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Fencing How-Tos and Tips

By   /  July 20, 2015  /  1 Comment

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When I started using electric fence back in 1997, I knew so little that I wasn’t even sure which questions to ask. I remember spending a lot of time on the phone with a Kencove salesman asking questions, not understanding his answers, ordering things anyway just to see if looking at them would help me make sense of them, and then working through problems a little bit at a time. Maybe this is how everyone starts, but at the time I thought that most ag folks grew up with this knowledge, and my project partner and I started making a list of things we learned called “Stuff Farmers Never Tell You.” Later I learned that fencing is a life-long learning project. So, with that in mind, here are some tips and hints you might find helpful.

Here’s how to tie your wire electric fence to end poles.  Ralph Harris of NRCS Arkansas demonstrates how to tie a sliding knot that allows maximum flexibility.  What I really liked is his demonstration of breaking the wire off easily so you don’t need a cutter.

Tablet readers, here’s your link.

In this second part, Ralph shows how you add an insulator to the piece he just made. His wrapping method is something I wish I’d known back when.  And it’s a way of making parts ahead of time, say on a rainy day when you don’t want to be in the pasture. A bonus is that using these sliding knots, your fence is adjustable enough that you can use the same fence for a cow, then adjust it for goats or sheep.

And the link for tablet readers.

Last but not least, Ralph shows how he ties the fence to the insulator. What I like is how he adds flexibility by leaving a wire “tail” that can be used as a jumper to tie the wires together, just like Wayne R talked about last week, or for a gate, or for anything else you might need down the road.

And the link for tablet readers.

Thanks to the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Oklahoma for making these videos possible and available.

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About the author

editor and contributor

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

1 Comment

  1. Pat M says:

    Thank you Cathy for sharing. Just starting out on electric fencing and trying to figure out on a shoe string budget options. One misstep already is the too small solar charger for the net fencing. Not enough joules or battery capacity for goats and sheep. It was the biggest baddest here that could be bought and fine for a single strand hot wire for horses. Back to trading/ swapping so can buy what’s needed! )

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