With an increasing number of people moving into country areas on small acreage, there comes a need for training about caring for the animals they have on their hobby farm. Even though it’s a hobby, such a farm really needs some type of security fencing to keep the stock safe from wandering onto the road.
This doesn’t have to be the same kind that you would find in the city. The kind of fence for a hobby farm would depend on what kind of animals were kept. 4-5 strands of barbed wire will keep cattle in, but horses would be likely to injure themselves on it because of their flighty nature. They tend to kick out when frightened and if they do it near the barbed wire it could result in nasty cuts.
So what happens if you have both? The answer is to use an electric fence wire along the top, but inset several centimetres into the paddock. Strong boards along the top will also keep horses away from barbed wire. The ideal would be to have both; that way you won’t be paying vets bills – at least, not for cuts.
If you have sheep or goats it is a different story. They will go under, over or through the above options, even if you have a low electric strand. The best thing for them is to have a wire mesh fence to keep them in. They are notorious for escaping so make sure it is strained up tight at the bottom and top, with no gaps between the wire and the ground.
Chickens need high wire to prevent them flying the coop. Six foot high wire netting should keep them in, but you might need to cover the top too. That said, you can let them out through the day and just cover a smaller area around the hen-house. But keep an eye open for foxes.
When you have animals on a few acres, it is a great lifestyle, but you also need to keep them out of your garden, so again, depending on what stock you have, you’ll need a fence right around the house as well as one around the property. Post and rail looks fabulous, but won’t keep out chickens, sheep or goats, so go for mesh with a top of either barbed wire or railings.
Once the fences are up and tight you can have peace of mind that all your animals will be safe and so will the garden. And you won’t have animals coming to visit you on the veranda, or sheltering there from the rain on cold nights. Animals around the house can be destructive and dirty as well, so get those fences up before you even buy the animals.