Do It Yourself: How To Build Pasture Fences

You can easily build a sturdy pasture fence to contain livestock such as horses or cows. Barbed wire fencing is a relatively inexpensive and easy type of fence to build.

Maybe you've just purchased a home that has possible pasture land with it. Maybe you just want to fence off part of your property so that you can buy and keep some type of livestock, such as cows or horses. Whatever the reason, building a fence is not difficult, and the time it takes basically depends on the amount of space you need to fence.

If you are going to keep cows or horses on your property, a sturdy barbed wire fence is really all that you need. Measure the area that you are going to fence, and take those measurements with you to a farmer's supply or building supply store. You will need at least one gate, so decide if you want to build one or buy one.

You will need to purchase rolls of barbed wire, several wooden posts, metal fencing posts, metal fence posts wires, u-shaped nails, large regular nails, bags of cement, rawhide gloves, a fence pulling tool (commonly referred to as a come-along), and a post-hole digger. Once you get your building supplies home, decide where the corners of your pasture will be. You will need to dig one hole for each corner, and then measure about five feet out from that hole along either side and dig two more holes, following your intended fence line.



You will typically begin your fencing at the gate, so it is important to know how wide your gate will be. You will need to place wooden posts at each end of your gate, measure about four or five feet from each of those posts and place two more posts. Your holes should be at least a foot and a half to two feet deep. Mix your cement according to the package instructions. Pour some of the cement into the bottom of the hole, and place your wooden post into the hole. Fill up the rest of the hole around the post with concrete.

It is a good idea to wait twenty-four hours before you start to string your barbed wire, so that concrete has a chance to dry and harden completely. Your corner posts will need to be able to withstand pressure. Even though you can't pull your wire yet, you can go ahead and drive your metal posts into the ground, so they will be ready for the barbed wire. These posts should be placed into the ground about every six feet or so. You can drive them into the ground using a large hammer or mallet.

Once your cement has dried, you are ready to start running the barbed wire. Before you do, however, it is a good idea to wedge two more wooden posts at an angle between the corner post and each of the posts to its side, and between the posts that the gate will attach to and each of the posts next to those. These posts act as a brace and will give additional support once the wire is attached. Hammer them with long nails to the corner post and the opposite post.

Hopefully, you have someone to help you pull and attach the barbed wire. Be very careful when working with barbed wire. If the rolled wire should suddenly come loose, the barbs can really cut tender skin. You will begin attaching the wire at the corner post where your gate will be, using the u-shaped nails. Wrap the wire completely and tightly around the post at least two times nailing the wire to the post with the u-shaped nails as you work. Decide how many strands you want to use, so you can determine what height to start your wire. Generally, three sturdy strands are all that you will need, but some people prefer four strands. If you have calves, you might want to use four strands, making sure that the bottom strand is low enough to keep them from going under the wire.

If you have a come-along tool, insert your wire into it and use it to keep the wire taut as you work towards the next post. If you don't have a tool, pull as tightly as you can when you are at the next post. If you have someone to help you, you can have them hold the wire tightly while you twist a metal post wire around the barbed wire, connecting it to the metal post. Continue to work in this manner until you reach the next corner post. Again, you will need to wrap the wire around the post, attaching it with the u-shaped nails. When you have gone completely around the pasture with a strand of barbed wire, wrap the end of the wire around the last corner post on the other side of where your gate will be, securing it with the u-shaped nails. You are now ready to repeat the above procedure for each strand of barbed wire.

If you have bought a livestock gate, you should have all the hardware that you need to attach the gate to a wooden post. If you didn't buy a gate, you can construct one out of a wooden pole and strands of barbed wire. A better solution than the wire gate, however, would be to frame out a gate using two by four's, form a "z" or "x" in the middle of the gate, and attach the gate using large hinges to the wooden post. There are a variety of latches to choose from, so pick the one you like the best.

Once you have finished your fence, you will still need to check it periodically. Barbed wire can pull and break, and fence posts can fall or at least tilt, so be prepared to do some minimum upkeep and repair through the year.

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