Fencing

“Fences make for good neighbors,” so the saying goes.
Anyone Can Farm! And there’s no need to reinvent the proverbial wheel.
There are two critical things to invest in no matter what animals you intend to have on your property: fences and water.  Fencing is one of the things we learned to appreciate early on and spent many years honing as we chased goats, pigs, cows, and horses back to where they belonged.   In this one hour online video class you’ll get to try your hand at:
setting corner posts for a fence
lining up a straight fence
stretching and securing woven wire field fence
Where else can you learn real farming skills on a real working farm from people who are really doing the thing?  This one hour instructional course includes
a list of the tools and materials you’ll need
other resources to help you get started with your fencing project
ongoing access to the farmer to get your questions answered as they come up!

Welcome to Fencing

“Good fences make good neighbors.” A good fence serves three purposes:

  • Keep your animals in where you want them.
  • Allow you to enrich your pastures for soil, environmental, animal, and our own health
  • Keep unwanted animals (and people) out.

What animals are you fencing in/out?

What’s your purpose and intention with your fencing?

How long do you need your fence to function?

What’s the lay of your land?

The answers to these questions will guide you in what your fences need to look like. Don’t skimp on this aspect of your homestead farm. A good fence makes all the difference in how you sleep at night, how aesthetic and therefore enjoyable your place is, and how much peace you enjoy.  Since you’ve invested in this course, we assume you do not enjoy the cardio exercise of chasing animals and apologizing to irate neighbors. You’re in the right place. S

Start with the basic fencing How to build and H post video and then pick up the videos that most apply to your situation. If you have questions, join Mark in the Tribe+ members only live Q&A on a Wednesday night and get your questions answered.

At the bottom of the page is a list of tools and materials and more information.

Welcome to an easier life thanks to solid boundaries for you and your animals!

The Anyone Can Farm Experience Live Podcast with Mark Baker of Bakers Green Acres - Bring your farm questions

Mark

Instructor

Joe’s Dad

Order of operations

Where do you start?

What kind of fence should you build first?

Discover the various kinds of fencing, what order and why you should erect them to save  yourself time, money, and energy.

How to build your H Posts and set up your fence

“H-posts” are the bedrock of any strong fence. The technique Mark will teach you works in any soil and doesn’t require the use of concrete or other extra materials. These simply use leverage to securely hold your fence anchors together to ensure that your basic perimeter fence is strong and secure.  This video will show you the techniques and tools to build a solid basic all-purpose fence.

Choosing a fencer

Should you get a solar fencer or a plug in one or a battery fencer?

Do you need a different type of fencer for cows vs. pigs vs. sheep?

Learn about the different types of fencers and some basic considerations when choosing which fencer will best suit your situation.

Setting up your fencer

There are some basic things to know about setting up a fencer to work effectively. We’ve learned the hard way, and Mark will share the tips and tricks you need to be aware of the ensure your fencer will put the zap on any would-be escapees.

Choosing the right gate for you

Where should gates go?

There are different types of gates??

Which gate goes best for which situation?

Gates can make your life easier or harder, but don’t have to break the bank, either. Learn the ins and outs in this video.

Fencing Goats and sheep

There are some unique considerations when you want to contain goats and sheep. Here’s a discussion of what you need to be aware of and how we’ve fenced to keep these difficult to contain animals in.

Fencing Pigs

You may have heard that keeping pigs in fences is hard. We’ve been told that if a fence won’t hold water it won’t hold a pig.

In this segment you’ll learn

  • the psychology of a pig and how to fence them in mentally
  • types of fence that work for pigs
  • care of the field or pasture
  • predation issues that affect pigs in fences

You can successfully fence pigs in! Let’s jump in.

Fencing Chickens

Chickens and other fowl require a whole different type of fence from the other livestock. This video covers the things to consider to keep your birds in the yard and out of your flowers and garden.

Fencing Cows

Cows and horses are among the easiest animals to fence in or out. As long as they have adequate food and water, they are pretty content in your fences. One strand of electric, especially if they’re used to it being “hot” (electrified) is generally adequate.  They aren’t shy about leaning over the fence if the grass looks greener, though.  Here are the techniques for making a fence they will respect.

Why it matters ?

What makes a good fence? One that holds the animals you want in inside, and keeps all others out.  This course will cover the basics of how to build a solid perimeter fence for your animals.  You can then subdivide with electric fencing, add a top strand for taller animals, add an electric stand-off if needed. These things will be covered in future chapters.  This chapter will get you started with how to

  • Build  solid corner posts that will last-without concrete
  • Make a straight fence
  • Drive fenceposts
  • Install a woven wire fence that will last

 

A good fence will save you 

  • Time
  • Money
  • Heartache
  • Stress
  • Relationship issues with family members and neighbors

 

You can do it however you want. OR you can do it the way we show you.  Trust us, we’ve done it other ways. And spent time chasing animals, money replacing and fixing fences, had tons of heartache over what the animals did while they were out, stress due to all of the above, and strained relations between ourselves when tempers flared, and the neighbors as we explained how our cows messed up their hay and corn fields.

 

We don’t do that anymore! Now, barring operator error and a gate left open, the animals stay in the pens or pastures we put them in. We don’t dread looking out and seeing a cow prance across the lawn or a pig rooting in the garden.  This is how we did it.  This is the most cost effective and just plain effective way we know, after years of trying to do it on the cheap and jig rigged.

Tools & Materials

Tools

To get started fencing you’ll need a few basic tools. These are things you’ll have and use over and over, so don’t get the cheapest ones you can find.  Put them on your birthday and Christmas lists! Quality will make your life easier in the long run.

  • Post hole digger
  • Pliers, especially Fencing Pliers    
  • Post pounder- 
    • Get a mid weight one.  Light weights won’t drive the posts, and heavy ones will be more workout that you want
  • Fence stretcher
    • Check out Mark’s homemade one with angle iron, bolts, and some chain.
  • Come-along
  • Dirt packer (heavy metal pole)
  • Chainsaw

Materials

  • Woven Wire fence roll(s), 
    • 39” is a good height for most applications. An electric or barbed wire on the top will suffice for cattle and horses.
    • 330’ is the standard, and should run about $150 give or take.
  • Barbless electric fence wire (two strands twisted together) 
  • Fencing staples
  • Cedar corner posts, 
    • 3 per set
  • Wooden sticks for securing corner post wires, 
    • 2 per corner post set
  • T-posts (or a suitable replacement, such as the fiberglass oil field pipe we used)
    • x# of posts per every fence roll.

To Get Started

You really need to start with a perimeter fence. At least your animals won’t wander off your property or into sensitive areas and create havoc. Do you have to do it all in one shot? NO.  Start with a reasonable area. Add to it as time and finances allow.  Pace off the area or measure it with Google Earth (or another app). Get your materials. You’ll also have to recruit at least one person to help you, so be prepared with whatever that takes! 

Pigs

Fencing pigs inside your basic perimeter fence is fairly simple. Mark uses an electric stand-off from the perimeter fence to keep the pigs in, and to subdivide the pasture area as desired to rotate areas. The video below covers the basics of how he does that. 

A good pig fence consists of a solid perimeter fence. You don’t need a top wire for pigs.

The stand-off needs to be one foot high to be at the pigs’ nose level. One foot in from the fence is the ideal distance in to ensure they don’t just push over it.  Mark’s stand-off posts are two feet long, with one foot in the ground and the wire at the top of the one foot sticking out of the ground. You can use cut off t-posts, fiberglass posts, or any other non-conductive material.  You can use the stand-off electric fence insulators for t-posts if you’re using t-posts for the intermediary posts in your perimeter fence.  The key is to have it one foot high, and at least 6-12 inches in from the fence.

Have questions about any portion of your fencing project?  Come to the “LIVE SHOWS” Q&A on Wednesdays for a live discussion with Mark Baker on zoom.

It’s a live show, so we’ll answer your questions in real time.  

Ready to get started?