What Type of Fencing is Best for Cattle?
Cattle have been a ranch staple for hundreds of years. A century ago, ranchers used wooden ranch rail fencing. Earlier still in the Old West, ranchers balked at using wooden fencing as wood was scarce and had to be brought in from the Eastern U.S. Ranchers turned to simple single-wire fencing that cattle could easily snap. The invention of barbed wire solved this problem.
So what is the best cattle fencing solution now? Some say barbed wire is still the top option, followed by electric fencing as the next popular. Still, other ranchers swear by traditional wooden rail fencing. However, sometimes the answer lies somewhere in between depending on your livestock and purposes, budget, and durability for your property’s layout.
At Rustic Fence, we have experience with all types of cattle fencing and can provide you with specific solutions. Here are some of the fencing types currently used to contain livestock:
Many ranchers swear by this tried-and-true fencing option due to its relatively low cost and ease of repair. It does come with downsides, however. Animals frequently injure themselves on the barbs when they lean on it or stumble into it. It is also easily torn down by an animal weighing several hundred pounds.
Some ranchers choose electric fencing because it keeps cattle from knocking down fence posts, taking time from their busy schedules to make immediate repairs. It cuts down on theft and predators as positives but is often prohibitively expensive due to the need for current to be running through it at all times. It is also necessary to check the electric current constantly, taking time away from other vital tasks.
This type of fencing is aesthetically pleasing and adds value to your property. In the past cedar was traditionally used but in recent years has become scarcer due to harvesting restrictions. More abundant alternatives like white and Douglas fir. Using the heartwood (the inner sections of these trees) has become popular as a replacement for cedar due to its resistance to fungi and rot.
As cattle fencing, stockade types can be used but are much better suited to smaller livestock like fowl or pigs.
Smooth Wire Fencing
This is a gentler form of barbwire fencing that doesn’t injure the animals as they lean or fall against it. It is a cost-effective form of fencing well-suited for medium to large herds of cattle or horses.
It has the advantage over barbwire fencing with fewer repairs, less tending to wounded animals, and an effective trespass-deterrent.
Wooden Rail Fencing
For smaller herds of cattle, wooden rail fencing combines a lot of the advantages of the other fence types. It is gentle in that it doesn’t cause injury. It is environmentally-friendly and aesthetically pleasing, as well as a boon to property value.
The cost can be a bit higher if larger areas need fencing. Most ranchers use this type of fencing for smaller areas to be contained.
No matter which type of fencing you choose, cattle guards are highly recommended. The need for gates is eliminated so workers can easily drive in and out of the contained areas without wasting time with gates and latches.
The best type of fencing for cattle depends on your property terrain, size of the herd, and budget. The best all-around solution for larger herds is smooth wire fencing while wooden rail fencing would be ideal for smaller herds and horses.
The experienced fence builders at Rustic Fence have provided sturdy and reliable fencing for over 50 years. Our expertise will benefit you as you install new or repair existing fencing. Contact us today and schedule a