Horse and cattle fence - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-20-2012, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Horse and cattle fence

Hey guys, I have a question for those who have cattle at their barn. What type of fencing is horse-safe and that cows will respect? Barbed wire isn't the safest obviously. Some people around here use electric wire for their cattle but since cattle are so ignorant of the lower shocks they have to use a higher "cattle voltage," and I am not to sure how safe it is for horses... And for 200 acre ranches it would be a pain to use electric wire. Do you just keep them separate, the horses in the horse fence and cattle in the barbed wire? I have been thinking about it for a couple days, and basically I have come to the conclusion that no climb mesh with 2 strands of electric cattle voltage wire would be the safest, but what do you use?

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-21-2012, 02:52 AM
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All my fencing is electric rope. The only wire is stock netting to keep the sheep in around the perimeter.
I have a mains fencer and keep the voltage high. It keeps cattle in place and the horses have learned to respect it.

I prefer the rope to tape because I found that the wind rattling the tape wears it through.
I use two strands, on wood posts so it is a permanent fixture, the top at about 3' 6" and a lower at about 3' this is to allow the sheep and dogs to go under safely. Sheep in full fleece do not feel a shock so if the fence is lower they just push through anyway.

Many times I have had horses come here and am told that they will not stay behind an electrified fence. The horse will walk up and into my fence and jump back pretty fast when it cracks.

Around the perimeter I have stock netting and on the top of the posts I have off set fixings which screw into the posts and set a high tensile plain wire about 6" into the field so the horses cannot get up to the wire netting.
I use electric gates made from the rope and even if I had the chance I would not change to anything else.

The fencer will cover something like 50 miles!
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-21-2012, 11:31 AM
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I use tight barbed-wire. I've never had a horse cut or even seen a horse cut from TIGHT barb-wire. As long as the fence isn't loose the most it's likely to do is scratch. If a horse really hits it hard the wires break, the horse gets out but doesn't get injured too badly. Accidents can happen regardless of the type of fencing you use and the likelyhood of an accident increases the more the fence falls into disrepair.

Electric fence voltage will not injure a horse. In my experience cows stay in just as well as horses and niether take much voltage as long as the fence stays hot all the time.

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post #4 of 7 Old 02-21-2012, 11:44 AM
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We have several pastures we house our cattle in for the summer - depending on age and need of the stock. For the pastures - most have we have electric fencing - except at the stress points - around the water tank, salt block, feeders. At the stress points it is panels or four strand barb.

We do not house our cattle and horses together.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-21-2012, 12:38 PM
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I just had my fence line bulldozed and we are going to be putting in one mile of perimeter fence. This is a very expensive project. I have had my horses on this farm for over 15 years, it was old barbwire when I bought this place and it was strung mostly tree to tree, the horses never got into it. Part of our fence line is between neighbors that run cattle, horses are fairly easy to keep in compared to cattle. I checked every type of fence out there, but cost wise we are going to have to put barbwire back in with pipe corners and braces. This project is near $10,000 not counting labor to put up the fence and the bulldozing we already had done. If I had lots of money, I would have a pretty 4 rail white fence around that mile!!
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-21-2012, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Tonipony View Post
If I had lots of money, I would have a pretty 4 rail white fence around that mile!!
Don't think so. I drive by 2 places with horses every day I drive to work. One is a TB broodmare farm and the other shows, I think. They both have wooden 4-railed fencing, wood on both sides. They BOTH have 8-10 rails kicked down every year. I wanted little/no care fencing and THAT wasn't it. I'll cheer for you bc putting in fencing is HARD WORK!!
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-21-2012, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks guys. I have heard local farmers that they have to use a higher shock for their cattle than their horses, but I guess from what I hear on here that is not true. I currently use one strand of electric rope/twine on Casey, but if I had a big ranch and cattle, and had electric fencing, it sure would be a pain to find the point of where the tree or grass is blocking the current.. On 2.5 acres of electric it is already not too easy!

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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