August 25, 2014

Pasture Fence

Part II of the fencing project.

Now that we have all the failed post replaced, it is time to sort out what to do about the wire/rail situation. The drylot will entirely be post and rail. That was easy. It's a small area and already mostly wood. So we only had a bit more to add to it.

However, our existing 3-acre pasture fence line consists of about 1500 linear feet of old posts on approximately 16' spacing, and six strand high tensile wire. I would LOVE to replace it all with good old 8' post and rail fencing, however if I want hardwood floors instead of 90's shag carpet, that can't happen right now. So, what is another safe, sturdy, and affordable option?

Existing Fencing

After much discussion, I believe we have settled on using EquiFence. It is touted as "permanent" electric fence, as opposed to the thin and flimsy electric fencing that most of us think of. You know, the kind that Rose got all tangled up in when she was three. I've been uneasy about that kind of fencing ever since. Here is what EquiFence looks like installed and a close up.

Photo from http://www.gallagherusa.com
Photo from http://www.gallagherusa.com

The wire has a "core of 12.5 Gauge, medium-tensile galvanized wire with a unique, electrically conductive polymer allowing use as an electric fence wire." - GallaherUSA.

The polymer around the wire is what makes it much safer. It is very visible and far less likely to cut up a leg. Also, you only need three strands, not 6 like we currently have. The top and bottom wires are hot, the middle is grounded. This coupled with a top notch AC electric charger, should do a good job of keeping the horses in and safe. From a cost standpoint post spacing can be 20', so our current 16' spacing will suffice and we won't have to add additional posts to the pasture.

The big question: Cost?

I'm not sure exactly what it will cost yet, as I haven't ordered it from our local supplier yet, but their website states that it is $225 per 1000'. For three strands we will need 4500', which come to just about $1,000 for the wire. A good charger will be about $200, and then of course we will need the insulators and gate attachments which I guessing will come in around $100-200 more. So all in all we are looking at about $1400 to wire a three acre paddock. We've already replaced about 25 posts, coming in at $200 (if we had to start from scratch with 20' post spacing it would have been $600 for all the posts). That is a grand total of $1,600 for a functioning pasture fence line. Not bad compared to $15,000 for post and rail fencing!

So, I'm curious. Has anyone else used this product? Our fencing guy DR loves it, but I'd like to hear other opinions as well.

3 comments:

  1. I swear, in this state be amazed it isn't all t-posts and sagging rusting barbed wire! I really have seen more horrific fencing in Montana than anywhere else I've been.

    To answer your question I don't have experience with any of the poly wire type products but it is what we're considering for when we get around fencing. It seems to have the right balance between safety and affordability. I'll be anxious to hear how you like it (if that's the way you go).

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  2. I've been really interested in that particular product as I haven't seen it in person. I have used electrobraid which can also have the fence posts far apart and loved it.

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  3. So I've got a professional fence crew out of our office. They put up fences under various agreements with landowners in order to protect high quality habitats by keeping livestock out of them.

    I was quizzing the head guy recently on fence and what was good for horses because I always like to think ahead. He highly recommended this product. He noted that the cost over time is less because this will take less maintenance. When I asked about this vs. regular hi tensile he noted that horses often run into the regular kind; if you intended that to work then you should put flags along the line every few feet so they could see where it was. He did note that you could always do one strand of this among other regular hi tensile strands. It would provide a visual without having to spend as much money.

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