More from: electric fence

Animal Fencing: To Replace or Repair?

This is the time of year when farmers start planning winter maintenance projects. Among those projects is the dreaded task of addressing fences. If you have more than a mile or two of fencing on your property, chances are you are looking at having to repair or replace some of it within the next year. So which do you choose?

To replace or repair is a question that has plagued landowners for generations. In a perfect world, repairing animal fencing would be the most cost-effective way of keeping things going without endangering animals or interrupting grazing. But sometimes repairs just don’t make sense. Sometimes it is better to replace broken fencing altogether.

The Cost Factor

We get that farmers have to look long and hard at the cost of replacement versus repair. We also understand that tearing down all your old barbed wire fences and replacing them with modern, electric fences will require quite a substantial financial investment. But you must weigh the upfront costs of replacement with the ongoing costs of maintenance and repairs.

We have heard stories of landowners repairing the same barbed wire fences for decades. At some point they realize they do not have a solid piece of fencing remaining on their properties. They have been repairing the fences for so long that they are left with miles and miles of patchwork. How much time and money have they put into those fences?

The Labor Factor

Farmers also have to consider how much labor they invest in fence maintenance and installation. One thing we know for sure is that installing a new barbed wire fence is considerably more labor-intensive than erecting an electric fence. So if you are going to replace anyway, you’ll put a lot less effort into electrified fencing.

A decision to repair your fence is sufficient motivation to step back and consider how much labor will go into the project. If you are still using barbed wire, could you affect the same repairs on an electric fence in less time and with less labor? In the long run, will you invest less labor in maintaining a new electric fence as opposed to sticking with barbed wire?

We understand that none of these decisions can be made by anyone other than you. We don’t know your situation or circumstances. We don’t know your budget. We don’t know how much time you have to invest in fence maintenance and replacement. What we do know is that modern, electrified fencing has a lot to offer. We think it’s a better long-term solution than barbed wire.

Getting Some Help

In closing this post, we want our customers to know that there is financial help available to landowners looking to install new fencing. As just one example, we ran across an interesting article in Beef Magazine talking about a Canadian organization that offers a cost-sharing program for landowners. They pay to have new electric fencing installed while the landowners agree to pay for all future upkeep and maintenance.

Closer to home, there are occasional grant programs available at both the federal and state levels. For farmers who rent their land, there is always the option of working with the landlord to see if a cost-sharing deal can be worked out. Landlords are often willing to contribute to new fencing once they understand how important it is to keeping property value stable.

Regardless of your choice to repair or replace animal fences, know that Mytee Products carries a full inventory of electrified fencing products. We invite you to take a look at our inventory here online.

 


How to Maintain Your Electrified Fencing

Regular  Mytee Products blog readers know that we sell electrified fencing components to farmers, ranchers, and casual animal owners. We believe in electrified fencing as an effective way to keep animals confined without exposing them to barbed wire fencing. In light of that, we want to remind customers to maintain their electrified fencing after installation.

As effective and affordable as electrified fencing is, it needs proper care and maintenance to remain in good working order. A failure to maintain, could lead to issues. As residents of Rock County, Wisconsin recently found out. A recent spate of loose animals wreaking havoc on county roads has led to county ordinance changes.

Loose Animals Causing Problems

Rock County is a fairly rural county in the southern portion of the state. It offers mile after mile of country roads with breathtaking scenery all around. The county is also home to dozens of cattle escapes every year. Local police say the problem is mainly due to inadequate and improperly maintained fences.

Unfortunately, allowing cattle to escape puts both them and drivers in danger. Rock County residents have seen an increase in cattle-related accidents over the last three years, some of which have resulted in serious injuries. Many times, the animals have to be put down.

Rock County officials hoped to change that when they recently gave police the authority to issue citations for loose cattle. Animal owners can now be fined up to $100 for a first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses. Local leaders hope the citations and fines will be enough to motivate animal owners to maintain their fencing.

Maintaining an Electrified Fence

Whether or not you could be cited should have no bearing on fence maintenance. If you are putting money into fencing wire, energizers, posts, etc., does it not make sense to protect your financial investment by keeping things in good working order? Sure it does.

The good news is that maintaining an electrified fence is neither difficult or costly. There is not much to it:

Broken Wires – Routine inspections will identify broken wires sooner rather than later. It is very easy to remove a section of wire and replace it with a new section. Inspections also identify problems with posts and energizers.

Post Replacement – Electric fence wire does not put nearly the same amount of stress on fence posts as barbed wire. Still, there are times when posts are damaged by the weather or some other external force. A post that is no longer doing its job should be replaced right away.

Grounding – Next to broken wire, the biggest concern with electrified fencing is grounding. If your fence is not grounded properly, no current will run through it, rendering it ineffective. Property owners should routinely check to make sure grounding wires have not been damaged or dislodged.

Solar Energizers – If you are using solar energizers, it pays to check on them every now and again. Solar components do wear out, and you might never know without putting a voltmeter on your fence and measuring energy output. You can also help your cause by making a point of keeping the solar collector surfaces clean. You do not want anything inhibiting sunlight from keeping your energizer charged.

Electrified fencing is only as effective as the condition it’s in at any given time. To make sure you get the most out of your investment, put in the time and effort to maintain your fencing. A little bit of routine maintenance goes a long way toward keeping things in shape.