Cattle Fencing

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by reeltamer, May 19, 2005.

  1. reeltamer

    reeltamer Member

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    I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice about electric fence wire. I am going to fence in 18 acres in 3 acre blocks to rotate beef cow heifers and a bull to raise calves. I plan to use 4 wires but I am not sure if I should use 12 1/2 gauge gal. or 14 gauge gal. I want to do it right the first time but I don't want to use a heavier wire if it's not needed. I plan to drive the 6''-8'' x 8' corner post in 44'' and have 52'' above ground. I'm in NC and clay is down maybe 16'' or less in my area so I was thinking if I used the 14 gauge I would not brace the corners. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Only use the 12 1/2 gauge and with grade 3 galvanizing. Buy a good charger, spend the money up front and avoid the agony. I live in NC also. If you want to see my rotational grazing operation you are welcome to PM me and we will set up a time. I am 40 miles north of Charlotte and a few miles east of I 77.
     

  3. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    JUst make sure the line is thick enough, consider the length of the fence and how many strands. Because as with anything electrical, the longer the run, bigger/thicker wire will allow for a nice strong signal. Id reccomend 50mile or 100 mile. Tractor Supply sells a good 100 mile fencer, it looks decent anyways. Has a electric module if it gets hit by lightning, that would be handy. As agmantoo said, build it well, because it will work as well as you build it.


    Jeff
     
  4. petefarms

    petefarms Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with the posts. I always try to build with 12 guage fencing and have the 100 mile fencer, the cheaper fence can break due to weather changes. If you depend on electric fence, you do not need to have it go down and have to round up livestock. The money spent up front is well worth it.
     
  5. lilsassafrass

    lilsassafrass Well-Known Member

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    ohio
    as a proponant of high tensile..
    do youself a favor , go with the heavier guage wire , and buy yourself the best charger you can find .. I favor a gallager, it will knock you on your behind
    it will save you teh trouble of rounding up stock later
    Also .. despite your firm ground ... brace your cornerposts ....we use old galvanized waterpipe or gaswell pipe plenty of it around for free if you look , along with top to bottom wire twitched to keep them tight ..
    contact kencove , after much research we found that on somethings they were the best price for the quality also their phone technical support is wonderful , if you have questions .. like the best way on your situation to hook up your charger and ground it .. even if you dont buy their product ... even their catalogue is pact full of usefu info ..
     
  6. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Would have to agree with all that has been said. Electric fencing is brilliant but like anything, if it's done in a shonky manner to start with, you may as well not have bothered. Stay and foot all your strainer posts as though you were building a conventional fence, use 12 guage wire and the best charger your wallet will allow for.

    We also use little strainer thingys (I'm sorry but I can't remember what they're called). Because electric is never strained as tight as conventional, or battened, these little round thingys are inserted in the wire and when the fence becomes slack, are turned to tighten it up. I know that sounds like gibberish but they are very effective.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  7. oakhillfarm

    oakhillfarm Member

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    Apr 23, 2005
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Having just done a whole bunch of electric fencing I would agree with all that has been said so far.

    Charger: We used a Gallagher M800 with maximum grounding rods and an external surge protector. It packs a wallup!

    Springs: We used springs with our fence in addition to the ratcheting tensioners. The springs are supposed to take up the natural slack in the wire than occurs from changes in temperatures from spring to summer and summer to fall - for drastic changes you still have to go out and ratchet. We found that the cheap springs are just that - CHEAP and don't do a damn bit of good. The Gallagher springs are much better but if I had to do it over, I'd skip the springs altogether. My lines would be tighter and I would have spent a lot less money.

    Bracing: DO brace your corner posts - with concrete if you are using the heavy wire! We put our 7" round posts in the ground with a great big hydrolic post driver 2 - 3'! AND braced them both with a horizontal 3" post AND used another diagonal wire brace, and the corner post STILL started to lean in a few places. That heavy wire can do a number on your posts.

    Insulators: They sell these fancy insulated corner thingies that look like big sticks of black licorice - they go around the outside of your posts and the wire goes through them so you don't have to tie off at every corner (Gallagher says you can go one 90* turn with each run). Don't buy those either! They aren't long enough if you're using 7" or bigger posts - and the metal ends will be too close to the post, creating a ground. On a rainy day we actually SEE the little tic-tic-tic like a spark plug! Hmmmm, still need to fix that.

    Anyway, tie off at each corner, use bracing and concrete, forget about the springs and the fancy corner-wrap thingies and don't skimp on the charger.

    Best of luck! Liz.
     
  8. glenberryfarm

    glenberryfarm Well-Known Member

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    Ohio
    I am looking into temporary fencing to take advantage of areas that do not have permanent fence. I keep seeing tht you only need 1 strand for a cow and 2 is there is calf. Can it really be that easy? I have a heavy duty charger already.
    Thanks
    Faye
     
  9. BFFhiredman

    BFFhiredman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North East Indiana
    Faye:
    We are using a single wire with cows with calves. Works fine. Occationally the calf slips under the wire but they seldom go far and come right back when mommy calls. The hot charger is a must but you really don't need to spend a lot of money on extensive / elaborate fencing.

    BFFhiredman
     
  10. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    We too use a single strand with cow/calf deals. It seems once they get shocked, and the shock was not pleasant, they stay in.



    Jeff
     
  11. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    Location:
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    well i love it when my calfs go under the single strand elec fence i have for my divided fences because there the ones i want to gain weight and there the ones i sell......each year i plant 40 acres of wheat in the roation......the calfs go under the fence to eat the wheat but the cows have to stay behind and eat the old grass.....the calfs eat the wheat back like at 10 feet a day along the fence then they get bigger and bigger they also are getting farther and farther from mom stop coming back to see mom standing at the fence balling for them so they wean themselfs.......also they get shocked when they get big enough to touch the wire another discourgement....john