More fence questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cast iron, May 16, 2005.

  1. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    I posted a fence question awhile back and got some great advice. We have now progressed with the plan and priced out some materials etc.

    If I have learned one thing in this process, it is that opinions on how to build a fence are like belly buttons... everyone has one.:)

    Anyway, current plan is as follows:
    Four wire (barbed) straight line fence (no-corners)
    Used as boundary fence and eventually to contain one or two cows (maybe)

    Overall fence length = 1198 feet long.

    Will use a double brace assy at each end of fence, using driven rr ties as anchor posts.

    Will put two single brace assy at about halfway point (using 5" round posts). Will install these such that we can install a gate there in the future if so desired.

    Brace assy post spacing to be 10'

    Line post spacing to be 16'

    Line posts to be 7' metal t-posts (note: this is currently a bone of contention as to whether any wood line posts are really needed between the end double brace assy and the halfway single brace assy - about 580 feet or so)

    Wire stay to be used between each post.

    My question now has to do with the type of barbed wire to be used -"High tension" vs regular barbed wire. We are thinking 2 point will be sufficient for our little operation. What is the main performance and installation differences between "high tension" and regular barbed wire?

    We were shown some super duper, red tip, four point wire, guaranteed to poke a cows butt when they get within 10' of the wire, but I think this is overkill for our application.

    Wayne
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have Holstien / angus cross. The Holstien always shows through.... Therefore, the only fence worth having is one with a an electric line along the top.

    I run a fair number of cattle in a fairly small pasture/ yard. They tend to get a bit aggressive on the fence. And did I mention they have some Holstien blood in them?

    Anyhow, I find alternate wood & metal poles works well. The wood rots away after 20 years, and the steel the cattle lean outward over 10 years. Together, I get a fence that lasts a while & each style of post complements the other - wood stays vertical, steel lasts many decades.....

    Anything you do along the lines you are headed will work out. Some thing will last longer but cost more, others will look better. It's always a comprimise. You can do the 1/2 mile without any wood, or you can use 50% wood - or all wood. Each will work......

    if you are making a cattle yard to contain cattle in a small area, closer post spacing & more wood might be a good idea. For a pasture situation, any of your thoughts will work pretty well.

    --->Paul
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    If your future includes calves or goats you need 5 wires. Red Top is a costly but superior brand via stiffness (hard to work with) and longer life.
     
  4. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. What is the difference when one wire is labeled "high tension" (and costs more of course) and others are not labeled high tension?

    The only difference is that you can pull the high tension stuff tighter? Is there any difference in installation techniques... other than you don't pull quite as tight with non-high tension stuff??

    Wayne
     
  5. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .................basically your fence is going to be 1200 feet . You need 3 h-braces. One at each end and One in the middle . And MOO is correct as you will need a 5 wire fence . Bottom wire should be 12 inches OFF the ground . Then space each wire 9 inches above the one below . You will have 4 , 9 inch intervals which will make the Top wire at 4 feet off the ground . Your h-braces should be 6 feet long and your horizontial pipe should be centered at 42 inches off the ground . DON'T use wood in this fence . BIG waste of money cause it will just rot away . And , you should put a diagonal pipe brace on EACH end of the your h-brace and weld them at the 42 inch level so they will line up with the horizontial brace . Use 3 inch OD pipe for your vertical posts , 2 1\2 inch OD for your horizontial and diagional braces . Regular old 2 point b-wire is all you need . There is 1330 feet on each role and each wire should be stretched until you can play IT like a fiddle . It will take 2 stretches at 600 feet each . Each of your vertical posts should be 3 feet deep in a 12 inch diameter hole , if at ALL possible . A 12 inch diameter hole , 3 feet deep will require ....4.... , 80 pound sacks of Sackrete Cement mix . The Cheapest fence is the one you build Right the First Time and walk away from and Forget !! IF you have a 4 wheeler hook each wire on the trailer ball and use it to drag each wire to your h-brace . Then you can tie off and stretch each individual wire with your come along . Have fun , fordy.. :)
     
  6. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .................Well , I shot right past that part about the Cross Ties . But , I'd still use pipe and weld everything together but that's just ME . RR ties don't decompose like treated wood and they're BIG enough to hold but I still prefer pipe , fordy.. :)
     
  7. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ground conditions in my oppinon is the consideration on what type of posts to use, if I make a fence using jsut Tee post the fence will be leaning over with in a year or so with the sandy ground and the tumble weeds, the wood post help keep it up so I like to use wood if possible, but do use a lot of tee posts as well,

    I have 4 wire and 3 wire barb wire fences, and use normal barbed wire, not the high tensel wire, we run up to 60 head of cattle in our pastures and if the wires are keep up and tight and there is enought grass, (the last few years in the drouth it has been hard, one of the summers we only had grass for two weeks in the spring and then it went dormant for the year), (many of my fences are pushing 100 years old)

    and unless some Hunter or idoit cuts the wire on me, my cows don't get out it has been a long time since I have had to get cows back in because of the 3 or 4 wire fence,

    yes the wood will rot off, in time, but the steel will rot as well, and bend,

    (there is NO perfect fence,)

    in half mile area I have two wire fence with one of the wires electrified and untill recently it was jsut one wire, (about 35 years ago snow and tumble weeds took out the 4 wire fence and rolled it up in to a mess, Dad took it out and put in a one wire electric, fence, in the last few years I put in 3 times the posts and added another wire, (you know one of the tempory fixes that your always going to go back and fix right),

    my horses do fine on a one wire fence,

    build a good corner/end brace, get it straight, crooked fences are a sick looking thing and will bug you to no end,
    stretch the wires good, and go for it,

    sounds like to me you have it figured out, GOOD LUCK
     
  8. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    See, now a fence needs to be built to local conditions. I'm sure Fordy builds some wonderful, long-lasting fences where he is.

    but, around here there are 2 things you never do if you want a livestock fence that lasts:

    1. Weld.

    2. Pour concrete on the posts.

    That is a sure way to be rebuilding fence in 10 years or less around 'here'. It does not work. Welds rust off, and concrete rots or rusts off. You'd have no fence 'here'.

    Even home sawn wood soaked in motor oil will last longer than those ideas.

    'Here'. :) Gets to be a local thing. You gotta do what works in your climate, your conditions.

    Not picking on you Fordy, I bet you made some good fences where you are. Just not the thing to do 'here'.

    --->Paul

    --->Paul
     
  9. Ole Man Legrand

    Ole Man Legrand Well-Known Member

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    Use sand rock or sand to tamp the wood post in the ground.
     
  10. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hardly anyone around me runs barbed wire anymore. Electric wire has proven to be far superior. With cattle, on large areas that need to be hard fenced, they go high tension with good pressure treated posts.

    A neighbor of mine has kind of the "ultimate" fence along those lines. He got tired of cars crashing through his old fence. Heavy wooden posts, 8" diameter, high tensil wire. Now, when the cars crash into his fence there is no damage. That, btw, is the reason for high tensil wire. It's spring like and very strong. Far stronger and more elastic than standard wire.

    Cattle restrain very easily, and a few strands of electric wire do a dandy job with them.