Fencing cattle with electric mesh?

dirtslinger2(6)June 11, 2008

I will be getting dexter cattle within two weeks and was planning on using the 48" tall movable electric mesh. Lush pastures here to move around as required to keep them well fed.

I find it strong enough to keep out bears, hoping it will keep cattle in too! I've heard a bit of negativity about it!

As it isn't the sturdiest fencing, and as these cows/heifers have never been trained to electric- I would appreciate any tips you can offer. They'll have been in a trailer from their previous far for about 4-5 hours before arriving here, released direct into their new electric paddock.

I've never had cattle before and losing them could be a rollercoaster here!

Thanks for any suggestions.

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I don't see why not. As long as it is set up properly, (charger grounded good and fence insulated), especially if the ground is moist. Sheepherders use it here always to contain the flock at night. Neighbor has goats in that fence with no problems. Another neighbor has limousines in a one strand wire.

Good Luck,


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 2:59AM
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We love electric fencing, but with our horses, we don't trust it 100%. We have the traditional barbed wire fence on the perimeter of our property. Electric will frequently short out either because of a break or a charger gone bad or a dead battery or even grass that has made contact with the fence shorting it out. Therefore we don't trust it alone to keep the horses out of the road or from wandering completely off our property. We only use the electric wire, not mesh. We find its value in keeping the horses from leaning on the barbed wire or areas of slick wire by running a single strand above the top strand of barbed and slick wire. We then use the easy step-in posts and just one single strand of wire to keep the horses out of areas WITHIN OuR PERIMETER that we don't want them into. Occasionally, for the reasons mentioned, the fence fails and we find they have gotten into the unwanted areas. But since it's within the perimeter of the more permanent fencing, it's not as tragic as losing an animal or having one hit.

I would hesitate to rely on the electric fence for the perimeter fencing on your property. I would use it only to keep your cattle from leaning on that fence as we do, or confining them to areas within that perimeter fencing. And for that, you really don't need to go to the expense of the mesh fencing you described if your only goal is to keep them within a certain area. Either t-posts or even the step-ins with two or three strands of wire are sufficient, probably two well-placed. The lower the wire is to the ground, the more likely you are to short your fence on weed growth.

I would add that the animals need to learn to respect electric fencing. The first two times we used the fencing on the horses was on a campout and the first two nights the horses went through it. Luckily ours are big pets and stayed around the trailer. After those two lessons of learning the wire had a bite, they never went through a live wire on a campout again. Somehow, though, they seem to know when that fence has developed a short on the farm though.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 3:11AM
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personally, growing up on a farm, we used electric fencing ALL the time. dividing pastures to rotate grazing, even using it on yearlings near a major roadway. and of all animals, it worked on sheep really well. you could take down the fence and couldnt drive them thru where it was previously. never any problems. used the step in posts, good insulators and 1 wire. i'd be leary of mesh, especially near tall plant growth. one terrific way to check if you have a break in the current is to drive along side the fence with the AM radio on, not on a station and listen for the surge. when you come to a place with heavy static, you found your short/weed on the fence.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 5:37PM
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Thanks so much!
And what a great tip regarding the AM radio- I have to try that.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 2:12AM
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