Keeping bulls fenced

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D.R. Cattle

Well-known member
Dec 26, 2003
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East Central Florida
I've got one particular bull that has no respect whatsoever for barbwire. As long as I have cows cycling he's a good boy. He's as tame as any I've ever seen- eats out of your hand. But when all my cows are bred he gets bored and goes through the fence to the neighbors cows. I move him to another pasture to seperate from the cows, but in between finishing the cows and moving he's a jail breaker. I had to go peel him away from the neighbor's cows today. Five strand tight wire in place. Any suggestions other than concrete walls? I guess electricity is the way to go.
Since he has already become a jail breaker. You could use several strands of High-tensile electric fence with a good and correct ground system. Every other strand hot every other strand ground. A good charger (the call them energizers now) will pretty muc discourge the wandering. But he'll sure be noisey

Dun gave you a prescription that will work. But he didn’t give you the rest of the answer because only you can decide: Is it worth all that headache and expense to keep any particular bull?

You’ve got plenty of bulls on the market to pick from. But you’ve only got one precious life. Who wants to spend it catching a certain bull and bringing him home over and over? So many bulls, so little time. Either that or budget for, build, and maintain a fence that Camp X-Ray would be proud to call their own.

I’d put him in the ring. Around here the wandering bull rule is three strikes and you’re out.


PS There are plenty of comments in other threads about it, but you might reconsider hand feeding him. It goes back to the one precious life thing.
I here you loud and clear TX. I got this bull the cheap way. My sons raised him from weaning. When I say he goes through fences, I mean he's after other cows in heat. Not only can he be hand fed, he's halter broke (last time I tried he was 600 lbs lighter). I still keep a very watchful eye given his size, but he's a cool dude. Libido is unbelievable, calves are choice, can't complain about that. He handles 30 head in a 60 day season, never skips a beat. I pity a heifer in heat when he's in the pasture. Might do more, but I just didn't want to risk missing calves. That's not bad by my standard. I'm working with small tracts of leased land with only 1 bull in each pasture. It's about time to gather them and move them to the home pasture. Pastures scattered all over the county.
The neighbor called and said he loves that bull and wants to know if I can open the gate and leave him there for a while. :lol:
~~~~~~~~~~ive never seen any good bull that wouldnt go through a normal fence to get to cows in heat on the other side. hell; if he just layed there chewing his cud id think something was wroung with him~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tc
our electric fences aren't as elaborate as dun's idea. we just use the little plastic insulators (the longer ones keep the cow's farther from the fence but tend to break sooner) on about every 3rd post & string one strand of electric wire about even with the middle strand of a five-strand fence. that's always been enough for us except sometimes in the bull pen itself when the bulls get to fighting but then they're not pushing through it themselves, they're getting pushed through backwards. many bulls, so little time....

Quality elec fence might do job. ?? With leased pasture one cannot spend too many $$ on other persons property. If neighbor wants to use him, charge him for bull leasing....

Our Longhorns are very mild mannered. We have 3 bulls in service here in separate pens with 14' alleyways separating. Our fences are 5.5' high with 7 strands barb wire, perimeter and pen/sub-pasture fencing. Our special holding corrals/pens are 5.5' high pipe and sucker rod welded fence. We have spent big bucks; however, it is our property...makes a differrence.

If you bull is high quality, fencing expense might be good investment... maybe you could work out a deal with the other guy??
The only reason for that elaborate a system is because the bull has already lost his respect for fencing. We run a single strand of hot wire. The neigbors bulls over the years have learned all about. They may really raise a ruckus. but the won't cross that one single wire.

We sold two bulls this year that became Jailbreakers. They just walked up and wallowed their way through. NOthing stopped them except catch panels... They were probably 5 and 6 year olds they had just gotten thick enough hide that they didn't even think about that little bit of pain.
One of these days I'll learn to keep my mouth shut about my opinions on I grew up on a farm that had "good" fences but almost every month there was a repair job.

Cattle people successfully keep livestock in with anything between single strand hot wires and "buffalo" fencing. A personal choice thing. Likewise, horse people keep horses in with everything between used materials picked up at a garage sale or city dump and the high dollar decorator equine fencing. The primary objective is to keep YOUR livestock on your place; secondary objective is to have fencing that fits YOUR lifestyle and ranch "image."

At Running Arrow Farm we have very gentle and manageable horses and cattle. They stay on our place. We sleep well every night. Some of our neighbors think we overdo our fencing and are nuts. Bottomline: ours stay on our place and other livestock stay out of our place. Our insurance company likes our fencing plan too. Since we raise pureblood breeding stock, we don't want outside animals getting to ours; and, we don't want to deal with any neighbor that is ANTI-Longhorns that might "contaminate" their commercial beef herds (unless they WANT a Longhorn for cross-breeding).
dun":l8x1oint said:
The only reason for that elaborate a system is because the bull has already lost his respect for fencing. We run a single strand of hot wire. The neigbors bulls over the years have learned all about. They may really raise a ruckus. but the won't cross that one single wire.


sorry dun. didn't see that you had mentioned that since he was already a jailbreaker. i was just trying to think of the money & work just one strand would save him.
I'm gonna try a single strand while he's at the neighbor's. Can be done rather economically and doesn't look bad if it's done properly. I want to watch the first "zapping" to see how deterring it is. If it doesn't work I'll reconsider culling him. Bill I hope you didn't get the idea that I had a bunch of wild mongrels. Even while the fence was down from the bull the cows just grazed away and paid it no mind. The bull is very nice, he just has a very serious desire to reproduce. The result to me is very high conception rates. You are right about sleeping good though. I get criticized for "overdoing" things on land that I own. Watch the pennies a little closer on leased land. I just sunk some bucks into my cowpens at a leased pasture and hated it. I wanted to do panels but they were about 3 times the cost of lumber and posts. Hey, come to think of it, I think I mighta went through a few fences when I was about 18 years old. :lol: (That was a while ago)
make sure the fence is good & hot & i think it will probably work.
The single most important part is the ground system. Without the correct ground system you might as well put up kite string.
The neighbor had a Braunvieh bull that was alwasy challenging our fence. He'ld see gomer messing around and wanted to get some of the action. He finally started puching through a field fence and barbed combination. When he wit the hot wire on our side it certainly got his atention. The second time, he decided that the couple of girls he had with him was just fine. He'ld stand on the other side and really carry on. But you couldn't get him within 5 feet of that fence again. And that was at only 7200 volts.

We seem to have that problem from the other side of the fence. Our bull stays put, while the neighbor's Charolais bull seems to think that ours isn't doing his job and keeps jumping over. Both sides are hot wired. While he's a nice bull and all, I don't particularly care to keep feeding 2 bulls. He doesn't seem to want to go home to his own girls either. Guess he only knows how to jump one way........ :|
sounds like maybe the fence could use a hot wire across the top or maybe one about a foot out from the fence so he can't get as close to make his jump. (or maybe your neighbor needs a new bull)
True that on the grounding system Dun. Couldn't I ground throught the existing barbed wire? He's sure to be hitting that when he hits the hot wire. I could additionally drive my ground rods at every corner of the pasture to help.
you might try the buddy syatem, if you have young bull in with the older one he will worry more about leaving his cows with the other bull. but they may team up and go to the neighbors as buddies. if you and the neighbor have different calving seasons then share the bull and the expense. :?
D.R. Cattle":2xplf36n said:
True that on the grounding system Dun. Couldn't I ground throught the existing barbed wire? He's sure to be hitting that when he hits the hot wire. I could additionally drive my ground rods at every corner of the pasture to help.

I've only used existing pendcing as a ground for short runs of temp. wire. If it's hung on T-posts it will work fairly well. But you should habe a good solid ground system. Rather then one rod per wire, it will work better if you use 3-6 rods 6 feet long and all ground wires hooked to them. The ground system takes a pretty significant amount of space, but if you align it under beneath the fence in the fence line it doesn't eat up as much space .
BTW I consider a short run to be 1/4 mile or less.
The key to a good electric fencing system is the ground system, no matter what else you do, if the ground isn't right, the system won't work as planned.
When we moved to this farm, if you took readings at the farthest point on the fencin, probably after running only about a mile, but with segments running off of it for a total of another couple of miles, we only would read about 5k volts. We redid the ground system and now we're reading almost 8k any place on the fence.


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