When it's time to upgrade your livestock fencing, you have many options. There are specific fencing products and materials available to securely and safely contain specialty livestock including poultry and wild game animals. Or you can choose to install all-purpose fencing that provides adequate containment of sheep, goats, horses and cattle.
As you plan your new fence, think beyond the basic issues of construction and fence dimensions. Consider the protection your new fencing must provide for the following.
Protection from Liability
If your animals escape your fencing and cause injury or property damage to others, you can lose everything you've worked so hard to build. Poorly installed fencing often leads to escaped livestock, so make sure you consult with experts when planning your livestock containment areas. Posts must be set deep enough to stand firm. Barrier materials, including wire and wood, must be placed at the correct height and tension levels to block livestock escape.
Always check with state codes to determine what's legally required of livestock owners when it comes to fencing. Although many state fencing codes are outdated, if you follow the rules they establish, you may limit your liability in court. When the state code says you must have posts set no less than 20 feet apart, make certain your posts adhere to this guideline.
Even when vandalism, animal destruction or weather-related fence damage is the cause of a large steer or ram escaping, you may be held liable for the costs of medical care or property damage caused by your animal.
Protect yourself by scheduling and performing routine inspections of your fencing. Walk or ride the borders of your property at least once a week, and make all needed fencing and gate repairs immediately. Document your inspections and repairs in a notebook or spreadsheet to prove you're a responsible livestock owner in case you're ever called in front of a judge or jury.
Protection from Pasture Overgrazing
Too many sheep, horses or cattle on one piece of land will cause your pasture to decline in nutrition and growth potential. Experts recommend you upgrade your fencing to help build forage areas while you graze and contain your animals.
One solution is cross-fencing your pastures to provide rotational grazing. In this pasture model, you divide the pasture into several sections and alternate which pastures are in use. You can move livestock every day or once a week depending on the size of your grazing areas.
There are other pasture-building techniques made possible by installing the right fencing. Use portable electric fencing or install permanent fences to restore your pastures. Make use of gates in strategic sections of your pasture fencing. Gates in the right places make it easier to move livestock to fresh grazing areas.
Protection from Predators
Livestock owners and producers must protect their animals and their profits from theft by wild predators. Owls steal baby pigs, foxes rob the henhouse of valuable pullets, and coyotes take down pricey newborn calves. You need solutions that repel wildlife and provide barriers against the invasion of predators.
You may have to take measures beyond standard livestock fencing to keep your animals secure. Roller bars installed at the top of fencing may be necessary to deter coyote attacks. Fencing barriers may have to be extended and buried several feet below the ground to protect poultry or other small livestock from digging predators like raccoons. Mesh or other material may need to be placed over livestock enclosures to keep large birds from swooping in for the kill.
A fencing professional will help you choose the correct materials to protect your livestock from animal poachers. There are many modern fencing solutions on the market, including electric fencing and galvanized fence skirts.
Contact the fencing experts at Quality Fence to learn more about tried-and-true fencing options. We build safe and attractive fencing, and we install convenient gates and openers for all types of operations.