[Pig] Fencing for Pasture

“A fence should be horse high, hog tight and bull strong.”

This is what we use to enclose our pigs…

piglets 006

…that’s our boar and that is a single strand of electric wire. It’s braided wire.

It’s a good idea to put in some kind of temporary non-electrified gate for them to go through so if you need to move them you can. They do not like to cross over places where they know electric wire was until they know it will not  be there. Not that moving them has proven to be all that easy for us, it’s a fiasco so we try to just shift them within a pasture by expanding, letting them get used to it and then moving the “old” fence over.

The posts are fiberglass posts that we bought in a bundle of 25 from our local farm store for about $26. The insulators are screw on type (which is the only type that work with these types of posts). I think they are priced at about $5 for 25 of them. The braided wire is about $17 for 1600 feet or so.The prices quoted may be different from the prices via the links. We have two local farm stores that carry several different brands and the brand we used may not have been the brand in the link, I am using the links just to give you an idea of what we used.

We considered fiberglass or plastic posts from most farm stores that already have built in insulators but it was more economical for us to buy the posts and screw on insulators, not to mention the fiberglass posts we got come with a metal sheath (tool) to place over the top of the post to protect the post when you may need to use a hammer to install them. We’ve had so much rain it was easy just to push them into the ground. The pre-insulated posts generally have a plastic piece on top and they are “step-in”. If the ground is rock hard, hitting the tops of the pre-insulated posts will cause the plastic part on top to break rendering the top insulator useless.  In very soft soil or muddy soil, I do not feel there is enough post on the bottom below the plastic step-in piece to anchor it well in the ground and the insulators on the pre-insulated ones are fixed in position.  Given all that, I really just much prefer the fiberglass posts we bought and I can put on as many insulators as needed in the locations I need to put them…which can be very low to the ground if needed for new piglets.

The posts vary in distance between. When we first put up the double strand, they were pretty close. We expanded the first pasture and made the distance between posts much farther and the single strand is farther yet, in some spots, 20 feet or so. Keeping the wire off the ground is key so in hilly terrain you’ll need more posts.

A source of electricity is a must-  solar, battery or plug in fencer – to keep the wires hot, they’ll scoff at a wire that isn’t hot. For those that are already running electric like us, we simply wrap the braided wire around the high tensile and get our juice from there.

It’s important to keep the “fence line” free of weeds, limbs, grass, etc. as interference from these things will ground out your wire. That is the single downfall I have found to our whole electrified system, but really, good maintenance of fence lines is imperative to longevity of your fences no matter what kind they are! I mow a wide path where the fence will be put up which makes mowing or weed eating generally unnecessary before I move it again.

This year with the rain we’ve had, we’ve mowed and weeded eated a little more than usual. Generally about once every month I’ll run along the line with the mower around the whole property, both sides if necessary and we hire one of Jeremiah’s students to go along the fence line with a weed eater once in the spring and 1-2 times in the summer.

pig fencing

Do the pigs tear up the pasture? Sure, a little. They leave the weeds they do not like, they trim the grass & they root but like anything else, rotational grazing works off the basis that you have to rotate them.

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