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Temporary livestock fence

Portable fencing makes it easy to manage a rotational grazing program

Controlled grazing, rotational grazing, getting animals out of the mud – these are reasons to invest in temporary fencing so livestock can be easily moved from one place to another.

The type of temporary fence you choose depends on the species of livestock you’re penning in as well as the area to be enclosed. Electric fences function as a psychological barrier, so a single strand of electrified tape, wire, or mesh can work on pigs, cattle, and horses. With some training, it will hold in sheep and goats as well. If you use multiple wires, set the first one at a level that discourages an animal from escaping underneath.

Rocky Lemus is an Extension forage specialist at Mississippi State University. He says to match your fence with the right energizer and a reliable power source so there’s enough current for the length of the fence.

"AC, battery, or solar-operated. The output in joules, you usually measure the type of animal being controlled, the length of the fence," says Lemus. "It’s very important to select an energizer that’s low impedance. That means that it’s less resistant in the charger so more power can be pushed to the wires."

Temporary fencing means you’ll be moving it around, and that includes taking up and pounding in fence posts every 15'-20'.  There are pluses and minuses to a couple types of fence posts.

"For example, metal t-posts are the strongest but they’re more labor-intensive to install and remove, so that could be a disadvantage of those. Also, t-posts require insulators," he says. "On the other hand, fiberglass rods are usually tapped with a hammer, easy to install and take out. One thing with the rods is, they can splinter when tapped."

Learn more about temporary livestock fencing systems

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