could keep cows too . Your Bull would chase the others away

David
 
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I take it cattle rustling is out of the question
 
R Scott
pollinator
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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David Livingston wrote:"there may be laws saying you have to give accesses to water"
even nuttier So you have no right to the water that falls on your roof plus you cannot prevent cows coming on to your land to take your water ?

Just a thought Cows are creatures of habit Why not concentrate your fencing where it matters dependant on the topology of your land . They cannot climb cliffs well for instance . Hence the use of haha's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ha-ha
David



Open range cattle ranchers were the big money lobby (and most of the state legislators) in the early years of statehood.
 
Posts: 125
Location: Gold Coast Hinterland QLD, Australia
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Enrique Garcia wrote:law here states it is the responsibility of land owners to keep someone else's cows off your land. The owner of cows has no responsibility whatsoever. Which is crazy I know but most people in the USA are crazy. A friend hit a cow with his car & wanted the cow owner to pay for his car but he ended up having to pay for the cow



Now those are some CRAZY laws!
Here in Australia it is the owners responsibility to manage the animals (pets & livestock) so if it gets out and causes any damage the owner is responsible for any and all costs associated with the escaped animal.
 
Enrique Garcia
Posts: 94
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Yes, Mat Smith .. I agree Oz is a much better place to be .. in fact I have been to there ... in 2009 .. to the Gold Coast in fact . .. I loved it there & even looked into relocating .. it's an amazing country ...
 
Mat Smith
Posts: 125
Location: Gold Coast Hinterland QLD, Australia
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Glad you like the place too. My wife and I went to Vegas only a few months ago on our honeymoon

Our meat laws are crazy though - it's something like if you kill the animal on your land it has to stay on your land and cannot leave the property (unless processed by a certified butcher/processing plant).
Even Joel Salatin was stuck for a solution when we posed the situation to him at one of his masterclasses
 
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The ha ha fence is the greatest thing I learnt today. Thanks for pointing it out @David
 
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Barbed wire is best followed by electric.

Use the trees on your property as fence posts. You can attach the wire directly to the trees and as the trees grow they swallow the wire. Use a stripe liner to mark a path around your property trying to keep trees at less than 10’ spacing. As property owners we tend to want to keep every inch to ourselves but how bad would it be if the cows only had access to the outside rim of your property. As long as they aren’t destroying the areas you actively use. Don’t worry about the fence line the county knows where you property ends and begins.

Railroad ties and phone poles can be acquired free or purchased from companies doing repairs to the railway or county offices. Depending on the size of you town the contact will vary. Great for stacked fencing. Square head nails can still be purchased from farrier supply stores. Use in gardens is not advised because both are treated with fire retardant.

You can also cut trees on your property and use them for posts my neighbor did this and he used scrapes of sheet metal to put on top of the posts to keep the wood from rotting from rain.

The haha fence is good if you have access to excavation equipment, digging a short distance behind trees allows the root system to be used as a retaining wall.

I’m wondering what folliage you have on your property?

In the old days in they would build fencing from the trees and plants growing around the property line. It’s time consuming but you basically braid the saplings and brush together. Mind the poison ivy!

Also willow hedging would work. If you have willows on your property the branches will root when cut from the tree. You plant the branches and weave them together loosely. The advantage of both being they will continue to grow taller and stronger.

Wattle fencing if you have a surplus of of branches

You may consider transplanting saplings to near your property line. It will take time for them to grow but create a barrier and wind break.

Fast growing trees like royal empress or paulownia seeds if permitted in your area are cheap and grow fast. But they spread.  

Bamboo is also a good choice but get the clumping not string species. The string species are hard to control and grow like grass runs.  Some species can grow more than 2 feet in a day.

Thanks for reading I know it’s a lot but cows are driving me nutty:) Been doing entirely too much research. We have barbed wire and cattle guard but the cows keep jumping over the cattle guard to get to our rabbit feeders and garden. Thinking electric at this point but the fence needs to be taller so bamboo is of serious consideration.

Good luck everyone!
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Posts: 52
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States that have a lot of BLM land are "fence out" states. Wyoming is also a fence out state and I suspect New Mexico is as well. Like others have said, your cheapest and most effective fence would be an electric fence. Here in the Texas panhandle cattle are kept on temporary pasture with a single strand of hot wire mounted on 3/8 rebar 4ft long pounded into the ground about a foot so the wire is about 30" high. They make plastic insulators that mount on the rebar to hang the wire. The rebar posts are set every 30ft. At corners, braced 6ft t-posts are installed. The fence does not have to be strong, just effective as it is a psychological barrier not a physical barrier. You can buy an economical 12v fence energizer run by a car battery. If you want to spend the money, you can hook up a solar panel to keep the battery charged or just swap out the battery every so many weeks with a freshly charged one. Once a cow touches a hot wire, they won't do it again. You will be amazed how effective a single strand will be at keeping the cows off your place.
 
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I have a place in the arizona high desert. Law of the west and a lot of BLM land around me.
I use three strands of barbed wire with fence stays.
As my budget allows i fence off a couple acres at a time.
I place my posts 25 feet apart. Eventually i will fence off all 40 acres and then I'll reposition those posts to 12.5 feet apart.

I tried electric fencing but whe soil around the grounding post was too dry.

So far the three strands work fine.
The more i see cows the more i become a rabid environmentalist. I'm often at the fenceline comparing the protected grasses and shrubs to the stuff outside the fenceline.

Five years of drought has not helped.

Don't buy the cheapest wire. I have a 1000 foot tangled mess of barbed wire that every time i look at it i feel I'd rather buy a new coil.

Eventually i will also plant buffalo gourd all along the edge of my property just to see something the cows won't eat.
Simple pleasures.

Are you familiar with the story of a man who saved the king's life and when he was offered a reward he said:" all i want is a chessboard of grain. Two on the first spot square it for the second , square that for the thire etc"
The treasury told the king that they didn't have enough grain for that reward.

That's how it is with fence stays, very important but that 75 cents a piece add up quickly.
 
gardener
Posts: 3050
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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cattle chicken bee sheep
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Cows can be kept back pretty easy if there is not a cow on your side of the fence. If there is, all deals are off.

A single hotwire should work. Greg Judy has a lot of you tubes about using electric wire for cows. You might take a look.
 
pollinator
Posts: 376
Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
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kevin stewart wrote:

I tried electric fencing but whe soil around the grounding post was too dry.



You can help a lot with the ground problem by running a ground wire around the perimeter too.  If you are using steel posts then ever post becomes its own ground wire.  Be aware that because of inductive pickup even with the wires a couple of feet apart you reduce the length of fence a given charger will power.  The high frequency ones for use with tape are not as sensitive to it as the high voltage high current ones with names like weed burner or weed demon.  It still won't solve the problem in extremely dry soils but in most cases it works.  It also doesn't help in ice or snow conditions when the pure ice or snow is insulating the cow from the ground.  But if you can get the cows in habit of avoiding the fence during wet weather they will rarely bother it in weather when it doesn't work as long as you don't let it lose power.  Be aware some animals learn to tell if the fence is hot by smell.(pigs are especially good at this trick)  I have guessed it was trace ozone produced by the high voltage.
 
Posts: 11
Location: Pitesti, Romania
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I had the same issue, but with my neighbour's sheep. Problem was solved pretty cheap, fast and easy (even if temporary, already 2 years in place but planning to make a more permanent one in the spring). Every 4-5 meters I put a wooden pole and between them low-weight fence (here it is called Rabitz, https://www.google.com/search?q=rabitz ). Costed around 40 usd / 100 meters and just few hours of work. I know it is temporary, but if you want it fast done "yesterday" it is a solution.
 
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