Rural Fencing Solutions: 5 Farm Fencing Ideas0 comments
As a rural property owner, establishing clear boundaries and securing your land is essential for both practical and aesthetic reasons. Farm fences serve as a crucial component of rural infrastructure, demarcating your property lines, safeguarding your livestock, and protecting your crops from potential harm. With a plethora of fencing options available, selecting the right one for your unique needs can be a daunting task. This comprehensive guide delves into the world of farm fencing, offering a selection of top-notch solutions tailored to the diverse demands of rural properties.
Whether you're seeking to contain livestock, deter trespassers, or simply enhance the visual appeal of your property, the choice of farm fence hinges on several key factors. The size and terrain of your property play a significant role in determining the most suitable fencing solution. For instance, sprawling pastures may call for a cost-effective and easily scalable option, while smaller paddocks may benefit from the aesthetic charm and durability of split rail fences. The animals you keep should also be considered. Cattle and horses have different containment needs than smaller animals, like sheep and goats.
Farm fencing becomes more complex when you introduce dogs. Livestock guardian dogs serve as the first line of defense for farms across the US and Canada. These protectors will need the ability to chase away predators, without reaching a barrier that deters them from their important job, or could cause injury.
Where you live, what you grow, and the animals you keep all play a role in helping you narrow the range of farm fence ideas to pinpoint which will work best for you. This article aims to be your guide in navigating the fencing options for large properties and farms.
Above-Ground Electric Fences
Electric fences or electric wire netting are among the top farm fencing ideas. They offer a budget-friendly solution, but it comes with a fair share of trade-offs. Maintenance is a must, and for large properties, costs can skyrocket quickly. While the upfront cost is manageable, the price of repairs due to damage from weather, wear and tear and wildlife, make this less ideal among the fencing options for large properties.
This option is typically semi- or fully permanent. If you anticipate that you’ll need to shift the perimeter of your farm fencing, either for rotational grazing or future growth, you’re committing to the laborious and time-consuming task of moving your fence line, which can take away from higher priority tasks.
Last, electric fencing can fail if it’s in an area where the grass grows quickly. Anne Briggs, a farmer and homesteader from Tennessee, needed to move her electric wire netting for her goats every two days because the grass was growing so fast that it was grounding out the electric wire, rendering it useless at keeping the goats and the livestock guardian dogs who protect them contained.
Watch a Tennessee Farmer Compare Fence Options
There are a spectrum of fencing options that are HOA-friendly. Here are a few of the more common fence types that you’ll see in HOA fence guidelines.
Barbed Wire Fences
Barbed wire often comes up as an option when weighing rural fencing ideas. While barbed wire fences can have a rugged appeal that farm owners relied on for many decades in the past, today they introduce a range of safety hazards that shy many away. While barbed wire might discourage livestock from wandering off, it’s difficult to repair and can inflict wounds and injuries that could otherwise be avoided. It also has a not-so-pleasant aesthetic that can turn a picturesque property into something much more grim and industrial. Not to mention, moving or dismantling barbed wire is a time consuming and dangerous task that you might want to avoid altogether.
In-Ground Invisible Fences
In-ground invisible dog fences are trusted by many dog owners to keep their dogs within a designated area. With virtual fences, there’s no physical barrier to interfere with your property’s layout or obstruct any scenic views. However, for those who have lots of land, the price will increase by the acre, which prices out many farmers. The fencing option is also permanent, so even if you’re able to make an investment in an in-ground option, if you do rotational grazing on your farm, you’ll quickly find it limiting.
In addition, there’s maintenance costs to consider. In colder climates, wires can snap during winter weather and you’ll need to be diligent and planful with your irrigation system, to ensure it doesn’t interfere with the buried wire and cause a break.
Traditional Physical Fences
Having a fully fenced in property is a long term goal for many farmers but often, it’s not realistic. Anne Briggs, a SpotOn customer, farmer, and builder from Tennessee, found building a permanent fence was cost prohibitive.
“When we first moved here, I actually had a fence builder come out and give a basic quote on what it would cost to put permanent fencing around the whole place, and pre-2020 lumber hike prices, that was $65,000. Obviously that was not realistic or possible.”
In addition to getting this quote, Anne experimented with multiple types of farm fencing. She saw some success when she built a semi-permanent fence that she planned to expand over time, even adding an electric wire for extra security, but one of her livestock guardian dogs discovered she could dig under it, while the other could jump over it.
Boundary Training & Tracking Devices
Many farmers pair their fencing with other devices like e-collars and AirTags, to track and train their dogs to stay within the fence boundaries. E-collars can be effective for boundary training with Livestock Guardian Dogs, but require the owner to be with the dogs consistently to issue corrections when appropriate. For working farmers with working dogs, this is too time consuming to be realistic. AirTags can be used to track your dog to ensure they haven’t left the property; however, for this solution to work, the AirTag always needs to be within range of an iPhone to function effectively. For dogs with range over vast properties, this solution also falls short.
SpotOn GPS fencing for Rural Property Owners
GPS dog fences are a newer technology that is a similar concept to an invisible, in-ground dog fence; but without the buried wires. Instead, fences are created on an app, which communicates with the GPS dog collar to contain the dog. SpotOn GPS Fence uses patented True Location™ GPS technology, which gives it unbeatable accuracy that’s just as reliable as the tried-and-true invisible dog fences, but without the hassle or big costs associated with digging up your property, or the ongoing maintenance that goes with it.
Cost-Effective Fencing for Large Properties
SpotOn is certainly an investment, but when compared against other farm fencing ideas, it’s more cost-effective than you’d think, especially for large properties. Traditional fences are impacted by the cost of lumber, invisible dog fences are more pricey and complex by the acre, and electric and barbed wire fences will require ongoing monitoring and maintenance to ensure it continues to be functional and safe.
Easy Installation and Maintenance
Setting up your first fence with SpotOn takes less than two minutes. You can use the app to draw your fence and activate it right away. With other solutions, you could be waiting weeks or months to install your fence, making SpotOn a convenient option for rural property owners who need a dog containment solution quickly.
Flexibility and Customization
If you have an expansive or odd-shaped property, SpotOn can be customized to any shape or size. As you walk or draw custom GPS fences on the app, it will drop “virtual fence posts” as you pivot around the corners and bends of your desired boundary line. SpotOn provides 1,000+ fence posts, giving you unlimited possibilities. Whereas, the competitors offer just 20 which can be extremely limiting if you don’t have a basic rectangular-shaped lot.
With SpotOn, you can also build overlapping fences. If you do rotational grazing with your livestock, this is extremely helpful as you can shift and expand your fence boundaries in a snap. Competitors don’t let your virtual fences share the same GPS coordinates, creating a cumbersome user experience when activating various fences.
Safety and Reliability, Even in Challenging Terrain
If your farm has a pond or borders a body of water, safety is certainly a concern. With SpotOn, you can create GPS fences near water, if you want to give your dog the option to swim and splash, or you can make it off-limits by adding a Keep Out Zone - a “fence within a fence” that can help ensure your dogs stay away from hazards.
SpotOn offers reliability in heavily wooded areas, thanks to its GPS technology. It will automatically sense when your dog is under tree cover and adjust the GPS signal accordingly to keep your dog contained. This is a game-changer for those who live near the forest, as well as those who have land with rolling hills, dips, and valleys.
When choosing the right fence for your farm, SpotOn GPS Fence gives you a cost-effective, easy-to-use fencing option for large properties that can be customized to suit your precise needs.
Ready to redefine your farm’s boundaries?
Get started with the #1 fence for farm properties, and take home SpotOn today!
Jacqui Lantagne is a New England-based animal lover who enjoys spoiling Milton, a spirited mixed breed rescue dog.
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