A Guide to Agricultural Fencing

Agricultural fencing has long been used by humans to keep animals in or out of certain areas. So find out everything you need to know about agricultural fencing in our guide below…

Choosing a traditional style
Simple post and rail fencing is one of the most traditional types of agricultural fencing. Fairly simple to construct, it works well where land winds and dips: the fence line can easily be adapted or moved. Use either pointed fence posts driven into the ground or secure using back ramming. This involves digging holes a bit larger than the fence posts used, and tamping down earth around the planted posts, in layers. This method can be used where the earth is fairly dense.

Electric fencing
This style of fencing is often employed in rural settings to protect livestock. Larger animals such as cattle and horses get a small shock to make them back away from the fence line. What's useful with this fencing is that it can be erected with cheaper poly and metal posts that allow the system to be moved. This means you can change cattle-grazing pastures or temporarily keep horses in a training area. Electrified cables or ropes, or Electro Tape are popular for this type of agricultural fencing.

The electric system can also used to protect smaller stock such as sheep, goats and chickens – usually with high tensile galvanised wire and mesh or wire fencing. Its shock deters potential predators trying to get through or under the fencing. Both permanent and temporary versions of this agricultural fencing require a power source, whether battery or mains, conductors, insulators, an earthing stake and a few other elements.

This fencing is not that complicated to build, but consulting experts like those found at AVS Fencing Supplies is always recommended.

Metal gates
Other popular products used by farmers and land owners include strong galvanized metal gates. Sturdy 7-rail gates are designed to hold in large stock, and 6-rail half mesh versions are for smaller animals. These gates work well with any type of fencing. Other materials often applied are spools of barbed wire for perimeter fencing; rolls of stock fencing or sheep fencing, easily stapled to fence posts; and, rolled deer fencing to protect crops and trees.

Which is the right type of fencing for my animal?
Different animals require different types of fencing, according to their size and behaviour. For example, a large horse will need a higher boundary than a sheep or goat as they're more likely to jump over a fence than dig under it. Sheep do not commonly test fencing, however goats are well known to climb, jump and crawl under it. Although these animals act differently to each other, they are of course a similar size and will have similar fencing requirements. Just make sure that the fencing is tall enough for them not to jump over and ground in enough for them to not get under.

Pigs are also known for digging and crawling under fences so make sure you install fencing that is dug deep enough. When it comes to keeping horses however, there is little concern over the depth of the fence. Rail or board fencing, rather than barbed wire fencing tend to be popular choices for horse owners.

Barbed wire fencing is a popular choice for those keeping cattle but it's a good idea to install electric fencing on fence lines that are being tested too much.

Tips on installing agricultural fencing
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To guide your posts, run a single strand of plain wire between your straining posts to get a straight line. The straight line will enable you to guide the position of your intermediate posts and show up any undulations in the ground.
• You can make tying off your straining posts easier by stripping out the last few vertical wires of the fence.
• It's important to ensure struts are long and positioned low when installing straining posts for your fence. If you do this you will have more chance of getting better resistance to hold the post firm.
• Add two strands of high-tensile barbed wire above the fence if you are concerned about downward pressure from cattle.
• Create even tension across the fence line by using a straining clamp when tensioning your fence.
• If your fence is in looser ground, you’ll need to concrete in posts in a ballast and cement mix (approx. ratio 6:1) or use quick-setting post mix concrete. A bit more time-intensive, this system will secure many versions of agricultural fencing for a longer time.`
• If setting posts where water doesn't drain off readily, place some shingle under each post to assist in drainage and combat post rot. An easy way to install this type of agricultural fencing is to use morticed (pre-holed) fence posts and simple slip-in arris rails.

Help & advice
If you need more information about fencing and landscaping, please get in touch with your local AVS branch. Our expert staff are always happy to offer help and advice and can provide you with a free quote for supplying materials. 

10th Jan 2020