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Question on electric fence for cross fencing pastures

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jcummins

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I need to cross fence my pastures and do pasture rotation. I was going to build H braces, etc just like a barded wire fence to keep my options open for going to barded wire later. I planned on tpost every 85-100 feet (neighbor has that spacing seems to work for him) then string two strands wire. Now I’m not so sure I will do that, given the work, and more so the cost. After reading here, and given the cost of fencing material, I’ve concluded electric fence might be the way to go for all interior fencing, and never go for barbed wire for the interior. . Appreciate thoughts on this.

Question on this method of fencing. What do you do for end of fence and corner post for electric fence. I have an L shape fence I want to do that will tie in to bard wire fence on both ends of the L. For the middle corner of the L, it will just be in the middle of the pasture. I do want a gate at that location. How would you brace this fence? Original plans I would have had H braces, and I would have tauted a 2 wire electric tight. Now I’m reading, some on here say don’t taut the electric tight. If so, are H braces necessary. The long part of the L, will be 1800 ft, the short leg, 500 ft. I want to get by with the least cost, but at the same time…..I want it to work. Also, gates. I’m guessing a wire with a spring type insulator on one end to tie the electric together….but do you set post on each side of that gap?

If this L shape area does work, I want to sub divide the rest of my pasture into three different areas, possibly using electric for all the interior fencing. Here again whatever works with the least cost. Appreciate any advise….and if you can demo this first hand, that would be great!! :D
 

1982vett

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I've been doing some crossfencing too. What I have done on fences that I might want to make permanent is to set wood post on a spacing that can be utilized if I wanted to change to barbwire. I've been using an 8 ft. spacing so every 32 ft. I set a post. On these I use the barbless barb wire. All I need to do is go back and drive t-post and add wire. Even after converting to barbwire, the barbless will be electrified as a means to electrify other crossfences.

On fences that will be permanent electric, I set the corners as I would for barbwire then drive a t-post every 32 foot. Right now I use a single wire at 36 inches and another at 18 inches if I want to keep the calves from slipping under. Now I recently ran one that might not stay so I spaced the t-post at 64 foot and put a step in post in between. Just helps keep from having to put so much tension on the wire to keep it from sagging.

Now on the semi-temporary (a season or two) I drive a t-post every 25 - 30 paces with a single 17 ga. wire. Maybe a step-in in between. On the super-temporary (dividing for grazing oats or pasture renovations where I want to keep the cows out) I use t-post at the corners or offsets and step-ins everywhere else at about 20 paces and 17ga. wire.
 

dun

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For all interior and temp fences I use polywire. All of our pasture parimeter fence is high tensile hot wire so I just drop off of that with the poly and step in posts.
 

Frankie

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To build our "permanent" electric fence, we bought defective 4-ft T posts from a place in Denton, TX. We used them to build a lane that opens into several grazing paddocks on one end and the corral at the other end. To build our "temporary" fences, we used a hydraulic post driver to put 1 1/2-2 inch piple in the ground about two feet, with about three feet sticking out for corners. We didn't brace them; should have because some of them are starting to lean. The posts between the corners are rebar, one foot in the ground and three feet above the ground. Our main problem with the temp fence is that deer knock the wire down and short out some of the system. But, generally, it works well for us. The permanent fence has held up well. The calves get introduced to it as babies and as adults they stay off of it.

You need to have a good plan before you start: where's the water? How will you move them between paddocks? Which grass comes out first? Which paddock can you graze more often than the others?
 

Willow Springs

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We used 12 guage high tensile wire with posts every 75-100 feet. Definitely should be braced. With that weight of wire 100 feet seems to be ok. We don't tighten our wire tight it does have some arc; if something runs through it or falls on it the posts, wire, insulators don't break. We only use one wire (perimeter and crossfence) with ground rods, having the wire loose allows me to step on the wire to get over the wire or even pin it down to drive vehicles through. We usually have good moisture so one wire works. If you have a drier climate (not sure where you are in Texas) running the second wire as a ground may work better. I avoid using gates to carry power. I run all of the cross fencing electric fence off the perimeter electric. The gates only carry power when hooked to the fence; the other end is simply attached to a post with an insulator. This makes them much easier to deal with when opening and the fences all carry power even when the gate is open.
 

Texas PaPaw

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Like Dun, all my interior fences are 1 wire polywire except for the last 300 ft of the lane that goes to my corrals and it is 2 wire polywire. Have had a few of high strung ones that would jump the single wire when pressured going into the corral. Since adding the second wire near the corral, there have been no jumpers. I use 1/2" fiberglass posts for ends and corners and 3/8" fiberglass for line posts. Cheap and easy to install and easy to reconfigure when you figure out a better layout. Had originally planned to convert to 1 wire high tensile over time but have scrapped those plans and will stay with the polywire.

IMO electric polywire is hard to beat for crossfenceing.
 
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jcummins

jcummins

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Be doing some googling.

Polywire, it comes in 3 wire to 9 wire. All sort of connectors. Help me narrow this down. Can poly be ran as far as high tensile. Difference between high/low tensile? Do you have to use connectors or can these various wires just be wrapped together, like barbwire?

I’ve used only low tensile, and some poly, but it’s been very short, backyard type distances.
 

dun

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We run poly a 1/4 mile in some runs, only use the 9 conductor, the other stuff is a joke. The only connector we use on it is a hook that goes over the backbone of high tensile to power it and a reel at the other end to take it up and hang from a post at the far end.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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We have 3 strand Hi-tensile for exterior. After many years using polywire for sub-divisions, we put 1 strand hi-t for permanent paddocks after deciding they were exactly where we wanted them. We keep our permanent paddocks anywhere from 2-8 acres. As the grass grows, we subdivide with poly as needed. We use 1 driven wooden post at the ends of the 1-strand hi-t. Been holding up our permanents subdivisions for maybe 10 years now. We don't crank it super tight. You can drive t-posts in the ground for ends, but they don't hold up for very long, they will end up leaning - but they are cheaper and you can re-drive them in as needed.
 

SRBeef

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I've been using a vertical 6 ft T-post and a second tee post driven in at an angle and held together with a simple "Speed Brace" on each end of permanent divider electric fences. I then take a couple feet of #12 wire to a ceramic insulator and connect to #14 single or double wires (depending if I want to keep calves on one side or not) and this makes a good sturdy divider. In between braced end posts I've been using rebar with yellow screw on insulators.

I think the key to success is being able to pull the wire tight ( I use Gripples) so that sub divider wires can have the handle just hooked over this divider at about any place along its length.

With the Speed Brace I can put up a solid end or corner in just a few minutes with a couple tee posts and a pounder. Here is a Speed Brace:

http://www.farmproducts.com/speed_brace.shtml

About an infinite number of ways to build a divider fence! Good luck.
 
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jcummins

jcummins

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This squeeze type connectors, that require a special tool to clamp on……..

What little work I’ve done with electric wire, I simply twisted together and wrapped back on itself. The same way I do barbwire. Is this what everyone uses for electric wire, or do you twist it like I do.
I had a friend that commented, he had a friend that tried that on barbwire, and they could not get it clamped tight enough to not pull apart. In ads etc, I see them supposedly used with barb wire. So…..are those connectors only used for electric wire?? That is not pulled as tight as barbwire?
 

dun

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jcummins":10rszrsq said:
This squeeze type connectors, that require a special tool to clamp on……..

What little work I’ve done with electric wire, I simply twisted together and wrapped back on itself. The same way I do barbwire. Is this what everyone uses for electric wire, or do you twist it like I do.
I had a friend that commented, he had a friend that tried that on barbwire, and they could not get it clamped tight enough to not pull apart. In ads etc, I see them supposedly used with barb wire. So…..are those connectors only used for electric wire?? That is not pulled as tight as barbwire?

Try splicing it with a square knot. It's the strongest way of splicing high tensile 12 1/2 gauge. Never tried it with anything smaller

 

gberry

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When we first went to rotational grazing about five years ago, we subdivided everything with polywire. Nothing is easier to use. Only tool you need is a pair of wire pliers, a sharp knife and a hammer to drive the posts with. We live pretty close to the headquarters for Jeffers Livestock Supply ( http://jefferslivestock.com/ssc/ ) and they have 3/8 and 11/16" fiberglass posts that are pretty reasonable (about $1 and $4, respectively).

We basically drive an 11/16" post at an angle away from the direction of pull so that tightening the wire tends to pull the post to a more upright position. One of these posts at each end can easily handle 1000 ft of fence and probably more. We initially used the 3/8 posts for line posts spaced about every 60-75 feet and this worked well. We do tend to take our cross fences down occasionally and lately we have started to change to the high tensile pig tail posts for line posts. These are about $2 at Tractor supply.

I have found several problems with this system that I will share to see if it might help you and get others experience with these problems. First, the posts need to have Sunguard or some similar protection or else you will get an unbelievable amount of fiberglass splinters after a few months. Also, the clips used for the posts are a pain. The are almost impossible to adjust with the bare hands. I know Kencove sells some clips that are supposed to be easier to use.

We have also had some problems with the wire. We used tin coated copper wire with 9 strands. In places the wire is tied to high tensile wire (we used some to make handles) and electrolysis occurs eventually resulting in a break in the wires which can be hard to find. Also if the wire is not electrified (i.e. handle down) a calf is sure to come by and chew on it resulting in breaking the wires.

Our property is 120 acres 1/4 mile wide and 3/4 mile long. Currently, we have a 40 feet wide lane down the middle with cross fences going to the perimeter dividing the land into 6 acre paddocks. We are considering running 2 uninterrupted single strand high tensile wires the length of the property dividing it into 4 long strips. We would then simply move a 300 ft polywire fence and the water supply daily (the water supply is the tricky part). We would use the 11/16 post on 75 foot centers for the line posts on the high tensile and step in pigtail posts for the polywire. I would also go with the stainless steel polywire.
 
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jcummins

jcummins

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gberry":3vu5bx7b said:
Our property is 120 acres 1/4 mile wide and 3/4 mile long. Currently, we have a 40 feet wide lane down the middle with cross fences going to the perimeter dividing the land into 6 acre paddocks. We are considering running 2 uninterrupted single strand high tensile wires the length of the property dividing it into 4 long strips. We would then simply move a 300 ft polywire fence and the water supply daily (the water supply is the tricky part). We would use the 11/16 post on 75 foot centers for the line posts on the high tensile and step in pigtail posts for the polywire. I would also go with the stainless steel polywire.

My property is 126 acres, and similar in shape, but with a small wooded creek 3/4 of the way up the middle. To subdivide I was thinking of running barbwire the length of the place on each side of the creek, dividing into three strips the length of the place. Water available in the center strip only. Now after this thread, and other study I've done...thinking of doing the same thing you describe.

How many head do you run? And the tricky part, the water, how do you do that?
 

gberry

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jcummins":30qpnc86 said:
gberry":30qpnc86 said:
Our property is 120 acres 1/4 mile wide and 3/4 mile long. Currently, we have a 40 feet wide lane down the middle with cross fences going to the perimeter dividing the land into 6 acre paddocks. We are considering running 2 uninterrupted single strand high tensile wires the length of the property dividing it into 4 long strips. We would then simply move a 300 ft polywire fence and the water supply daily (the water supply is the tricky part). We would use the 11/16 post on 75 foot centers for the line posts on the high tensile and step in pigtail posts for the polywire. I would also go with the stainless steel polywire.

My property is 126 acres, and similar in shape, but with a small wooded creek 3/4 of the way up the middle. To subdivide I was thinking of running barbwire the length of the place on each side of the creek, dividing into three strips the length of the place. Water available in the center strip only. Now after this thread, and other study I've done...thinking of doing the same thing you describe.

How many head do you run? And the tricky part, the water, how do you do that?

Right now we only run about 50 pair. We do have a pond on the place, but we try to not let the cows drink out of it. At this time, we have a 1 1/4 inch line down the middle of the property with faucets about every 400 feet. I think some type of portable system would be a must to do what I want to do. I have proposed to my dad that we buy 2 300 ft x 1 inch discharge hoses with quick connect couplings and run them from our current faucets, but we have also discussed running 2 more lines down the new fence. We currently have a couple of 25 gallon plastic trough cut from a 55 gallon drum. These have a high flow valve made by Apex and will supply adequate water for the herd as when the trough is close, they come to drink one at a time. These would be easy to move if you had quick connect couplings.

This system would definitely be more work than we do now, but the advantage would be being able to fine tune the size of the paddocks and give your grass more rest between grazings. I think it would take 10-20 minutes to move the wire and the water supply. There is a good discussion at http://homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=286704 that gave me the basics of this idea.
 

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