• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Using water as a fence

Jogeephus

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
24,228
Reaction score
0
Location
South Georgia
I could very easily fence in about 100 acres by running two fences down into a swamp. It would require no more than 300 yards of fencing if the swamp would serve as a natural barrier to keep the cattle on my side of the swamp. Problem with running a fence through the swamp is the continuous dropping of junk on the fence. So I was wondering how adventuresome cattle are around water and swampland and whether they would - normally - walk across about a quarter mile of swampland with water depths ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 3 feet deep. Was thinking of just using this for emergency grazing and it would keep me from having to mow and would also help keep the woods clean. Anyone ever had any experience with something like this?
 

showing71

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
688
Reaction score
0
We have a pond and creek running through our pasture. The cows will cross the creek where the bank is lower and the water is 2 feet deep. They will not walk through the pond which at it's deepest is 4 feet and about 100 yards wide and has swamp area around it. We tried running a fence through the pond where the creek feeds it, but like you said, there is a lot of junk that eventually pulls the fence down. For the most part, they stay out of the pond unless they are hot or have a bunch of flies on them. If your cows are like ours, they won't feel the need to get that adventuresome.
 

iowafarmer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
786
Reaction score
0
Location
Northwest, Iowa
we have a river running thorugh our pastures and the cows cross that. Its prolly 4 feet deep at the deepest i'd say and anywhere from 40 to 60 feet wide also have some low lying areas near by the river with slight swamp id say, lots of trees and some water in spots, the cattle will go in it to eat grass, usually only in the early spring when there aren't any flies yet or they arent bad, then they will go in later when the grass on the open places are gone. You will probably have to fence it or fence them out of it because cattle will go places to explore things, or if they get hungry enough they will go looking for food.
 

Jogeephus

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
24,228
Reaction score
0
Location
South Georgia
Iowafarmer, can the cows see pasture from one side to the other? I'm wondering if since there is nothing in the swamp to eat other than some leaves on some bushes, if they wouldn't stay put. I know they are curious creatures and will do some strange things. But if I were to be able to turn them on this acreage there is a lot of bahia grass and wire grass that they can eat for a few weeks. When these get eaten down I'd need to move them back. I guess a better way of putting the question would be, with ample grazing on my side of the swamp, would the cows stay put or is it just in their nature to explore?
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
1
Location
MO Ozarks
We had a place that had a swamp (the return drain for the flood irrigation) along the back of the pasutre. It was about 200 yds wide and was almost impossible to get through. Cows spent a lot of time on ther far side, the swamp and the 4 ft wide 3 foot deep ditch never slowed them down. Unless of course I was trying to get them to come back across to the side closer to the house.
 

CattleHand

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2007
Messages
669
Reaction score
0
Location
Texas
Dun has a good point. they are going to go where you dont want them. You should make a new post asking how to keep the cows in the unfenced swamp. Out smart them at their own game.
 

Jogeephus

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
24,228
Reaction score
0
Location
South Georgia
CattleHand":2io2cojd said:
Dun has a good point. they are going to go where you dont want them. You should make a new post asking how to keep the cows in the unfenced swamp. Out smart them at their own game.

:lol2: I forgot about the effect Murphey's Law would have on this situation. I might give it a try and see how it works. I can always run the fence through the center if it doesn't work. Its not very friendly place and if the cattle are anything like me I really don't care to venture too far into it if I don't have to. There are a lot of buggers in there.
 

marksmu

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Messages
213
Reaction score
0
Location
Deep South East Texas - Chambers County
My property has a large swamp. Though I am new to cattle - my neighbor ran cows on my property for 3 years prior to me getting some - and I can assure you the cows will cross the swamp. Further complicating things - if your swamp is saltgrass, or has any of the good swamp grasses in it - dirty rice, millet, nutsedge, etc - the cows greatly prefer it. My neighbors cows would spend all their time in that marsh until they picked it clean - then they would come out. Also - if your marsh is drainage and prone to flooding - if you get a good hard rain, you have to be prepared to move them out quickly or they will drown b/c they will inevitably walk the wrong direction when the water starts rising.
 

mnmtranching

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
5,061
Reaction score
0
Location
MN
Joe, for sure the cows will go into the swamp and cross it, most likely the first few hours that their in there. Cows will first explore their new area. Swamps and water won't slow the cows up a bit. As long as a cow can walk on the bottom or feel the bottom she will have no problem going into it. I have a lake barrier that's about 1/4 mile wide, I run the fence out to about 6 feet of water, only had a couple times a cow has gone out and around. At the swamps I run a fence.
 

dyates

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
664
Reaction score
0
Location
Winchester, ky
Can you use a battery energizer and electric to cross the swamp? Run one strand up high away from the water and tie on strings of poly wire like streamers hanging down. Would take a while if you had a long run, but you wouldn't have to worry about the trash on the fence.
 

Jogeephus

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
24,228
Reaction score
0
Location
South Georgia
dyates":1ii8e2ef said:
Can you use a battery energizer and electric to cross the swamp? Run one strand up high away from the water and tie on strings of poly wire like streamers hanging down. Would take a while if you had a long run, but you wouldn't have to worry about the trash on the fence.

I see how this could work good and will probably use some version of this idea. My biggest concern are the limbs and trees that fall in the swamp. Its an every storm thing. I think what I might do is just run the fence down the highwater mark on the border of the swamp. It will mean more fencing. Lots of it. So ya'll really didn't tell me what I wanted to hear. But, while I am slow, I do learn. A while back Dun told me to "get a spinning jenny". Instead I made one. Well didn't actually make one. I made a POS tool that vaguely resembled one. I think Dun called it a Medusa or something like that. Anyhow, I'll heed ya'lls advice cause I ain't no cowboy and the corn on the other side of the swamp would be expensive yet mighty tasty to the girls I'm sure. :lol2:
 

backhoeboogie

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
14,952
Reaction score
4
Location
Texas
Bite the bullet Jogee. Some bull up or down the swamp is going to smell one of your cows and come looking. That electric charge is not going to stop him.

Fences aren't so much about keeping yours in but to keep the others out too. Remember that.
 

iowafarmer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
786
Reaction score
0
Location
Northwest, Iowa
Jogeephus":4iaia0b4 said:
Iowafarmer, can the cows see pasture from one side to the other? I'm wondering if since there is nothing in the swamp to eat other than some leaves on some bushes, if they wouldn't stay put. I know they are curious creatures and will do some strange things. But if I were to be able to turn them on this acreage there is a lot of bahia grass and wire grass that they can eat for a few weeks. When these get eaten down I'd need to move them back. I guess a better way of putting the question would be, with ample grazing on my side of the swamp, would the cows stay put or is it just in their nature to explore?

Yes, they can seepasture on the other side ofthe river and swamp, lowlying area. The cows can go around the swamp lowlying area casue it isnt large bout 15 acres and isnt in the fence line. They go in it any way. They cross the river cause there is pasture on both sides and they are supposed to cross it to get to the other side. You better run a fence right on the edge of the swamp you have if you dont want them to go in there and you dont want to run fence in the swamp.
 

TheBullLady

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2004
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Texas
lol.. if you had some good Brahman cows, you wouldn't have to worry about it. They hate water, and rarely go past their little toes into the stock tank. :cowboy:
 

Jogeephus

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
24,228
Reaction score
0
Location
South Georgia
TheBullLady":3v1ab0l4 said:
lol.. if you had some good Brahman cows, you wouldn't have to worry about it. They hate water, and rarely go past their little toes into the stock tank. :cowboy:

I have some with ear. I have also have a 16 acre whale waller in one compartment and the cows never go past their toes here either. This is why I thought it might work. Lots of creepy crawlers in there too.
 

rowdyred

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 22, 2009
Messages
232
Reaction score
0
Location
North Mississippi
When I brought my cattle in 3 years ago, I depended on our swamp land to be a fence/barrier, they never acted like they wanted to cross it, since then we have drained the swamp and now have just a small creek that seperates my cows from "freedom", we drained back last fall and they still have not crossed it, I'm thinking they know their boundry and have no desire to cross, I believe if you have plenty of grass and they have not crossed yet, they may not, I'm building a fence on the "freedom" side the summer just in case.
 

angela dawn

Member
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
I have a creek running through the middle of my place with one area on the border of my neighbors fence that is very swampy due to beavers I put a couple of panels about 24 feet into the water just to the edge of the deep water that tends to flood and knock the fence down. I don't have to worry about my cattle getting out cause my prissy little brahmas don't like getting their feet wet. My father's cows were getting out and traveling about three miles through nothing to eat to get on the highway. Stupid crossbred cows. Everyone needs more brahmas. :cowboy: The panels are keeping them in so far but if that doesn't work I'll have to try something else. Thank you guys for the ideas. Good luck!
 
Top