Goats are one of the harder animals to keep fenced in. They will try all they can to not be contained – and they’re persistent too. This is why the best fences for goats start with a good perimeter fence instead of trying to adapt an old fence that leaves too big of gaps, which some goat owners are tempted to do.
Getting the squares right is key. If a 6-inch square is chosen, for example, it can be a goat-killer – not only from allowing predators to get in there but also from strangulation. A fence with 4-inch squares is therefore your best option.
To discourage climbing, goat owners recommend running a plain wire pulled as tight as possible between the posts, as well as stringing a strand of electric fencing at the top of the fence.
When it comes to keeping your cattle secure, you have three options: traditional barbed wire, woven wire and high tensile smooth wire. Cattle owners will tell you that the best fence for cattle should act as both a physical barrier and a visual barrier.
Barbed wire is most commonly used, with five strands recommended, though this can vary depending on your needs.
Woven wire may cover both the visual and physical aspects, but it is recommended that a strand of barbed wire or electric wire is placed along the top of the fence to discourage cattle from leaning over the fence.
High tensile smooth wire is a great choice thanks to it being both economical and durable, costing 25 to 75 percent less than barbed or woven wire. It will also last 20-30 years with little maintenance required and requires fewer posts and less time to erect and repair too.
The fencing needs for sheep differ from that of goats. While goats will try everything in their power to escape, including jumping and climbing over the fence, you won’t run into this issue nearly as much with sheep.
However, when it comes to the best fence for sheep getting the size of the squares right is still key, as you want to keep predators out while also avoiding the risk of strangulation. An electric fence enclosure that carries a minimum of 5,000 volts is therefore recommended to best keep predators out.
Due to horses’ tendency to roam freely and gallop they are more likely to suffer from fence-related injuries than other animals. This is why you must be careful when picking the best fencing for horses with special mention going to the complete avoidance of barbed wire due to the serious damage it can cause to them.
It’s recommended to use mesh fencing that can withstand heavy pressure yet manages to spring back into shape.
The fence should be at least 4-1/2 feet tall for mares and foals to discourage jumping and reaching over. For stallion pens, breaking pens, and cool-down pens, 5 to 6 feet of fence is recommended.
The best fencing for chickens and other poultry is electric fencing. An electric fence line, especially when used in combination with an enclosure, is a very effective way of protecting chickens from predators. It’s recommended that a minimum of 5,000 volts should be used for effective protection.
Generally, the number of fence lines you want to use depends on predator concerns and whether you are adding to an existing fence or creating a new one.
Chicken owners have found it best to run at least 2 wires starting low to the ground, with the first wire set at 4 to 6 inches above the ground and the second at 10 inches.
Due to pigs having constantly wet noses and such sparse hair covering, electric fencing is the right choice as these animals quickly learn the consequences of getting too close to the fence.
Pigs are also notorious for rooting and digging, which is why reinforcing your fence and burying a foot or two of fencing in the ground is recommended.
While some farm animals need a fenceline of at least 5,000 volts to deter their escape and keep predators out, it’s recommended that you use a charge of 2,000 volts when dealing with pigs.