Fencing is important. We need it to serve so many functions. Here is where I will outline the best fencing for various purposes.
The Best Fencing To Protect Against Small Predators
Hardware cloth is the best fencing to keep your small farm animals safe. It is strong and doesn’t rip from raccoons, weasels, or other nuisance predators. 1/4 inch hardware cloth from Amazon is small enough to keep even weasels our. It provides protection from foxes, fishers, raccoons, and porcupines. It protects your garden from groundhogs, rabbits, and minks. although you can purchase the 1/2 inch hardware cloth, I recommend the 1/4 inch as it protects better.
Hardware cloth is also useful to put around garden plants to protect them from rabbits, mice, and voles. The 1/4 inch cloth is small enough to keep small rodents from getting through too much your plants!
Protect your yard from snakes by adding hardware cloth to your fencing. You will need 1/4 inch gauge because the 1/2 inch will allow baby snakes through.
You can purchase hardware cloth at Amazon.
If hardware cloth is a little spendy, you can also use Deer Netting / Bird Netting to keep snakes out. But, it will capture the snakes and they will die. So if you want to kill the snakes getting into your coop use it, but otherwise, hardware cloth will keep them out without killing them. Here are the larger sizes on Amazon.
The Best Fencing To Keep Neighborhood Cats In Or Out
Want to keep cats out of your yard (or in?) Oscillo fencing topper is the best addition to any fence. It has a roll at the top that prevents cats from jumping over the fence. (It also works with other predators.) You can keep your cats inside the backyard and other cats out! If I had known about this fencing when I lived in town, I would have purchased it! We had major issues with a neighbor’s cat and this would have prevented the toms from gathering in our backyard to fight.
I like the Oscillo fencing because it is an addition to your existing fencing. You don’t have to redo your fences. The DYI rollers are installed on top of your fence. Your feline friend will be kept out.
Best Bird Of Prey Fencing
The ideal fencing to protect your chickens and ducks from birds of prey is orange plastic fencing. This fencing is easily visible to hawks, eagles, owls, and falcons. That means that they won’t get tangled in the fencing.
Best All-Around Fencing
The best cheap fencing for all-around use is rebar mesh from Lowes, not real fencing. I use it for everything. I cut it 6 squares long and make tomato cages out of it. It is much stronger than store tomato fences. I use it for the fencing that my grapes grow up along the outside of my property. I use it as my foundational basing that I add hardware cloth to.
You should know that it will rust. I care more about good strong fencing than many a fencing that doesn’t rust.
The best fencing (but it’s more expensive) is cattle or hog panels. They come in 12, 14, or 16-foot lengths. They bend (somewhat) and don’t rust. They last forever!
CalRanch sells them for about $35 per panel. But, ValleyWide has a sale once a year, where the same panels are only $22 a panel. I know ValleyWide is only in the Northwestern USA, but you may be able to find them at a local store for less.
Best Electrical Fencing Supplies
Electrical fencing can be intimidating if you haven’t used it before. It was for me. But, in reality, it doesn’t harm you (although it can give a good shock so tell your boys not to pee on the fence). Electrical fencing is very effective in keeping animals in or out of an area. All you need is wire, a controller, and a power source.
You can find anything you need locally, but I have found that it’s generally cheaper on Amazon. That’s especially true of Lowes, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware. But, you may luck out with a sale and not have to wait for shipping.
Here’s what you’ll need.
Electrical Fence Controllers & Chargers:
First, figure out if you have access to electricity. If you have access to plug in your fence, then the Zareba 25 mile AC Controller, Low Impedance is a great choice. It doesn’t short out as easily with weeds. It covers 25 miles of a single strand of 5 miles with 5 strands. Low impedance means that it works a lot better, even when weeds are touching the wires of the fence. It’s a huge improvement on the older fences that shorted out with almost everything.
If you don’t have access to electricity, then you will need a battery-operated controller. The Zareba 25 mile DC Battery Controller is my choice.
Unless you want to purchase 2 sets of batteries and a home charger, the Zareba 10 Mile Solar Fence Charger is the option to use. Although it says it covers 10 miles, if you live in climates with less sunshine and shorter days (such as the northern US or Canada), you will want to probably get an extra charger to make sure you have enough coverage.
Electrical Fence Wire & Insulators:
There are 2 main types of wiring that work well for electric fencing. Aluminum wire is the best for any animal, except horses. This 17 Guage Aluminum Wire from Amazon is a great price.
If you are fencing in horses, you need a special poly tape that will break apart if a horse panics. This keeps it from harming or killing the horse.
You will need insulators to hold the wires and protect the posts from the electricity. T Posts insulators snap onto the posts.
What fencing not to buy
I’m going to go against popular opinion and say it here; “Don’t buy a vinyl fence!” I’m sorry, I know I just offended a lot of people. Vinyl is all the craze these days. I have a vinyl fence around my house (It was here when I bought the house). Here’s why I don’t like vinyl- they break. A LOT. The wind blows more than usual and the next day, I have broken boards. Too much snow? Broken boards. Don’t even get me started if you have kids. Now that I have a vinyl fence, I have noticed that nearly everywhere I see a vinyl fence, I see broken planks. Plus, it rarely, if ever, keeps animals in or out.
Feature Image Photo Credit: Leonard J Matthews Flickr