We are contemplating a move to an area where deer are prevalent and are looking at buying some acreage for the horses. We currently live in elk country and have the horses at home, but save for the occasional visit, the elks don't bother us.
What type of fencing would be ideal for keeping deer out and horses in?
Would my 5 foot panels be a sufficient deterrent or will the deer try to jumps those? How about electric like Horseguard?
Any other tips for deer country?
We would probably just have a couple of acres fenced in as paddocks/turnout.
***Edited to add:
I guess I won't care if they come in, but I would be worried about the fencing. Will they trash electric? Panels? Or do they just clear them without touching them?
This won't be pasture, just dry paddocks.
Deer (at least the small ones around here) will jump a 5'5" fence easily, crawl through a 18" gap between rails - or right under a fence. They are very hard to keep out. For gardens most people in my area put up "deer fencing" a light mesh fence, about 9 feet tall.
Bigger question - why are you trying to keep them out of your paddocks?
They will trash electric - they don't feel it at all and just walk through it and most other fencing isn't all that safe from them either; as to 7' fences, I've seen them go over those just like they weren't there. They also will foul any hay left outside, destroy your garden and landscaping and will chew on wooden outbuildings that had feed stored in them.....rats with antlers.
We had a real infestation here and finally Mother Nature took care of it - Chronic Wasting Disease caused a huge die-off
Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!
they won't want to come into your dry paddocks. There's nothing to eat there. They will sit on your porch and eat your flowers instead.
Our entire little town is infested with deer. Electric can work but they can also tear it down. They can jump panels but aren't likely to jump panels to get into a small confined space with horses and no food.
And they will learn to wait for you to feed horses and join in. I fed a herd every winter. LOL And they weren't shy by the end. They'd be waiting with their heads over the fence when I pulled up right along with the horses.
The bigger worry and nuisance for me was tape worms. I had to deworm for tapes much more frequently due to the deer.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
We have a lot of deer here, and the only way to keep them fenced out is to go very tall or wide (7' tall, I think, or double fence x feet wide...can't remember exactly how much). Electric will not faze them. But I've never had them damage my Horseguard electric, and certainly not my Centaur HTP. They can just slip between the rails as the gap is big enough, or jump over as they aren't 7' tall.
Here, they've never ventured into my dry paddocks or barn area. Too much to eat out in the greener parts of the property. And my one horse would run them off, as he goes into attack mode when they are in or near his pasture. He thinks he's starving and must protect his food!
They can do some damage to the no climb fencing where I board. They crawl under or lazily jump over the top and bend it in various ways. When I find a well used deer trail up to the fence, I usually pile branches or manure or anything I can find to keep them from habitually using one spot and really weakening the fence.
Only trouble I've had was them getting caught in the top wire on a field fence. As in got their legs tangled up in it. No fun to come home to a deer hanging by its hind leg in a fence. Of course I was stupid to fence across one of their paths in a wooded area. Just like the video above. This happened to me twice in ten years. I will only use board fencing now, but I'm sure something like the Centaur fencing is visible enough to them or they were just lazy. But keeping out? Nope not happening.
Yes, they will trash your electric. They don't seem to feel it. They will break your fences, and nothing will keep them out except dogs. If you buy deer fencing, it has to be a minimum of 8' high, and completely circle your property, including gates in and out. And it is ugly. A better option is cattle wire strands run up to 8' high. Less "visual". The vineyards around here all have deer fencing to maintain their vineyard investments.
I won't use field fencing with horses - I had one catch a shoe in this type of fencing once on the lower small opening, and in endeavoring to get free, he tried to jump the fence and flipped over. It is best used only for cattle for which it was made.
A good quality cross bow, if you're capable (or your hubby is) will help deter deer if you can shoot and kill one, and bleed it out onto the field or near your paddocks. The blood scent will keep a herd away...for a while. And depending upon where you live, if they present a problem you can shoot them (on your own property as long as YOU shoot them) anytime. Check your state hunting regulations.
I don't recommend a gun - they are more efficient, but they are noisy, and there are strict safety setback rules (from houses and other properties) for using them.
Last edited by gothedistance; Feb. 1, 2013 at 02:06 PM.