Meta Description: For both small scale farmers and commercial farmers, fences are mostly used to protect plantations, to confine animals, to bar animals that tend to feed on crops planted (this improves the yield of crop production),to divide and distinguish property as well as improve the appearance of the piece of land. Fences can be made from a wide selection of materials depending on the location, type of animals enclosed within the given land and terrain. There are two major types of fences;
- Temporary fences-those when installed, its purpose served is of a short duration, weeks or months. These fences are constructed from cheap materials and its foundation need not to be firm.
- · Permanent fences- those when installed, serves a longer period of time with minimal repairs. These fences are constructed from quality materials, and its foundation needs to be sturdy.
This article therefore focuses on the different types of fences that are used in farming.
I. Barbed Wire Fence.
In the 19th century, the industrial revolution brought the first barbed wire fences. It was majorly used to fence lands that had the best pasture and water. This resulted in a number of range wars between ranch farmers during that century. Barbed wire fences are classified into two categories: suspension barbed wire fences standard barbed wire fences.
Suspension barbed wire fences are made up of up to six strands of barbed wire. The suspended barbed wires are held apart by twisted pieces of fiberglass posts spaced approximately 11 feet apart. The line posts are spaced between 50 to 60 feet apart. The suspension barbed wire fence aren’t taut, as they can be easily swayed by the wind. This keeps the animals out of the fence as well as discourages them from pushing through it.
Standard barbed wire fences have posts with approximately 10 feet spacing and use up to 5 strands of wire.
Barbed wire fences are popularly used as they are affordable and durable since maintenance costs aren’t incurred.
II. Electric Fence.
Electric fences became widely used as a measure to improve security since 1950. It is made using 14-17 steel gauge wire attached to vertical insulated posts. The posts are insulated with plastic or porcelain. Wireless transmitters are set up to activate the wire. The pulse generated from the transmitter is between 5 to 20 kilovolts. Such that when animals brush through the wire they receive an uncomfortable but harmless shock. This warns the animals to stay away from the fence. The disadvantages of using an electric fence is that the electric fence charger must be constantly operated on. This incurs a lot of electricity costs. Another demerit is that the charged wire may short-circuit if installed in swampy areas with heavy vegetative growth.
III. Mesh Wire Fences.
Mesh wire fences are strong and provide safety to animals. They come in two designs; diamond-mesh fence and stiff-stay knot fence design. They are used to confine animals and small acreage farms. The mesh wire fence has very small openings so that animals don’t tend to get their hooves and necks caught in them. Unlike the barbed wire, they don’t have exposed sharp wire ends that may cut the animal. The mesh wire fences are expensive but are really effective in confining animals without harming them in any way.
All fences need regular maintenance for maximum efficiency. Cattle are strong enough to go through most types of fences by force when extremely frightened, hungry or thirsty. Other forces of nature such as flood, tornados and fire can also contribute to the damage of fences. Which is why fences need regular maintenance for maximum efficiency.
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