Just as there are many types of ranches in Texas, there are also many kinds of ranch fence in Texas. Depending on the types of crops or livestock you’re raising, there are different kinds of ranch fence you can use to best protect your property.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the most important questions to ask, and which types of fence material are best for different jobs.
- Understanding Your Fencing Needs
1 – What are you doing with the land?
What will you be using the land for? Crops? Animals? Other purposes? Will you be using the land regularly, or only occasionally? Will you need to keep humans or animals out while also keeping your property in?
Step one is simply to think about how you’ll use the land, so you can plan from there.
2 – What animals (if any) will you keep?
This is one of the biggest factors in choosing a fence, since each type of animal will have different requirements. Pigs, for example, are not climbers so they really only need a low fence. On the other hand, horses are strong jumpers, and you will need a fence that’s taller than your tallest horse.
There’s also physical impact to consider. Horses, cows, bulls, and numerous other animals are heavy enough to knock down wood or chain link. If they’re likely to attack the fence (or just blunder into it) it must be strong enough to hold up.
3 – How many gates do you need?
Of course, you need some gates in your fence – but how many? This will largely depend on how often you’ll be accessing the land, and for what purposes. You don’t want more gates than you need, since they’ll need some form of locks or surveillance to keep safe.
4 – What about maintenance?
Fences need to be maintained, some more than others. Broadly speaking, the more complicated a fence is, the more maintenance will be required. A simple wooden fence typically only needs new paint or finish every year or two, while an electric fence may need its wiring repaired multiple times a year.
Think beyond the present to your future needs, for best results.
- Materials for Your Ranch Fence in Texas
Here is a quick rundown of the most common fencing materials you might consider.
1 – Wood
Wood is extremely cheap to install, and wonderful for that old-fashioned rustic look it brings. However, you will need to protect the wood well against weather, as well as critters like termites. If a wood fence starts to break down, extensive – and expensive – repairs will be called for. Also, wood isn’t terribly strong, and may not be a good choice for heavy animals.
2 – Barbed wire
Barbed wire is effective, but many ranchers are moving away from it for humanitarian reasons as it can be dangerous to people and animals alike. Slower animals like cows have been known to accidentally walk into it, hurting themselves. That said, there may be cases where it’s called for, especially if you’re trying to keep people out.
3 – Electric fencing
Electric fences are seen as a more humane alternative to barbed wire and can be just as effective at deterring escape. However, they typically need a lot of maintenance, and anything involving electricity will need to be monitored carefully to prevent accidents.
4 – Chain link
Chain link is a perennial favorite, as it is extremely strong and reasonably easy to work with. However, chain link is also one of the more expensive options, especially if you’re looking to surround large amounts of property. Also, while it’s excellent at keeping most standard farm animals in, it is easy for humans and some animals to climb. Consider barbed wire on top, for extra security.
5 – Mesh fence
Mesh is great for protecting smaller animals, as well as protecting crops from low-flying insects or birds. Maintenance needs aren’t high, and a well-made fence can typically last for a long time, making this one of the better options.
6 – Steel fencing
If you want to prioritize security, steel fencing is the way to go – potentially covered in vinyl, for aesthetics and to protect the metal. However, this will give your ranch a very ‘industrial’ look. On the other hand, once installed, steel fencing will last for ages with minimal maintenance.
In short, there’s a lot to consider when choosing a ranch fence in Texas. If you’re unsure about how to meet your needs, consult with a fence-building service to get expert advice!