Is Your High Fence Up and Ready? Here’s How to Plan For It

Straight Shooter Game Fencing

High fences are essential in any livestock or game operation. It can spell the between success or failure of your business. The fence must be planned with the utmost care. Here are guidelines to help you plan a high fence that’s right for you.

Determine the purpose of your high fence

Why are you putting up a high fence in the first place? What animals will be fenced in or out? 

Knowing how your animals and how their predators behave will determine the kind of high fence you should install.

Explore high fence options available

High fence materials have come a long way since barbed wire. Current options include high tensile wire, electrified high tensile wire, woven wire, and rail. 

High tensile wire fencing is a safer and more attractive option when compared to barbed wire, and can effectively fence any large animal. 

Electrified high tensile wire fencing mildly shocks animals upon contact. It’s just as easy to install as the non-electrified version.

Woven wire high fencing will keep almost anything in or out. It’s suitable for goats, cattle, hogs, horses, mules, sheep, poultry, and small game. 

Expensive but visually appealing, rail fences can withstand the kicking, charging, and chewing that horses, cattle, sheep, and mules inflict on high fencing. Non-wood options for rail fences are now available: choose from rot-resistant vinyl, steel, or even concrete. 

The profile of your property will in part determine which kind of material can be used. Woven wire and rail fences are rigid and are more suitable for level or gently rolling land, while wire fences can easily adapt to rough or hilly terrain.

Do the animals have the tendency to kick or rub against the high fence? Is it unavoidable for trucks and tractors to bump against it? Certain situations exert a significant amount of pressure on high fences. High tensile wire fences have a bit of “give” and can easily spring back to form.

High fencing rules vary per state. Check with your city or county planning office on height restrictions and rules regarding fence construction and design.

Decide whether to install a high fence on your own or to hire a high fence contractor

Be mindful of three words when planning your high fence: good, cheap, and fast. Good and cheap won’t be fast, fast and good won’t be cheap, and cheap and fast won’t be good.

Building a high fence on your own can be more affordable but it might take time depending on your learning curve. Hiring a professional high fence contractor for fence installation is an effective method for ensuring quality, speed, and efficiency. In contrast, DIY operations typically lead to the use of cheap materials and are often on tight timeframes. These can reduce the quality of your high fence.

Whichever method you decide on, it’s best practice to prepare a map of the area you want to fence, together with all the corresponding measurements. A map will help you come up with the amount of fencing material required, and will also give potential contractors an idea of the fence you have in mind.

Set a realistic budget 

Knowing the number of high fence materials required for your project will help you come up with a realistic budget. If, for example, your fence line measures 1,000 feet, and you want a three-strand high tensile wire fence, you will need 3,000 feet of high tensile wire. 

Be sure to invest in quality fence posts. You will need two kinds: anchor posts for key spots such as corners, curves, dips, rises, and gates, and line posts that secure the fencing material. 

Anchor posts are larger in diameter and are long enough to be set deeper into the ground. The taller the fence, the longer the line posts should be to support the weight of the fencing material.

Fence posts can be made from wood, steel, concrete, stone, plastic, or fiberglass, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Evaluate your options according to your fencing objectives and budget. Compare prices from various sources if possible.

Clear the fence line

Mow weeds and cut trees if necessary. Encroaching growth holds moisture, which makes high fence materials prone to rot, rust, or electrical issues. Moreover, a well-cleared fence line makes the fence more visible to livestock, predators, and wandering critters.

Grading out dips and bumps in the property will simplify high fence installation and may reduce the amount of fence posts required.

Tear down old and dilapidated high fences completely. Aside from being eyesores, animals can get entangled in them.

Prepare the layout

Drive stakes into the ground where corners and gates should go. Ideally, a high fence will consist of straight runs joined at right angle corners. In terms of grazing, a square paddock will be grazed more evenly than a long narrow one. These have a tendency to be overgrazed at the front and under grazed at the back.

Curving the corners of your fence will depend on the size and shape of the area you will be fencing. Curving corners reduces the inside area.

Know where your property line is before building a boundary fence. Local setback restrictions will dictate the proximity of the fence to the property line. Additionally, make sure your high fence will not get in the way of power lines or underground structures.

Map out gate positions

Moving gate posts can be frustrating and time-consuming, so carefully consider where you want to install them. Set up gate posts in well-drained areas to prevent puddles and muddy conditions. Steer clear of erosion-prone paths.

Be diligent about maintenance

High fence maintenance is largely a matter of clearing the fence line so you can easily spot areas in need of repair.

Weed control is an essential part of your maintenance tasks. Should you spray a herbicide along your fence line, choose one that’s not toxic to livestock and check the label for corrosive ingredients. Permanent weed control options are also available, such as pouring a concrete footer or running vinyl landscaping strips along the fence line.

Building a strong, secure high fence today means less costly repairs and livestock loss tomorrow, and planning ahead is half the battle. 

Straight Shooter Game Fencing is a professional high fencing contractor offering fencing installation, service, and fencing materials at competitive prices across the country. Get in touch with us to know more.