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Management-Intensive Grazing: Grazing System Design: Grazing System Infrastructure

Fencing Systems

Any MIG system will require some type of fence to subdivide large pastures into paddocks. This is usually most efficiently and cost-effectively accomplished by employing a permanent perimeter fence around the large pasture's perimeter and a temporary, portable electric fence to delineate paddocks.  The perimeter fence usually consists of a high-tensile, field fence (sometimes called "woven-wire," "page wire," or "hog wire"), barbed wire, or some combination of these fence types. In MIG systems, the permanent fence is often electrified or at least holds the electric current-carrying "hot-wire." 

The interior fence usually consists of polywire (available on reels) and plastic or fiberglass fence posts (e.g., "tread-ins," "pig’s tails," etc.).  By simply attaching the temporary fence to the hot-wire, the interior fence can be quickly put into place. These portable electric fence systems are easy to work with, allow for rapid setup and removal, and flexible enough to allow for any number of paddock arrangements.  Using this combination of permanent perimeter and temporary interior fencing, paddock divisions can usually be made using one strand of wire for grazing of large animals and two strands for smaller animals.

Resources for More Information
"Fences for the Farm" – This UGA Extension publication presents detailed information on how to plan, select materials for, and construct permanent and temporary fences.

"Electric Fencing for Serious Graziers" - This publication was put together by the USDA-NRCS in Missouri. It is one of the most comprehensive publications on electric fencing that is available. It is full of excellent color photographs and illustrations.

Cost Calculators for Permanent Fencing: High-tensile Systems or Woven/Barbed Wire Systems – These calculators were created by Extension Engineers at the University of Kentucky and they provide an excellent estimation of the costs associated with different designs of permanent fence systems.

"Fences for Horses" – This UGA Extension publication presents fencing information that is specific to the development of fencing for horses.