What Kind Of Fence Does A Cow Need
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What Kind Of Fence Does A Cow Need?
Livestock grazing efficiency can greatly be influenced by utilising fencing. The first step in using fencing in order to accomplish this is to determine the purpose and goals of the fencing program. For instance, you should take into consideration water and shade; as well as a few other key factors.
When planning your fencing layout, you should be careful placement and take into consideration where your livestock's water supply is, and to allow them to access it. For all livestock, it is imperative for their survival that a clean water supply is readily available.
For cattle, water is a crucial resource that is required for a wide variety of body functions. High enough amounts of a clean water supply is a key part of rotational grazing systems, and the quality of water and the ability to access it are both vitally important.
When possible, you should have a supply of clear water in each livestock area that is in a short radius. Alternatively, you will need to incorporate a centrally located water source that is accessible within 800 feet of each livestock area into the fencing system. It should be noted, however, that a central water source such as this will produce cloudy water where animals gather.
To avoid mud in the water source, consider the use of piping and removable boxes or containers to create a water system that can be easily moved, as needed.
A fencing design should be highly flexible in order to control the distribution of livestock and avoid muddying the source of clean water. If however a single source of water is used in a paddock, take steps to ensure that it can keep up with the demand of livestock through peak hours.
If you have a surface water source such as a creek or pond, make sure to fence them off to ensure that livestock is kept away.
Another major key factor to consider when building fences is shading. Although as we know, the shade will not reduce the temperature outside, it does provide protection from exposure to the sun.
With enough shade, respiration rate and temperature can be reduced in livestock during the hottest parts of the day.
Additionally, shade will also change the grazing habits of cattle. For instance, cattle with access to shade have shown a 3% increase in feed efficiency and a 6% increase in weight gain during hot weather.
Types of Fencing
There are two types of fencing available, and both have advantages and disadvantages associated with them. The two types are: fixed or portable.
Regardless of the type of fence that you choose, they will have a permanent boundary that is made from either woven or barbed wire; and you can choose to have it be electrical or not.
Generally speaking, proper fencing will be a bit of an investment; but this is for the safety of your livestock, and it is a cost that most will be more than happy to pay. Although due to the nature of the investment, it is advised to plan out the fencing layout carefully to save on both time and money.
One of the benefits of this investment is that a well-designed system can improve grazing efficiency. In continuous grazing, livestock will tend to graze the most palatable plants first and leave mature plants for last.
The first major consideration when choosing the layout of your fencing system is the proper selection of materials, as well as the installation method.
Priority should be given to perimeter fencing; in order to keep the livestock away from areas such as farms and where crops tend to grow. A good choice for this is a layout that is a combination of both permanent and temporary fencing.
Another thing to keep in mind is the finished shape of the fencing, as this will determine the overall size, as well as the cost associated with building the fence.
In order to minimise soil variation and landscape changes, a square layout is a good choice for this. That said, a perfect square is not always feasible, as factors can affect this; such as access to water, shade, livestock handling facilities, and the lay of the land.
Square paddocks usually require the minimum amount of fencing materials, as well as reduce distance to water sources.
If you are considering agricultural fence building for your property within the Suffolk area, get in touch to ask about our fencing services. Find out more about our farm fencing.