The State of Florida does not require livestock owners to fence in their properties, but livestock is not allowed to wander onto public roads or onto private properties. If this happens, the livestock owner is liable for any damages their animals caused. Because of this, most agricultural land and livestock owners have fenced in their properties. But fencing in or repairing a fence on a large piece of property is an extensive – and expensive – task. Many landowners find themselves wondering if fencing is worth the cost and the trouble. But without agricultural or field fencing, livestock can still wander off, and predators can still get in.
So how can agricultural landowners in Central Florida protect their property and livestock? The answer comes in many forms, but today we will be focusing on one: High Tensile Wire Fencing.
High-Tensile Wire Fencing
High tensile wire fence is a semi-new fence style that came out of New Zealand. This fence style utilizes a smooth 12 ½ gauge wire stretched tightly between fence posts, up to 250 pounds of tension on the wires. High tensile wire fences are now being seen as a good alternative to barbed wire agricultural fencing, as it is easier to handle/install, there are no barbs to harm livestock or wildlife, is lower maintenance with longer life (up to 40 years), can easily be electrified, and is less expensive to install.
This unique wire fence can be electrified – just the top or bottom wire for instance – to help keep predators such as coyotes or fox out of livestock fields. The wires are also smooth, allowing for wildlife to slip in or out if needed. It’s very common for deer or even livestock to get stuck in wired fences, or snared by barbed wire.
To prevent this, install the wires to your fence where the livestock can’t slip through, but keep it wildlife-friendly. The top two wires should be 12 inches apart, while the bottom wire should have 16 inches of clearance above the ground. The fence should be no taller than 42 inches tall, short enough for wildlife to escape by jumping over if necessary. The top wire should be marked in some way for visibility- this is important for both wildlife and livestock. Visibility can be achieved by using a top rail when installing the fence, using flags, or running the wire through PVC piping. A wire fence that is not visible is susceptible to having animals caught in it, a potential for fence damage and life-threatening injuries for the animals.
High tensile wire fence marked with PVC pipes
High tensile wire fence with a top rail for visibility
High tensile wire fence with visibility flags
High tensile fencing is proven to be just as efficient and more environmentally friendly than the average mesh metal wire field fence. These fences are dangerous to livestock and wildlife as well. Animals that get caught in a fence line may pull down sections of fence, allowing for livestock to escape their fenced-in land or allowing predators to easily get into their enclosure. The wire mesh fencing can cause serious injuries to animals, including broken limbs or death.
Overall, high tensile wire fencing seems to be the most fitting option in many cases for environmentally-conscious livestock owners. It’s reliability, strength, and low-maintenance installation makes it a favorable option for Central Florida. Paramount Fencing does recommend using pressure-treated pine posts for the installation, as well as not using concrete on the install to extend the life of your fence.
If high tensile fencing does not look like what you need, remember to consider your other options, and to call Paramount Fencing for a free fence estimate.
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