A Guide To Stock Fencing

Over the past few years there have been a number of exciting developments in stock fencing design and technology, which mean it is no longer just a question of selecting any old wire with which to construct your stock fence to enclose livestock such as pigs, lambs, sheep and more exotic animals such as alpacas.

These improvements and new technologies mean that there’s now a much wider choice of wire mesh to consider, so you need to ensure the wire fencing you select for your particular project is the best option available.

Considerations include the type and strength of wire used, the type of knot used to secure the mesh and the mesh pattern. The most important first consideration is the tensile strength of the wire that you select. Tensile strength determines the amount of pressure that can be put on the fence before it breaks, so, for example, bigger animals are likely to lean more heavily on fencing than smaller ones and this pressure needs to be properly evaluated and catered for.

A Guide To Stock Fencing

Which Tensile Wire?

At the lower strength end of the spectrum there is mild tensile wire with a tensile strength of 600-800 N/mm (Newton/millimetre). It is a popular, cost-effective, flexible multi-use wire. This type of wire is only available in a hinge joint fixing, which is the wire mesh shape most traditionally associated with stock fencing. It’s easy to work with, but this type of knot is not the most secure and under pressure this might mean eager livestock can force the vertical wires apart as well as potentially collapse the fence horizontally if they push on it hard enough.

A more longer lasting, robust fence utilises high tensile wire and in addition to the hinge joint knot can be configured in an X knot format. High tensile wire has a greater tensile strength of 1050-1250 N/mm and is heavily galvanised to BSEN10244. This is a popular option for stronger, more longer lasting fences. What’s more, because of its effective tension retaining properties it requires fewer posts,which in itself, saves time and money.

Then there’s the even newer option of high tensile Aluminium/Zinc coated wire which is utilsed in all X Fence netting products

The unique 95% Zinc 5% Aluminium coatinglastsup to three times longer than standard galvanised wire. It is also more ductile,making it easier to work with and install.

A Knotty Subject

In addition to the common hinge joint there’s now the X knot which is much stronger than a hinge joint as well as being a stronger knot than a titelock knot. The X knot usedin X Fence also features a smooth surface that reduces any of the harm that could be experienced when using any of the other knots. Why it is so innovative is that it locks the vertical and horizontal wires together in a long-lasting and binding, safe and strong joint. Also, due to the product design,fewer posts are actually required. All this delivers a stronger, more longer lasting fence.

The forge knot is another option in the stock fencing sector. It consists of a one-piece vertical wire, which provides a unique 24% stronger X joint knot. Again, it can require fewer fence posts. Forge knot is heavily galvanised and a more cost-effective option than X Fence.

The importance of mesh patterns

Another important stock fence consideration is choosing the right mesh pattern (placement of horizontal and vertical wires) for the job in hand. Popular mesh patterns include 8-80-15 and 8-80-30 which are suitable for livestock such as cows, pigs and sheep. Then there’s 8-80-22 mesh pattern that is another good option for fencing sheep and lambs,as the vertical wire spacings are designed to reduce head entrapment by lambs and ear tag loss. There are also specialist stock mesh patterns forkeeping horses in or for excluding unwanted visitors such as otters, badgers and deer.

So, explore the many stock fencing options now available to you and use our guide, together with the input of a specialist stock fencing supplier, to make the right selection for your stock fencing requirements.