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High-tensile electrified fencing for goats and cattle: upsides and downsides?

 
pollinator
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I'm sure the discussion on what makes good goat fencing will be an ever-ongoing one. However, I'm seriously considering building a fence around the entire perimeter of a 15-acre property using high-tensile electrified fencing and then some form of subdivision within the perimeter for mob grazing. I'm thinking that a six-strand approach will work with the bottom three strands being six inches apart and the top three being 12 inches apart. But, I'd like some feedback from everyone on the pros and cons of using high-tensile fencing. Let's assume if we're comparing fencing, that the comparisons are made on a well-maintained fencing systems. I'm also going to have Dexter cattle in the paddocks, too.

What are the upsides and downsides of high-tensile fencing based on your experiences?

 
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Some goats will respect it, others not so much. That's the biggest thing is the "it depends factor"

Oh and kids can walk right through it and wander off and the dam can't go out to push them back.....

The ever present grounding out on growies thing too
 
pollinator
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Did you end up going with high-tensile?

I'm doing 12 acres with it. The recommended spacing I found was 6+6+6+8+10+12 which puts the top wire at 48". I bought 8' posts and could only get them 42" in the ground since I didn't want a huge hole. I only went as big as post hole diggers will go. Approx 8" diameter. My corner and gate posts are 6" so they fit in pretty tight. I'm using an old drag link off a truck to tamp the soil back in. Solid steel, 1" round 5 foot long. I had to dig/scrape a slanted slot on each side for my handles to spread to get to the 42" depth. Visualize a skeleton key hole with a slot on each side. At about 2 foot down, the hole goes round again. Gives room for post hole digger handles as they spread out up near the handles. I did the slots adjacent to the fence wire direction. For the corner posts, I flared the bottom of the hole and put a cleat on the bottom of the post and threw a half a bag of ready mix in the bottom of the hole to help keep them from pulling straight out, which is what happens to corner posts when a tree falls on the middle of the fence line. I'm using a fence charger that will do 30 acres/100 miles so it will give them a good jolt. 6-8000 volts.

The USA imports 80% of the goat meat consumed here from New Zealand. NZ is moving to high tensile fence for all animals.

I pretty much followed New Zealand design because I like they way they think in terms of finding a happy medium between being green and being realistic. CCA pressure treated post aren't the greenest thing gut they'll last 30 years so it really makes them practical. I found a place that sells 1" fiberglass sucker rod for cheap. $8 for a 30 footer. I'm using them for most of my my line posts except on crowns and in dips where I'll be using 4" x 7' CCA from MFA. The rest of the posts I got at Tractor Supply because they have nice straight ones at about the best price and 8' long. Got my wire there too. 6 rolls 4000' long. Heavy bastards. My perimeter is approx 3300' and the extra wire will do corner insulator attachment and brace wires.

It's been fun for my 125lb 53 year old ass digging here on the Ozarks. I've got one corner that was strictly soil. The other three were mostly gravel and my gate, cobble sized rocks 6-12". I had to move one gate post twice and still only got 30" in the ground but it's not the hinge side at least and I did a double brace to make up for it. While the gravelly soil was hard to dig, the posts tamped back in really solid. I even tamped some gravel back into holes that didn't have gravel in them but it still didn't pack back in as tight since the soil around that was just soil.

Spring came a month early here so all I did was get the line cleared and corner posts in. Not too bad considering I'm going through straight up forest. Let's just say I've got firewood for two years now. I don't go in the woods once the chiggers and ticks are out and there's been plenty of them due to plenty of rain. I did end up building a high tensile fence complete. About 80x80' that I put the LGD's in to get them away from the house. This pen will be for training animals to electric fence, quarantine and maybe a place for the goats in winter when there's nothing for them to eat and I have to feed them. I'll probably put a kidding pen next to it. 80x80 with a 30 acre charger on it. The dogs only touched it once. LOL It's putting out the full 9000 volts with that small of a fence. Doing that pen was a good learning experience and will help the perimeter go smoother this winter. All in all, I'll be at $2700 for the perimeter. BUT, I used up almost a roll of wire and pretty much most of my hardware doing the pen. Still got 4 corners so it needs most of the same stuff as the perimeter. Less line posts. Two of my perimeter lines are relatively flat. Another is a rounded hill and the last one starts flat, slopes down into a dip and goes back up a slight grade. I'll need 32 line posts but 22 will be rod and 10 wood. Still need to buy those. I used my wood line posts for the pen and just haven't gone and picked up the fiberglass rod yet as it's a few hours away and I'm not ready for them anyway. . Between the perimeter and pen, I'l probably be at $3000 and then I'll want some cross fencing. Still need shelters, oh, and goats.
 
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Field Fencing is the cheapest fence to install because it is so simple. Fence Posts, Staples and Wire.

With no electricity to try and maintain, you put it up, it stays up, and is in place for 30 years. Yeah it take a few days to put up 10-20 acres of it, but what is 3 days of your time, when it will last 30 years?

Animals do not get out, and predators do not get in.

It really is that simple. It is cheap, and it works.
 
John Pollard
pollinator
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Travis Johnson wrote:Field Fencing is the cheapest fence to install because it is so simple. Fence Posts, Staples and Wire.

With no electricity to try and maintain, you put it up, it stays up, and is in place for 30 years. Yeah it take a few days to put up 10-20 acres of it, but what is 3 days of your time, when it will last 30 years?

Animals do not get out, and predators do not get in.

It really is that simple. It is cheap, and it works.



Just jumped on the web to do a quick cost comparison and saw your post.

I was mistaken with my numbers. I should have just looked it up in my notebook.

For just the 12 acre, 3300' perimeter fence

ACTUAL COST
$1053.94 ~ Tractor supply ~ 5"x8' and 6"x8' posts, ht wire, underground wire
  $96.00 ~ MFA ~ 4"x7' posts
 $114.81 ~ HomeDepot ~ Patriot Fence Charger
 $243.05 ~ Kencove ~ Hardware & Tools
   $37.50 ~ 5 - 37 foot sucker rods for $7.50ea
   $28.31 ~ HogSlat.com ~ Dare Products Energy Limiter
   $140 ~ Tractor supply ~ Gate & Latch
   $111.53 ~ Tractor supply ~ 4" x 8' posts
_________________________________________
TOTAL $1825.87

Goats fence at Tractor Supply right now is $250 for 330' roll and I'd need ten of those so that's $3300.00 (Have to use goat fence as it has smaller openings to the horned goats don't get their heads stuck)
T-Posts every 12 foot @ $3.00 ea is $812.00

$3300.00
$812.00
_____________
$4112

That's 270 posts to drive but in reality, some should be wood. Say, every 72 foot or so, plus humps and dips. 3300/72=45 wood posts, minus corners, call it 36-38 posts @ $8.00 = $288. Corner post size and setup is about the same. Now we're up to $4500 or so with staples.

When a tree falls on a field fence, it moves a few line posts and you probably will have to patch in a new chunk of fence. When a tree falls on high tensile, you cut the tree off and the wire pops back up. Might still have to replace one line post or rebuild the corner posts assembly(same as field fence on corners).

It takes half a day to dig most holes here as you have to use a shale/digging bar to loosen up some gravely clay, then pull half a post hole digger scoop out. That gets you a half inch at a time and it's not just my little ass. The big guys out here agree. Augers don't work very well out here either due to the rocky soil. Most new cattle fence is done with 2 7/8" steel pipe for corner posts driven into the ground with a hydraulic driver mounted on a tractor or skid steer, then T-Posts are driven in between. The corner post assemblies get welded together. Cross braces etc. Dealing with single, smooth strands of wire as opposed to a 4 foot tall roll in the woods is easier I think.  Field fence also acts as a leaf catcher in the woods and with those leaves piled up, the bottom wires rust pretty quick.

 
Dan Grubbs
pollinator
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John Pollard wrote:Did you end up going with high-tensile?  



Nope, I'm going with Red Brand field fence with the three-inch bottom squares. I wanted a fence with as much versatility as possible for multi-species grazing, long life and increased property value. Regarding costs, I've purchased half my T-posts at auction for about 2/3 the cost of new. I've purchased about a third of my wood posts at auction for about 1/2 the costs of new. I don't see the value of already stretched out field fence, so I purchased Red Brand at 12 1/2 gage in 330-foot rolls with the monarch knots that allow for expansion and contraction and can rebound when animals lean against it.

Here are the short videos (don't laugh!!! )



 
garden master
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Hey John, how many joules is the fence energizer that you're eyeing?
 
John Pollard
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James Freyr wrote:Hey John, how many joules is the fence energizer that you're eyeing?



https://www.patriotglobal.com/en-us/energizers/dual-purpose/p10

1.0 with 1.4 stored
 
Travis Johnson
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Dan Grubbs wrote:I'm going with Red Brand field fence with the three-inch bottom squares. I wanted a fence with as much versatility as possible for multi-species grazing, long life and increased property value. Regarding costs, I've purchased half my T-posts at auction for about 2/3 the cost of new. I've purchased about a third of my wood posts at auction for about 1/2 the costs of new. I don't see the value of already stretched out field fence, so I purchased Red Brand at 12 1/2 gage in 330-foot rolls with the monarch knots that allow for expansion and contraction and can rebound when animals lean,


 
Travis Johnson
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Dan Grubbs wrote:

John Pollard wrote:Did you end up going with high-tensile?  



Nope, I'm going with Red Brand field fence with the three-inch bottom squares. I wanted a fence with as much versatility as possible for multi-species grazing, long life and increased property value. Regarding costs, I've purchased half my T-posts at auction for about 2/3 the cost of new. I've purchased about a third of my wood posts at auction for about 1/2 the costs of new. I don't see the value of already stretched out field fence, so I purchased Red Brand at 12 1/2 gage in 330-foot rolls with the monarch knots that allow for expansion and contraction and can rebound when animals lean against it.

Here are the short videos (don't laugh!!! )





Well done, that will be a very reasonable fence cost wise, and will contain your animals for sure.

I have put up some new sheep fence the last few days as well, and it was even cheaper than I thought it was. I use Red Brand Field Fence at $179 a roll. Pressure treated posts are $4 per post, so it has a linear cost of only 73 cents per foot. With its 30 year lifespan, it has a total cost of 2 cents per linear foot per year. I think that is pretty darn good.
 
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