Effective livestock fencing in addition to keeping livestock out of your neighbour’s property (and keeping you out their bad books!) and off the roads, fencing is a key component of good grazing management. Fencing allows control over the movement of livestock and the productivity, quality, and utilisation of the land. Well designed fencing systems can make a big difference in animal comfort and productivity as well as labour efficiency. These systems should be functional, safe and suitable for the livestock species in question and must be monitored and maintained throughout the year, especially during periods of bad weather.
Keeping livestock within boundaries can be accomplished through a variety of methods. All have different strengths and weaknesses and are therefore suitable in different conditions.
Post and Netting
Post and Rail
Post and Wire
Stone Walls (Can be dry stone wall or mortared wall)
A rough guide to the fencing requirements for some commonly kept livestock species is given below, of course your individual circumstances can mean these requirements may vary.
|Livestock||Suitable Fencing Type||Est. Height||Special Notes|
|Chickens||Poultry Netting, Stone Walls. Thick Hedges. Elec. Fencing/Netting.||1.5 m (5ft)||If electric fencing is not used a height of 2.2 m (6ft 6in) would be required to exclude Foxes.|
|Ducks||Thick Hedges. Stone Walls. Poultry Netting.||0.6 m (2ft)||Generally fairly easy to confine (excepting the more flighty Muscovy Ducks). As with Chickens Foxes would need to be excluded.|
|Geese||Thick Hedges. Stone Walls. Poultry Netting.||0.9 m (3ft)||Despite their reputation for fierceness they still need to be protected from Foxes.|
|Pigs||Stone Walls. Post & Pig Netting Fencing. Elec. Fencing.||0.9 m (3ft)||Boundaries need to be strong and well anchored due to weight and strength of the pig.|
|Sheep||Hedges. Stone Walls. Post & Rail Fencing. Hurdles. Elec. Fencing.||0.9 m (3ft)||Bear in mind primitive breeds tend to need higher fences.|
|Goats||Stone Walls. Post & Rail Fencing. Elec. Fencing.||1.5 m (5ft)||Some animals will eat through hedges.|
|Cattle||Thick Hedges. Stone Walls. Post & Rail Fencing. Elec. Fencing.||1.4 m (4ft 6)||Cattle tend to lean or rest against fencing so make sure they are strong enough!|
|Horses||Hedges. Stone Walls. Post & Rail Fencing.||1 m (3ft 3)||Of course show jumping horses will probably require higher boundaries.|