John & Susan Merrell
41390 Hwy 226
Scio, OR 97374
503-394-3790
503-551-7219 (cell)
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Farm Fencing

Farm fencing on the small farm will be based on the purpose that the fence will serve. Fences should be considered as a permanent structure, and as such will require proper planning. Fences are an integral part of any farm management plan, whether used to contain livestock, deter predators, or to define property boundaries. Good fencing will lead to higher property values and a more efficient farm operation.

Farm Fencing

Fencing should be considered as a grazing management tool. Fences facilitate the movement of livestock, as well as their containment and protection. Good fences will also increase your property values.

When selecting a fence type, consider:

  • The purpose (what type of animal are you keeping in and/or out)
  • Type of soil (e.g. rocky or deep loam)
  • Terrain
  • Material and labor costs for construction
  • Availability of power
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Weather
  • Visual impact
  • Wildlife

Types of fencing

TYPE ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
4-strand Barbed Wire Good control of cattle Barbed wire can injure horses, llamas, alpacas and wildlife. Place wire to allow wildlife to safely pass. Labor and material costs are high and periodic maintenance is required.
Woven Wire Good control of sheep, llamas and alpacas. May keep some predators out. Add 2 upper strands of barbed wire for cattle Unsafe for wildlife. Labor and material costs are high, and periodic maintenance is required.
4 to 10-strand Smooth Wire Good for horses and less harmfull to wildlife. 8 to 10-strand will contain large and exotic animals. Very durable. Labor and material costs are high. Periodic maintenance is required. Poor predator control.
Electric Good for establishing a pasture rotation program on small acreages. Lightweight, portable and easy to set up or dismantle before and after irrigation. Less expensive. Weathers poorly. Don't use in legths over 1000 feet. Requires regular maintenance. needs solar or electric power source.
Jackleg Aesthetically appealing. Very durable. Withstands heavy snow. Good in areas where it is hard to dig or drive posts. Can be adapted for marshy, wet areas. Low maintenance. High labor and material costs during construction. Will not deter predators.
Post and Pole (Rail Fence) Aesthetically appealing. Durable. Withstands heavy snow fall. Low maintenance. Less harmful to wildlife. High labor and material costs. Less durable in high rainfall areas. Will not deter predators.

We have settled on woven wire fences as the best balance between advantages and disadvantages for our area. There is a complete section on building fences here.

 
Alpaca Sales

"He wore a big cluster diamond pin, a sort of hen-and-chickens of his own, secured by a minute guard-chain on a ruffled shirt-front of snowiest linen, where clung dry crumbs of the "fine-cut" which puffed the lower side pockets of his gray alpaca sack coat. His gold-headed cane was almost a bludgeon..."

- George Cabel
Gideons Band, A Tale of the Mississippi
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