I am looking to fence my pasture, looking at fencing options, and it seems like maybe barbed wire would be the cheapest. The Question is, is barbed wire by itself enough to hold in a couple cows? With rows spaced about 6-8 inches apart? Would I be able to use T-posts, or should I put in wooden posts?
For such a small area I would put wood posts in the corners and then brace each corner then run metal t-posts every 10 feet or so. Barbed wire is the best bet in my opinion becuase you do not have to worry about the fence shorting out from weeds touching it, malfunction, power outage, etc. plus electric is a real pain to mess with in the winter if you live where it snows more than a few inches. Barbed wire install easily (borrow a fence stretcher or buy for $30). I just fenced an extra 1.5 acre pasture in 4 days for very little money and love not worrying about the animals getting out if the electric fence fails(which it does do often). Good luck!
I just fenced off about 10 acres. I used wood posts on the corners, metal T posts every 60ft, then the fiberglass step in posts every 15ft between the wood and metal posts. I have three strands of smooth wire. The bottom row is not hot, but can be if needed and is about 18in from the ground. The top two rows are my hot wires and are spaced about 14-16in apart. This seems to hold the cattle in very well and I can tie into the top two when I run cross fencing for smaller pastures. I do not even worry about the bottom row on my cross fencing.
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You will definitely want to use the 12 1/2 gauge high tensile wire. It will be necessary to buy a few tools. If it were me I would use the 7/8 inch drive in fiberglass posts with holes drilled every 2 inches for the in between post. For the main posts set at 60 feet I like the wooden ones. It is imperative to build good corner posts. Go here and study the fencing manual. http://www.kencove.com/fence/96_Staf...l_resource.php
I don't know if this is standard but the guys that built our HT fence made heavy corner braces and then used the 7/8" fiberglass posts, every 25-30 foot. Every 7 posts there was another 6" wood posts. So the heavy wood posts are only ever 175-200 foot apart. It seems to be working great but our ground is really flat too. Is 60 foot more common?
Flat ground would make a big difference. Often I am trying to use the post to hold the wire down to the ground as I cross swags. Additionally I often have deer to get tangled in the wire and the wooden post give a lot of support as the wires are pulled on.