Fence as a Management Tool. by Rodney Todd OSU Extension Rational livestock control is the key to intensive management of pasture forage. Management A tool to control animals; forage growth, availability and utilization. A tool to provide forage plant rest and recovery.
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A tool to control animals; forage growth, availability and utilization.
A tool to provide forage plant rest and recovery.
A tool used to control feed cost.
Planning, Design and Construction
Maintenance!Fence as a Management Tool
They can be depreciated, because they do.
They are NOT permanent.Economics
Like horses, there=s no such thing as a Afree@ fence.
They require care and use, or they are more liability than asset.
“Don’t tie up more resources in fencing than you can effectively use.”Economics
Split Rail $20,000 per mile
Buck and Pole $10,000 per mile
Net Wire $4000 per mile
Multi-strand High Tensile $3000
Barbed Wire, 4-strand $2000 per mile
Single-strand Electrified Steel Wire $500/mile
Single, temporary Polywire $50/mile/useRelative Cost
Water will control utilization.
Water in every paddock ideal.
Permanent water points become focus of nutrient export and animal impact.
Lanes to water can become seasonal “sacrifice areas.”Water Location
Squares better than long rectangles.
What about wheel shapes?
Straight lines preferred only for high tension designs.
Low tension fences offer flexible shapes.
More wires = More tensionPaddock Shape
At some point management requirement will increase faster than benefit of additional paddock numbers.
Paddock size is relative to feed resource and animal numbers.
“Think animal-time units (eg. Herd- days), not just acres.”
Because feed resource (animal-days per unit area) changes with season, paddock size, duration of stay, or stocking rate must also vary.
Paddock number influences REST period, the key to forage management.Paddock Number and Size
Should separate soil types than benefit of additional paddock numbers.
Upland vs. Lowland
Dryland vs. Irrigated
Well- vs. Poorly-Drained
Sandy vs. Clayey
Riparian, meadow, forest
Different pasture species mixes
“Quality materials and proper installation will pay future dividends in labor and maintenance savings.”
“If you don’t have time and money to do it right, when will you have time and resources to do it over?”Construction and Maintenance
“Must create an effective barrier.” dividends in labor and maintenance savings.”
Follow time tested design and construction guidelines.
Materials manufacturers, distributorsConventional Fences
“Primarily a training device.”Electric Fences
Choice based on Usage: history.”
Simpler is usually better!
“Multiple wires increase management exponentially.”Wire Types Important!
Insulation Properties history.”
Fewer conductors = greater post spacing
Posts vs. StaysPost Selection
Low Impedance = less than 0.3 milli-seconds
Use battery type only when necessary.
Solar chargers are convenient, but costly.
Provide plenty of grounding!Charger/Energizer Selection
“Miles of Fence”--almost useless! fence size.
Joule Ratings not Standardized
Joule = power X time (horsepower- hour)
Joule = Watt-Second or .00000037 hp-hr
Work Potential at Specified Resistance?Energizer Power Ratings
Use logical test procedures. fence size.
No substitute for accurate measurements.
Electricity is rational, people aren’t.
“When looking for faults and shorts, hunches sometimes work, if not see rules above.”Trouble Shooting Tips
Voltage tester fence size.
Essential for trouble shooting
Digital meters best for fine tuning
Monitoring line losses
Protect from wire, fiber glass and shocks
Proper reels for conductors
DVM and/or Hydrometer for batteries
HT Wire cutters
Crimp sleeve toolEssential Tools
Lighter weight materials fence size.
More durable posts and conductors
Remote control/location/monitoring using GPS and GIS technologies
“PCS for cows.”Future Fences