Q:

How do you design a barbed-wire cow fence?

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Quick Answer

The design of barbed wire cattle fencing includes posts spaced 12 to 20 feet apart and three to five strands of barbed wire placed evenly up to 51 or 54 inches in height, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Strands of barbed wire are spaced anywhere from 8 to 16 inches apart depending upon the overall height of the fence.

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Iowa State University's Extension and Outreach service explains a 1,320-foot long fence includes four 8-inch diameter wooden posts, 57 4-inch diameter wooden posts, 55 steel posts, and 6,600 feet of 12-gauge barbed wire. A fence this long takes nearly 40 hours to complete.

One common mistake when farmers design barbed wire fences involves the depth of corner fence posts. Beef Magazine states corner fence posts should have the same height below ground as the highest strand of fencing. For instance, if the highest strand of barbed wire is 42 inches above ground level, the post should reach 42 inches below ground level. Heavy-duty fences should have wooden posts around 6 or 7 inches in diameter to ensure the fence is strong enough to hold cattle.

There are three basic types of cattle fences including barbed wire, woven wire and high-tensile wire. Barbed wire is a medium-cost material as this type of fencing is cheaper than woven wire but more expensive than high-tensile wire fences.

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