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5 Things to Know Before You Start Building Your Fence

5 Things to Know Before You Start Building Your FencePhoto from Unsplash

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Cat’s Claw Cowboy here, and in this blog I am discussing the top 5 things I think you need to know before you start building your fence. Now there are a couple things to consider before starting a fencing project. Just a few are: what type of fence is going to be adequate to contain or keep out the livestock I’m interested in; what type of country am I fencing; how easy will this fence be to maintain; how will this fence look; and how much is this fence going to cost to construct and maintain? 

Know your Critters 

When considering the type of fence that is adequate for the livestock, you need to decide which livestock and how much pressure they are going to exert on the fence. If you’re fencing a pasture to contain cattle, a 3- to 5-strand barb wire fence is adequate. It would also be sufficient for horses. 

If you plan on containing sheep and goats, then woven wire or more barb wire strands will be needed. If the area contains buffalo, then 6-7 strands of high tensile electric fence wire or a taller woven wire fence are required. If the area to be fenced is going to experience a high volume of pressure, such as a corral, then heavier duty material is required. Good materials for high pressure areas are pipe, continuous fence panels, corral boards, corral poles, and heavier wire panels. 

Consider the Elements 

The type of ground to be fenced and the elements it will experience need to be considered. Flat ground can be fenced easier and differently than rough country or mountain country. Places that experience heavy snowfall may require buck fencing, laydown fencing, or fences that require wooden stays to keep from being pushed into the ground. If this type of fence is necessary, remember to use cat claw fasteners for attaching stays to the wire. Marshy ground may require buck fencing or a higher volume of wood posts. More sandy soils, like the Nebraska Sandhills, require mostly wood post fences, as a regular T post doesn’t provide enough stability. These are just a few examples of how the ground and elements need to be considered before starting. 

Plan for the Long Term

Long term planning needs to be considered before starting. How easy will the fence be to maintain? Sometimes this requires a dozer path to build the fence on so you can get to the fence to maintain it. Barb wire fences are easier to maintain than rail fences and buck fences due to how the material weathers and decays. Using Cat’s Claw fasteners increases the longevity and reduces the need to replace staples that work out of wood posts. 

Fence Aesthetics

How will the fence look? This factor ties into the last one. Every fence looks amazing when it’s brand new, but if it’s not properly maintained, it becomes an eyesore. The main point here, though, is that before starting a project, you should visualize it already completed. By doing this, it is easier to turn the dream into reality. 

Consider the Cost

The last major thing to consider is how much the fence is going to cost. Different types of fence cost more to build and maintain. This is due to the material used and the amount of labor required to complete the project. The worst feeling is to get started on a project and have to stop midway due to running out of budgeted funds. It’s better to wait and start when there is ample time to finish without heartache. 

These are a couple of the main points to consider before starting a fencing project.

Bonus Tip: Self-care

An additional nugget of information is that fencing is a lot of work, particularly if it is not something that you do frequently. We suggest that you train for it as if it were a sport because that is exactly what it is! Having said that, you should also make it a point to take care of yourself while you are out on your fencing endeavors. Bring plenty of water with you to ensure that you stay hydrated, and bring snacks to ensure that your body is fueled while you are working.

I really hope that you have found this blog to be enlightening and that it has inspired you to get started on your fencing journey. Please make sure to read all of the other fencing blogs that can be found on our website and keep an eye out for new blogs that cover other topics that are related to fencing. Do you have questions for the Cat’s Claw Cowboy? Write ‘em down and send them to Head Cat Collector Chava at so she can get you answers!

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