Ranch fencing is a critical part of any successful farming operation. It serves an essential function and can be visually appealing, making it perfect for ranches or properties wanting to create a rustic atmosphere. Because it serves a specific purpose, livestock fencing must be installed correctly to avoid dramatic losses. Here’s everything you need to know about fences for livestock.
How to Prepare for Livestock Fencing Installation
Installing a livestock fence is, in many ways, different from other fencing installations. Any mistakes in the process can put the animals at risk or leave them vulnerable to predators, and shoddy work results in frequent and sometimes costly repairs. You can avoid that hassle by following these steps.
1–Scope Out the Underground Utilities
Your property likely has the utilities buried underground. Do not assume you know where they are—make sure you know their exact location. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating Old Faithful on your property and incurring heavy repair expenses.
Water is likely the least disastrous utility. If you damage a gas or power line, you run the risk of serious injury or death. Have the professionals come out and inspect the property to mark where the utilities are buried underground, keeping in mind that one service is not likely to look for all kinds of lines.
2–Know Your Boundaries
If you plan to build your livestock fencing anywhere near the outskirts of your property, make sure you do not encroach onto any other properties. This is a general rule that applies to all fence installation, and following it can save you legal hassles and bad feelings.
3–Establish a Budget
Before you start on your ranch fencing installation, count the cost. Your livestock fencing budget should include the cost of materials, tools, and labor. Do your research to make sure you know which contractors and suppliers will give you the best bang for your buck. This step goes hand-in-hand with the next three.
4–Choose Your Type of Fencing
Choosing your fencing material must be a holistic decision. Think of the space you have and the needs of the animals, considering your current livestock and any future stock you may choose to buy. The same livestock fencing that will keep cows in pasture may not be as effective for keeping chickens and other small animals where they should be.
These are a few common types of livestock fencing:
- Post and rail—A setup of timber posts and three horizontal rails. If you are near a highway or busy road, you may choose to use concrete instead of pressure-treated wood as your building material.
- Barbed wire—Barbed wire is a traditional choice for keeping out predators, but it can also cause injury, especially to young stock. It is also illegal in some areas.
- Electric fencing—Electric fencing is particularly helpful for learning animals like goats. It sends an uncomfortable shock through approaching predators, so if you plan to install it, remember it will require access to a power source.
- Woven wire—Woven wire fencing is a popular choice among small farmers because it is easy to set up and maintain.
5–Measure, Mark, and Plan
The adage “measure twice, cut once” is in full force during this step. Make sure you know exactly how much fencing you will need to adequately enclose your space. You may choose to draw up a blueprint on graph paper, but you will also want to translate that into marking the ground where the fence will be installed. Take your time on this step to be sure you don’t make any mistakes.
6–Determine Your Installation Method
When you have a clear picture in mind of how your fence will be arranged and what it will be made of, you need to decide who will install it. If you handle the installation yourself, you will need to acquire the tools, and the liability for any mistakes will rest directly on your shoulders. A fence contractor has years of experience and liability insurance, so working with professionals is a good way to hedge your bets.
Ranch Fencing with Bronco Fence
If you are looking for a fencing contractor that will install your livestock fencing to your satisfaction, Bronco Fence might be the right fit. We offer competitive pricing in addition to a broad selection of ranch fence products:
- Ranch rail
- Vinyl ranch rail
- Field fence
- Barbed wire
Before installation, we treat all of our fencing materials to ensure maximum durability and weather resistance. This allows you to know that your ranch and the livestock within are properly protected.