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Fencing for small areas

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    Fencing for small areas

    What do you recommend for fencing small areas? Two to three horses in one 1/4 acre sacrifice area and three 1/2-1 acre paddocks for rotational grazing. Priorities are:
    1. Safety
    2. Cost
    3. Low maintenance

    I like several strands of coated electric wire for bigger areas, but am afraid that wouldn't be as safe in tight quarters. Thanks!

    #2
    If I'm cross fencing within a permanent fence I use step-in posts and one strand of tape or wire, and then I move it just a little further out often, because I'm not comfortable with putting any of mine out on much grass. I know that stressed grass (short/overgrazed) is higher sugar grass, but I think they still end up with less sugar/hour than they would if I turned them out on areas that had been allowed to regrow (rotational grazing).

    Comment


      #3
      I would make the 1/4 acre sacrifice area much smaller. Using 11,000 sq/ft for three horses to turn into dirt to me is much too large. Keeping an area of about 100by100 clean would be a problem.

      I just did a Google overhead view of ours to measure what we have. For confinement, we have four interlocking paddocks.... total sq/footage is about 4.000 sq/ft. With the four paddocks, we can fully separate the horses if needed by leaving an empty paddock between them.


      Comment


        #4
        I would suggest, other than perimeter fence and that should be a solid fence, any cross fencing not be permanent until you have tried for size with portable fencing you can easily move before committing to a permanent fence, after you see what works best where you are.

        Here in the semi-almost desert, our grasses are short prairie grasses and fragile, our rain unpredictable and skimpy.
        It takes more acres per horse so as not to destroy it with horses grazing and walking on it than it does further East, where it rains more.

        If OP is where grass type and growth is adequate to heavier stocking rates of number of animals per acre, not acres per animal, as others describe will work fine.

        We rarely use electric fencing as is not reliable here.
        We are so dry right now, grounding and shocking livestock is not a given all the time.
        Everyone behind electric fences is complaining and getting critters back in from fences not shocking or not enough to keep them reliably in.

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by clanter View Post
          I would make the 1/4 acre sacrifice area much smaller. Using 11,000 sq/ft for three horses to turn into dirt to me is much too large. Keeping an area of about 100by100 clean would be a problem.

          I just did a Google overhead view of ours to measure what we have. For confinement, we have four interlocking paddocks.... total sq/footage is about 4.000 sq/ft. With the four paddocks, we can fully separate the horses if needed by leaving an empty paddock between them.

          Forgot to mention that the sacrifice area will double as a place to ride, which is why it is that size.

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Bluey View Post
            I would suggest, other than perimeter fence and that should be a solid fence, any cross fencing not be permanent until you have tried for size with portable fencing you can easily move before committing to a permanent fence, after you see what works best where you are.

            Here in the semi-almost desert, our grasses are short prairie grasses and fragile, our rain unpredictable and skimpy.
            It takes more acres per horse so as not to destroy it with horses grazing and walking on it than it does further East, where it rains more.

            If OP is where grass type and growth is adequate to heavier stocking rates of number of animals per acre, not acres per animal, as others describe will work fine.

            We rarely use electric fencing as is not reliable here.
            We are so dry right now, grounding and shocking livestock is not a given all the time.
            Everyone behind electric fences is complaining and getting critters back in from fences not shocking or not enough to keep them reliably in.
            Electric fence and higher stocking rates work OK here. As you and kande04 recommended, I will try portable cross fencing before installing anything else (and maybe use it permanently if it works out well). What should I use for the perimeter fence and the sacrifice area fence? I'd plan to eventually use that same fencing for the cross-fencing if we ever put it in.

            Comment


              #7
              We have both 5' no-climb (knotted NOT welded) with a top board and 5' 3-board fencing with a bottom board (to keep the footing in place during the winter thaw).

              We use the no-climb for the grass paddocks and the 3-board for our sacrifice paddocks and our outdoor arena. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

              The no-climb requires less maintenance than the 3-board, but I wouldn't use no-climb for a small enclosure. If a horse rolls too close to the fence, they can catch a shoe. It doesn't happen often (maybe once every ten years with 8-10 horses on the property) but it is a risk.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by CCook View Post

                Forgot to mention that the sacrifice area will double as a place to ride, which is why it is that size.
                Important addition as one can not ride in our smaller paddocks.

                We do have a 20 meter round pen that we use at times for confined turn out. It was no fun to build as it is a real post and board at about seven feet total height, board spacing is six inches but even though it may set for months with use it has been very useful over the years.

                Comment


                  #9
                  We have some no-climb and some board fences and if I had it to do over again I'd do all pressure treated board fences because they're so much easier to mow under compared to the no-climb. It helps if the no-climb is raised up off the ground, but it doesn't always stay up high enough.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Coated wire that can be electric is what we have. We only electrify their sacrifice area as they don't touch the fence in the grass pastures.

                    Comment

                      Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by clanter View Post

                      Important addition as one can not ride in our smaller paddocks.
                      Haha yes it is! I couldn't believe I forgot to mention that in my OP. Sorry!!

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thank you for your suggestions and info. After some thought, I would love to do a board fence all around, but I think that will be cost prohibitive. I'm planning to go with 4 strands of coated electric wire for the perimeter with T-posts with electric tape as cross-fencing (although I may have to start with T-posts and electric tape everywhere for cost, to get it up quickly, and to make sure I definitely know where I want that final fence to go!). I'll design things so that there are never spaces smaller than about 30' across, so hopefully it will be a safe setup for 2 horses, and maybe a third in the future - but likely I will just stick to 2. Thanks!!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by CCook View Post
                          Thank you for your suggestions and info. After some thought, I would love to do a board fence all around, but I think that will be cost prohibitive. I'm planning to go with 4 strands of coated electric wire for the perimeter with T-posts with electric tape as cross-fencing (although I may have to start with T-posts and electric tape everywhere for cost, to get it up quickly, and to make sure I definitely know where I want that final fence to go!). I'll design things so that there are never spaces smaller than about 30' across, so hopefully it will be a safe setup for 2 horses, and maybe a third in the future - but likely I will just stick to 2. Thanks!!
                          I have elect horseguard tape as my perimeter with Tposts and caps over them with tape thru the caps. Fence is about 4.5ft tall. We keep it super hot, one thing I would suggest is do wood posts for your corners. Mine are holding up with Tposts for now but I have to be a little looser with the tension of the fence than I would like. I have 3 .5acreish fields and then two dry lot/super short grass paddocks. One is 54x54. The other is 50 by about 70.

                          Each of my stalls opens into one of them and I can open them into the paddocks depending on which field is being rotated at the time. Older horse gets free grass access all day n night, pony gets grass with muzzle during morning and then lot and stall the rest of the day. Stateline has an elect tape similiar to HG but not nearly as strong. I used that with step ins for dividing my fields when the HG was used up. As always, Bluey has great advice about using temporary fencing for dividing until you know what you want and get used to rains, grass growth, etc. Click image for larger version

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                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by carman_liz View Post

                            I have elect horseguard tape as my perimeter with Tposts and caps over them with tape thru the caps. Fence is about 4.5ft tall. We keep it super hot, one thing I would suggest is do wood posts for your corners. Mine are holding up with Tposts for now but I have to be a little looser with the tension of the fence than I would like. I have 3 .5acreish fields and then two dry lot/super short grass paddocks. One is 54x54. The other is 50 by about 70.

                            Each of my stalls opens into one of them and I can open them into the paddocks depending on which field is being rotated at the time. Older horse gets free grass access all day n night, pony gets grass with muzzle during morning and then lot and stall the rest of the day. Stateline has an elect tape similiar to HG but not nearly as strong. I used that with step ins for dividing my fields when the HG was used up. As always, Bluey has great advice about using temporary fencing for dividing until you know what you want and get used to rains, grass growth, etc. Click image for larger version

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                            Thanks for the photos and the info on how you've done it! Looks great!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by CCook View Post

                              Thanks for the photos and the info on how you've done it! Looks great!
                              Anytime! If you have any questions or anything holler at me! Oh I found the HG tape on fb in Ohio, I got around 3k ft of it and around 100 step ins for 500 bucks! Look around on there it was a 4 hr drive for me but sooo worth it!!!

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