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Anthony Cliff
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I've found that sometimes the only way to stop predators is cow panels and covered with chicken wire with hot fine a lot but effective
 
Travis Johnson
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I use page wire. It is not cheap, but it does stop predators as well. Posts are $4 a piece, and the wire is $179 for a mere 330 linear feet, 4 feet high, but it is worth it. A good fence not only keeps predators OUT, int keeps animals IN, so it is doing double-duty.

You have to add in extra for gates and corners, but once up, a good fence will last 30 years. Cheap fences deducted over time are actually VERY expensive.
 
Alder Burns
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Location: northern California
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This is good thinking as far as it goes, but it fails to address the fact that many
who participate in these forums lack the capital for such an investment.  The challenge for most is to find that knick point between fencing investment and maintenance (in money and/or time) versus damage done by animal transgressions...either your own, someone else's, or wild.  A subtle idea, which I have found very effective in many situations over the years, is BAITED electric fence.  Hang a single wire at nose height of the target animal, and place bait (peanut butter is the default...most critters love it both herbivores and predators) on aluminum foil tags every few feet facing in the "direction of control" (either exclusion or confinement).  Critter will smell, give a good lick, and get a really good shock.  Will tell all of his friends.  Deer won't be back for months.  This idea will even make goats respect a single wire fence!  At least most of the time.  There will always be breakouts.  If you are gone a lot or are too few people managing too much land or animals that will be an increasing problem. Electric backed up by some kind of physical fence behind it...however trashy....is the next step....
 
Travis Johnson
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Alder Burns wrote:If you are gone a lot or are too few people managing too much land or animals that will be an increasing problem.


I think this statement is rather contradictory. If a piece of property is small enough for your method to work, yet has breakouts, then alternatively such a small piece of property would allow Page Wire fence to be installed inexpensively without breakouts, or intruders. This former is of even more importance if a person lives close to neighbors who do not relish their goats eating their daffodils and pansies.

Lets do the math on this, lets say a piece of property is only 4 acres and is square...just for easy figuring. That would be a mere 1600 linear feet, or 5 rolls of Woven Wire fencing...$900 dollars. Add another $450 for fence posts and you are only at $1500. That is pretty darn cheap insurance from predators getting in and livestock getting out. Considering I figure my sheep are worth on average, $200 per head, just losing 7 sheep to predators would more then pay for the fence. As for Livestock Guard Dogs...with vet care and feed, they cost $750 per dog per year, so good fencing is a better investment and will still be working 30 years later when the life span of a dog will far be up.

I say all this because failing to get good fencing was a huge mistake I made on my sheep farm early on and I hate to see others make that same mistake. Now though, I realize paying for Page Wire fencing is the best investment I can make of all the things I spend money on. No electricity to maintain, and even as a full-time farmer I have better things to do then to weedwhack or keep the wires from shorting out. With homesteaders who work off-farm for their jobs, this is even more important. How can someone effectively do earth works, garden, and build their WOFATI if they are spending what few hours they do have maintaining ineffective and inexpensive fences?

There are many ways to reduce the cost of farming and homesteading, but fencing unfortunately is not one of them.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I have to agree with Travis, loss of livestock gets very expensive very fast not to mention the mental stresses such an event brings.

We have spent the money for the good fencing and it has kept the coyotes out, the neighbor with three strands of barbed wire fence looses calves to the coyotes and even to the feral dog packs, we don't loose any animals to predators.

Like the Texans say "good fences make good neighbors".
 
Maureen Atsali
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Location: Western Kenya
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We had an electic fence that didn't run a continuous current, it pulsed.  I used to sit in the house and watch my Shetland pony time the pulses.  Her body would rock in time, and when she got a good rhythm, she would shoot through the fence between the pulses.  Animals are clever.

I don't have a fence up because I can't afford it. We make about 400 USD a month in a good month.  So we lose a lot to animals and people.  I plan to save up for good, long term fencing.  Cheap fencing will not hold up.
 
Cd Greier
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re: Doing it wrong since 2011
I think a lot of us are in the same boat: unable to afford to do the job "properly" (especially after doing it wrongly several times). I'm trying to teach myself to invest in the best for even a small part of the project and upgrade  the rest as money becomes available, eg, I have some good quality hand  tools for my projects and am planning a length of fence for just one corner of my huge garden.  It helps to have the advice and second-hand experience of forum members to avoid some pitfalls and make more-educated choices. Of course, different circumstances need different options so we just have to be equally prepared for failure and sucess.
 
Todd Parr
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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I agree with Travis about the fence, but not about the dog.  A good dog returns it's cost many times over.  A good dog not only protects your livestock animals from predatory animals, it protects your animals, and more importantly, your family, from humans.  Dogs provide wonderful companionship for people with and without emotional issues, and studies have shown that having pets can increase your quality of life as well as your longevity.  I wouldn't be without one, and if I didn't have the finances, I would sacrifice in a different area to have one.
 
Raven Sutherland
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Location: MAINE
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predators mark their territory's
i suggest you do the same
get a funnel and fill a jug
don't waste precious Pee
down a toilet
works for me

i also do RAIDS
get up from a sleepless night
and go for a predator control walk
be the fence
carry a metal trash can lid
to Frisbee at prime habitat
for them to hide in for an ambush
 
Lawrence Ulfik
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Travis, is there a good link you can share about installing Page fencing?  I read your posts and agree that putting up a decent fence is a good idea.  I plan to fence in about 2/3 acre of pasture for raising 4 sheep, two of which are rams.  They're rambunctious so controlling them and keeping them away from their female siblings and moms is imperative and they need protecting from predators [we have bobcat, fishers, coyote, bear, and some stray dogs].  I'm checking local suppliers as well, so far I have two that provide this product.  I'm looking at the product that Stay-Tuff produces 48 inch high and 4x4 galvanized.  Any help you may have is appreciated.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
Posts: 47
Location: Wisconsin Rapids, WI
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:I have to agree with Travis, loss of livestock gets very expensive very fast not to mention the mental stresses such an event brings.
Like the Texans say "good fences make good neighbors".

The French say something similar:"Les bons comptes font les bons amis". It is more about accounting and paying what your owe than fencing, but it carries the same idea: behave yourself and stay in your lane and it all be OK with your neighbors.
I erected a fence at little cost, although it is more of  a snow fence, but it is very effective to trap snow and stop the wind. If you were to close it and put a door,  you would have it made. So far, it is almost 200 ft long. (The north section may be 400 ft.)
In Central Wisconsin, we have oak wilt: Because it is very contagious, we are not allowed to sell contaminated wood or move it to a County that is not yet infected. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right?
So I planted 2 rows of timber, about 3 ft. apart, each pair of posts being about 8 ft apart in the row.. Armed with a chain saw, I started cutting all dead oaks this winter. (We can't cut during the entire growing season because injuring a live oak is an assured way to infect it. It is bad.)
Then I started piling branches as long as I could, between the 2 rows. 10 ft treated timbers, planted about every 8 ft. Put 3 ft. in the ground, you are still left with a pretty tight 7 ft. fence, which is more than adequate. The fence is north south because dominating winds come from the west. If the weight of the branches forces the posts apart, I could still lash them together with a good rope, or a dead man anchor. So far, so good. I also have a small berm along the N-S road, so the wind carries snowflakes which accumulate between the berm and the fence and beyond the fence (since the wind can still blow through some), and voilà!
Now, in this lost forest of dead oaks, scrub red oaks most of them,  I can plant blueberries and juneberries and other bushes, maybe some sugar maples. They will have ample moisture in the Spring (Too far to water- we live in sand)
The fence is as pretty as the posts are straight and evenly spaced, and long lasting, between treated posts and dead oak branches. (and cheap enough for my wallet: treated posts are bout $6.00 here, so an 8' section 7 ft. high is about $24, less the longer you can make it)
An additional bonus is that it protects all sorts of wild life that choose to nest right in the fence.  With the clearings letting in more light, we will allow wild hazelnut bushes too, and wild cherries. (My honeybees are fond of all these blossoms)..Next year, wild turkeys may seek its protection on the lee side, as will as quails. We have a couple of wild grapes that could vine up and drape over that fence ... all in good time ... be patient! I could have done it on 4 sides to make an enclosure, but the aim was to use the dead oaks, create clearings and make a wind barrier. Also our neighbor to the west is a CAFO, on the other side of the road, so preventing his crap from blowing into our yard as best we could was a consideration. Next fall, I will pursue the fence on the north side as well. Leaving an opening in the fence is also a way to direct deer toward a hunting shack: Always think on different planes and multiple goals when you erect a fence. Snow fence / wind protection, wildlife habitat, guiding deer to a hunting shack, keeping scarce water on location, pretty long lasting, low cost... When God grants me the energy to finish it, I may have a darn good enclosure to keep crops safe or anything else. (Just not goats!) Corners are easy: Just pile left and right and the tangle will not need reinforcement at the corners.
 
Jimmie Sue Montana
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The cost of fencing posted above could better reflect the true cost of fencing for prospective homesteaders, sheep runners and goat keepers by adding in actual costs that you will pay... like corners (4 ) (estimate $125 per corner, and cost of actual gate...14' wire filled about $240)   at least one gate as well as staples screws nails insulators and the labor. THE LABOR and it only lasts 30 years if you live in a desert.  Wood posts 30 years??  maybe some.

Metal Post here in MT run about 5 $ in bulk at 6', wood posts are more and Red Brand wire 330' is 189$  . 169$ on sale a couple times a year. I do not have the equipment or skill to lift the wire out of the truck let alone stretch it or pound post and build corners.   Wood post are most preferred for corners and they are taller and larger diameter.  Maybe if you do fences for a living or have buddies that help it can be as easy and cost effective as it sound like above.

Total agree it is most important to protect your livestock with proper fencing. Do the numbers.  get bids.

Also predators vary according to your area, your crops and stock and management practices. If you live near or in the suburbs you cant just shoot whats eating your goat. Usually dogs in the burbs.. dogs are responsible for 17% of goat predator loss according to American Goat Society.   Pee really does work but it needs to be male pee and it only works on animals that fear humans... not dogs.  on the other hand if you are protecting plants blood meal or blood keeps deer away. I slaughter animals in my orchard occasionally.   Yes it stinks but I value my young replacement trees more.

Dogs are a must for those who actually raise livestock in herds or spend time out working the ranch especially in wooded mountainous terrain. Only wealthy gentleman ranchers have predator proof fencing... and its not predator proof. Digging works well...
 
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