Grit Blogs > Pasture Deficit Disorder

Fencing for the Homestead

A Wanna Be PioneerI've written about fencing before ... when we were first getting started on our homestead. We’ve done a lot of fencing projects around here since we bought this property. And depending on the application, there are a ton of options available. We had relatively good barbed-wire fences around the perimeter, except for when trees fall on the fence. Why is it that a tree that falls never falls harmlessly in the other direction, but always on the fence? Must be Murphy’s Law.

Soon after moving in, we wanted to start building a backyard. We needed to be able to let our “city dogs” outside to do their “business” unattended, without having them run wild on our 10 acres … or everyone else’s acres for that matter.

We found ourselves staring at every fence we passed by. We came up with a vision of what we wanted it to look like, and designed and constructed it ourselves. That first phase of the backyard was really hard work. We were in a drought, so the ground was really dry and hard. And the backyard happened to be over nice hard clay. Ugh. It was S.L.O.W. going, digging those post holes. And let me tell you, we dug every one of them by hand (we being my husband). We buried 8-foot treated 4x4 posts 2 feet deep and concreted them in. Then we added three “rails,” which were 8-foot treated 2x4s, and stained the posts and rails with a semi-transparent cedar-colored stain. Finally we wrapped the outside with 5-foot tall welded wire fencing. We used a pneumatic stapler to attach the wire to the posts and rails.

Using this style of fence, we built our backyard, chicken yard and front yard. We also just finished fencing off the driveway and the chicken yard to the front fence to create a “cow-free” zone and our future orchard.

Backyard without gates

Fence around front yard 

Above top, our backyard before we added gates and, above, our front yard is completely enclosed. We've planted jessamines to create some screening for privacy and blooms for the bees.

We have several different types of gates. We have pedestrian gates that are approximately 4 feet wide that we built ourselves to match the fence. We also have several farm (tube) gates so we can get equipment, tractors, trucks or trailers in the yards and near the house if necessary.

Single 6 ft. farm gate 

PDD Pedestrian Gate 

Double farm gates

Red Brand Cattle FenceWe have done plenty of fence work around the perimeter too. We started by shoring up weak areas in the barbed wire before we got cows. We have since decided that cattle field fence was going to be our best bet with Longhorns, so we’ve been adding that right over the barbed wire fence. Cattle fencing (at left) has smaller openings close to the ground that gradually get a little larger towards the top, so the hooves and legs can’t get stuck through the fence. That cattle fence has eliminated a lot of problems with badly behaving young bulls on both sides of the fence!

What kind of fencing works best on your homestead?

You can also follow our homesteading adventures at our website, Pasture Deficit Disorder, or on Facebook.

Until next time, worms rock, bees rule and chickens are my Zen.

Pasture Deficit Disorder - Because Life in a Pasture is the Only Cure

jim
4/19/2015 8:59:04 AM

The single biggest issue of any fence is the what and why you are fencing to start with, You have a very informative article here, and the picture are great. My own fencing here will be to keep chickens in, and the jury is still out regarding netting over that enclosure. Years ago there was a movement in Florida about a product called (at the time) Australian Cattle Fencing, which was horizontal smooth wire (like a 4 gauge if I remember)with 4 or more runs depending in the height. This was for larger livestock only, cows, horses and such as that. At the end of each run, and all runs were straight, no wrapping around a corner and continuing, there was a huge spring that kept each strand under tension. Your fences look great so you know! Jim jwbgso@aol.com


elizabethsagarminaga
3/23/2015 6:23:51 AM

This is a great and very informative post! It came in handy too as we’re looking at all the options for fencing in some animals housing as well as around the property. Thanks for the extensive information! I will definitely be bookmarking this page for future reference. I work with California Fence Company that is the best in fencing business in and around California, which provides best and most efficient services for your fencing needs.


nebraskadave
1/25/2015 6:22:09 AM

Cheryl, good homestead has to have fences. Any good garden area in Urban farming has to have good fences as well. In the case of Urban farming the fences have to keep the animals out and not in. My fences are cedar cast off fencing that a local fence company piles up for people take for free. As they replace fences, they pile up the old fences for anyone to take and use. They have six foot high sections that are eight foot in length that I use. I'm now closing in a 60X60 foot area. ***** Have a great fencing day.