Deciding on the most appropriate fence for your farm can be tricky and costly! If your goal is to contain your horses and other farm animals, special considerations must be taken into account to ensure their safety. Your land terrain and budget play a critical role in the decision as well. Do you opt for wood or panel fencing? Is standard field wire fencing the best option? Barbed or electric? How do you choose?
The following is a comparison of the most popular fence options on the market. This brief analysis can be used to evaluate the pros and cons of each to help you decide which will better serve your farm needs. Keep in mind that what works best on Bob’s farmland may not be the ideal option for you!
This standard farmland fencing is what you might think of when you picture a fenced pasture. It consists of wood and metal, often with a barbed wire top. Pros: This fence is ideal for containing most animals, including livestock, horses and goats. It’s the most attractive option and quite safe for most farm animals. Cons: Woven wire fencing is most expensive, takes longer to install and requires the most maintenance compared to other fencing types. It’s not ideal for stony or hard land.
Similar to the woven wire fence without large fencing bundles. Ideal mainly for cattle. Pros: Easier and cheaper to install, light weight. Contains livestock well. Cons: Dangerous to work with, serious hazard for horses and other farm animals as well as children. Requires frequent maintenance, won’t contain sheep and goats.
High Tensil Electric/Nonelectric Wire
Typically most ideal for homesteads and horse farms. High tensil can be electric or nonelectric, but goats and sheep will crawl through and cattle will push through non-electric! Pros: Electric will safely contain most farm animals very well. A cheaper option, with less maintenance required. Better option for stony/hard land. Cons: Less attractive than wood fencing. Electric wire will shock pets and people!
Wood or Plastic?
While wood is more attractive and less expensive, vinyl paneled fences last longer. Wood can be painted whereas vinyl lacks color options. Wood is subject to rot and generally requires a lot more maintenance than vinyl. Vinyl can withstand harsh weather, bugs and decay, but is difficult to dispose of. Ultimately your wallet and desired look will help you make this call. If you can afford vinyl and would rather not spend time or money making repairs vinyl is the way to go! If you need to save money and prefer the look of wood fencing, wood will be a better choice for you!
Of course, there are other fencing alternatives, but this should get you started! After considering the pros and cons listed here, as well as your budget and individual fencing needs, you can make the best decision and invest in the right fence for your farm.