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I've got a section of fence that is in bad need of replacing. It runs along one boundary of my property on a half mile of road. The old fence is very old, and has been patched and cobbled for sometime and it has felt like our animals are in more on the honor system than anything else. Fortunately, we use a rotational grazing system and the cattle don't have a lot of time to locate the weak spots before moving on to the next paddock. It also happens that in the stretch of this fence, my property shares a boundary with a family with whom I've had some difficulties and it seems that when cattle are grazed adjacent to this area, it can be counted on that I'll have problems; animals limping, a couple suddenly missing tails, animals ran through the fence, animals excessive excitable as if being chase, etc. I have dropped nearly ten aces out of the rotation because of this and the problem seems to have gone away. But the need for fencing hasn't. The old fence was woven wire with barbed wire on top. I am thinking this is what I should replace the old fence with, though high tensile has also been suggested. I don't have much experience with high tensile, except to say the neighbor who is constantly telling me to use it, always has cattle out. So, with that being said, my questions are what brand of woven wire is the best? Our local feed store sells a "high tensile" woven wire and it supposedly comes in a double roll. I'm assuming this means the roll is twice the length of a normal roll.? It looks flimsy. My grandpa swore by red brand, but I'm wondering if it is as good as it once was? I am hoping, at my age, this will be the last fence I ever need to build. Any thoughts or suggestions on brands or other options would be appreciated.

NoraWI says 2015-11-09 07:28:34 (CST)

I, too, swear by Red Brand. Is it as good as it once was? Who knows! Nothing seems to be as good as it once was but that's all we have, isn't it? My place had fencing that was 100 years old when we first bought it. Cattle would constantly be getting out. I once tracked them for 10 miles on foot before I found them. I swore that I would replace every foot of the perimeter fence as best I could over the next 5 years. And I did, except for the outside of the 30-acre hay field that sits on the far corner of the farm. The reason I procrastinate on that is because of the cost of wire and T-posts today. So I have been buying up 6' T-posts over the years from surrounding non-farming neighbors and have enough of those. Also, there are full-grown trees on the perimeter that will have to be cut down. These are probably pulp trees that I could sell, but the whole thing gives me a headache when I think of the work involved even if I don't down the trees myself. I used 5 strands of 2-prong barbed and a few pastures are fenced with Red Brand welded with a top strand of barbed, just as you describe. Both are excellent but the welded is much safer for horses. Cattle don't push on the fences here either because I, too, rotate them out before the grass is too short to satisfy them. I don't like any kind of electric unless I need it as a stopgap measure and for a short time only. And then I use tape and not wire. I feel that high tensile is as dangerous to horses as barbed and probably not as effective in containing them. Haven't had any breakouts in over 10 years now so I guess it's working.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Jonathan Shively says 2015-11-09 09:04:09 (CST)

Jerry, my whole farm is high tensile, along the road five strands, three are hot. In the back of the farm I have one and two strands. Have some portable cheap electric fence for areas I graze depending on need to mow basis. High tensile fence is excellent with a good quality charger. We used to have cattle "crawl" through the strands from time to time. When my daughter wanted to raise pasture pork, that was a disaster. Talked with a pasture pork guy in Michigan, he told me not to worry about the miles advertised on my charger (my old one was supposed to be good for 25 miles. I thought, 1/2 mileX1/2 mileX1/2 mile X 1/2 mile, heck that is only one mile times three strands, 3 miles on a 25 mile charger ought to be excellent!) What he said was to look at the joules. Get one at least 10 joules. My 25 miler was .75 joules! Bought two chargers at 200-250 bucks each, one for the north half of the farm, one for the south half of the farm. One is 12 and the other is 13 or 14 joules. NOTHING out. When I visited this guy he was taking down portable fencing moving his sows, even though the wire and posts were removed, the walked down the old fence row to the gate he had used (in the middle of a big pasture). High tensile is lower maintenance, easier to keep looking nice, when strung tight is as safe as you can get in my estimation. I have had a stud hit our high tensile fence at a dead run, got about 4 feet into the yard, it threw him back into the pasture. He had three horizontal welts across his chest and that was all, he never tested a fence again.

This is all my experiences. I found out about high tensile fence (then called Australian fence) when in high school and working at a dairy farm, the dairyman replaced a fence with high tensile between the lot and calf barn, no more torn udders when a cow would jump the fence when hearing calves.

This is my opinion based on being around it since 1979 and have had horses, cattle, pigs, goats, llamas and even an emu held in by it.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Jonathan Shively says 2015-11-09 13:56:02 (CST)

Uhmmmm, 1/2 X 1/2 X 1/2 X 1/2 would be 4 miles, my front pastures are 1/4 x 1/4 ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, making the full 4 sides equal a mile. Brain was absent at that time evidently.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

dbarker says 2015-11-09 21:15:51 (CST)

I would like to try the high tensile also. I like the idea of 2 hot and 3 ground wires. I have old woven wire with a barbed wire across the top. Had some trouble with a heifer wanting to wander, so I ran a hot wire in front of it.
I would agree on the fence charger comments. Get a good one, by good I don't mean expensive. A good one will cost $150-200. I don't completely agree with the the joules on a charger, it all depends on who makes the charger. I did repairs for one of the import fence charger companies a few years ago. They were the "high dollar" fencers. The last one I bought was a Parmak from the farm supply. I would definitely buy and American made one, they in my opinion are the best bang for the buck.


3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2015-11-10 10:12:59 (CST)

Jonathan, not to be nitpicking, but in mathematics 1/2x1/2x1/2x1/2= 1/16!

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Kate V says 2015-11-10 18:07:55 (CST)

I'd go with the woven wire, aka "field-fence". Redbrand is still good quality.

I installed a bunch of woven wire, 14 years ago, it looks like it was put up just a few years ago.

I buy it in 330' rolls. I find that to be most effective at keeing my cows in.

As for neighbors, woven sure does present itself as a more serious looking fence than do strand of high tensile wire. High tensile works well when electrified.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

JerryHicks says 2015-11-11 06:21:38 (CST)

I will admit, I'm leaning toward woven wire with barb wire top and bottom. My real biggest problem is deer more than the cattle. I spend a lot of time, especially this time of year, repairing my electric fence from deer strikes. Doesn't seem to matter if I put flags on it or not. On the back of my farm I share a boundary with another farm that I rent. The owners had put up woven wire with a strand of barbed wire over it. On one occasion I found a deer leg wrapped in the top strand where it had jumped it and gotten caught. In general, I tend to think we just have too many deer. Was kind of thinking, especially along the road where I share with the troublesome neighbors of putting up woven wire a little taller than average. I'm thinking it might slow down them messing with my stock. I've put up sign claiming there are cameras but they just steal the signs. Thanks for all the suggestions. I guess I'll spend this winter stretching wire!

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

brian says 2015-11-11 08:51:07 (CST)

Jerry I have used electric fence for over twenty years with good results. With the calves or new stock I have to get them used to it at first so they know to stay away from it. For a bounty fence you may want more strands or look into the bylaws where you live as to how many you need. I have also divided the fields with poly tape for grazing and it works well. I use Gallagher 12 gauge wire and one of their energizers. It has it has performed well here in Ontario Canada. It is a very easy fence to repair and great for where trees may fall it. If the charger is on for the summer the charge should kill any weeds of grass that touch it.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

brian says 2015-11-11 08:58:12 (CST)

One thing I have to say is you have to check electric fence almost every day to be it is working to keep animals in and if it is not then it can drive you nuts trying to find the problem if you have a lot of it. But you likely know this already

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

vince mautino says 2015-11-11 09:49:29 (CST)

The high tensile is harder to work with, but it sure works.

I don't like woven fences for horses or mules , but it' s ok for sheep and goats.

Darn angus seem to walk a fence more looking for a place to escape, more so than dairy breeds. I dislike electric fences, but to me they are a necessary evil . Darn sure not as much work as going out in the dark looking for livestock.

In my limited experinces, I found that it isn't the type of fence so much , but the qualityof workmanship put into it to do it correctly.

What's the old saying? Good fences make good neighbors

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Jonathan Shively says 2015-11-11 12:19:12 (CST)

"Klaus Karbaumer says 2015-11-10 10:12:59 (CST) Jonathan, not to be nitpicking, but in mathematics 1/2x1/2x1/2x1/2= 1/16! "

Very good Klaus! But what I meant was, my pasture is 1/4 mile by a 1/4 mile by a 1/4 mile by a 1/4 mile on all four sides. Thus it is only a mile long thus the 25 mile charger should have been satisfactory. But good catch Klaus!!

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

So. Oh. Bill says 2015-11-17 12:02:50 (CST)

Jerry, I am a big far of high tensile. I have single, double and triple strand electric that is over thirty years old and still doing the job. We use the woven wire with the Gaucho barb wire on top that is close to twenty and still looks like new. My biggest headache is the post, It seems that the Tee post start to rust after a few years and the treated post start to fail after six to eight and most are gone by twenty. They rot from inside. I have started to cut and split my black locust and when cured will last forty plus years, HEY, I wont have to replace them until I am 110.
Happy fencing,
Bill Lemar

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Bryan says 2015-12-08 09:50:29 (CST)

when using slick wire for electric cross fencing, is it visible enough for the cattle to see it or should hi-vis tape be tied to it at intervals along the fence?



3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

JerryHicks says 2015-12-11 07:51:35 (CST)

All of my electric fencing is ran on aluminum wire. I've had great service from it. I've used the tapes, the net fencing, and steel, but I've only used the aluminum for the last ten years. In my experience the taps and net type fencing have all been too delicate. The steel becomes corroded easily and is also more likely to cut an animal that hits it. The aluminum is still very visible, even after ten years service and even at night. The aluminum has some give and will stretch which makes it less likely to cut an animal, and often get them enough shock to make them back off rather than go on through. It is more conductive than the steel wire and will carry a better charge. I also like that on a real quiet night I can hear it if I happen to be out walking. I've noticed it sounds almost like someone running a circle saw somewhere off in the distance. I'm assuming this is caused by wind moving over it. I'm fairly satisfied though, that I'll be replacing my exterior fencing with new woven wire. I've just taken an order to rive shingles for a friend to cover his new garage and hopefully this will make up for the crop failures and provide enough capital to pay for the wire.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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