Choosing the Best Farm Fencing for Cross Grazing on Your Property
Cross-grazing offers a practical and efficient way to maximize your property’s potential by allowing different animal types to share grazing areas. However, finding the right farm fencing solution to accommodate multiple species and ensure their safety can be a complex task. With multiple animal species sharing grazing areas, it’s essential to choose fencing that ensures the safety, containment, and specific needs of each species.
At Stock & Noble, we provide the finest fencing solutions to properties across Australia and New Zealand. While most of our clients own equestrian properties, some of them often have a mix of different animals, and we guide them every step of the way to create a safe and beautiful property that matches their vision and needs of animals.
Drawing upon our expertise in building successful equine and farm properties, we are here to provide you with valuable insights. Based on our experience, we have found that the most prevalent forms of cross-grazing involve sheep, cattle, goats, and horses. It is upon this knowledge that we have structured the content of this article. The recommendations will guide you in selecting the ideal farm fencing solution for your cross-grazing needs.
In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the best fencing options available for cross grazing and explore the essential factors to consider when making your decision.
By understanding the issue of cross-grazing and exploring various farm fencing solutions, you can create a harmonious and efficient environment that accommodates multiple animals on your property.
Understanding the Issue of Cross Grazing
Cross-grazing involves the integration of different animal types within shared grazing areas.
While farms often designate separate areas for cattle and horses, sheep typically have the freedom to move between these sections.
However, ensuring the safety and containment of each animal species becomes a challenge. For example, while stock horses are content in their paddocks, horses with a thoroughbred background may have a more spirited temperament and require more specialised equine fencing, which differs from regular fencing options.
On the other hand, sheep generally respect fencing and do not attempt to push their way out. However, electric fences may not be effective for sheep due to their fleece acting as a conductor, requiring alternative containment solutions like mesh.
Mesh fencing or multiple strands of wire are suitable options for containing sheep, but caution must be exercised as horses can get their legs entangled in the multiple wires potentially causing serious injuries.
Therefore, it becomes important to understand the needs of each animal and provide a fencing solution that will help them all stay safe and enclosed during cross-grazing.
Exploring Farm Fencing Solutions for Cross Grazing Needs
To address the issue of cross-grazing, various fencing solutions are available. Each option has its advantages and considerations. Let’s take a closer look at some commonly used fencing types:
Traditional wire fencing is a cost-effective option suitable for cattle and larger animals. However, it may not provide sufficient containment for smaller animals like sheep and goats.
Barbed Wire Fencing
While barbed wire can effectively deter cattle, it poses a safety risk for horses and can cause injuries. We do not recommend using barbed wire on any kind of equine properties.
Post and Rail
Post and rail fencing, typically made of wood or steel, offers a visually appealing and sturdy option for containing horses. However, it may not be suitable for smaller animals due to the gap between the bottom rail and ground.
Electric rope fencing can work well for containing horses, but it may not be effective for animals like sheep due to their thick fleece.
Horserail is a flexible and safe fencing option, specifically designed for horses. It offers visibility, durability, and minimal risk of injury. However, it may not provide adequate containment for smaller animals, who can potentially escape through the gap between the bottom rail and the ground.
Factors to Consider While Choosing Farm Fencing for Cross Grazing
The types of animals present on your property
Consider the specific needs and behaviours of each species.
Ensure that the fencing system you select meets the safety standards for all animals involved.
Wire and barbed wire considerations
Evaluate whether the use of multiple strands of wire is safe for the animals present on your property.
Introduction of mesh
For smaller animals like sheep and goats, incorporating mesh fencing can help prevent escapes and injuries.
Recommended Farm Fencing for Cross-Grazing on Your Property
Front-Facing Fence with Mesh: Best Fencing for Multiple Animals
For the effective containment of multiple animal species in cross-grazing setups, a front-facing fence with mesh underneath proves to be an ideal solution.
This configuration ensures that lambs, cows, and goats are securely contained while also providing safety for horses.
The top rail of the fence can be either timber or a flexible rail like Horserail, offering versatility and durability.
Buckley vs. Horserail vs. Cattlerail: Right Fencing for Smaller Paddocks
When it comes to smaller paddocks, Horserail may not be the recommended option, as it may not provide sufficient containment. In such cases, Premium Steel Post and Rail fencing like Buckley is a more suitable choice.
However, if you have smaller paddocks with a combination of horses and cattle, Cattle Rail or Buckley proves to be the better option.
Comparing Cattlerail to Buckley fencing will provide valuable insights for making an informed decision.
Different Animal Combinations: Fencing for Cross Grazing
The specific animal combination on your property determines the most appropriate fencing configuration.
a) Horse and Sheep/Goat Combination
Opt for a top rail with mesh underneath, using either Horserail or timber as the top rail. This configuration keeps lambs, cows, and goats securely contained while remaining safe for horses.
b) Horse, Cattle, and Sheep/Goat Combination
Consider a top rail, Horserail, and three Hotcote electric plastic-coated wires. This setup effectively keeps both cattle and horses away from the fences. While sheep usually stay within the fence.
c) Cattle and Horse Combination
In smaller paddocks where pressure on the fences is expected due to the weight of the cattle, Cattle Rail is recommended. For larger, open paddocks, a Horserail combined with three runs of hotcote electric fences is a suitable option.
BorderLine fencing can be used as a sighter wire in combination with Horserail and Hotcote, enhancing visibility and safety.
Ready to Choose the Right Fencing for Cross-Grazing on Your Property?
You have different animals on your property and wanted to explore different fencing solutions for cross-grazing.
Now you know the best fencing for keeping multiple animals safely on your property is a combination of top rail with mesh.
You’ve also learnt that finding the best farm fencing for cross-grazing involves considering the specific needs of your animals, ensuring safety and containment, and selecting the most suitable fencing options for different animal combinations. It is essential to choose a fencing solution that ensures the safety of all animals while providing appropriate containment. A step-by-step guide on how to choose and buy fencing can prove helpful in your journey.
At Stock & Noble, we understand the complexities of cross grazing and offer expert guidance to help you make informed decisions. If you have any more questions, we recommend a personalised consultation. You will get to speak to our fencing expert in detail and get all your queries answered to build a safe and thriving farm property.