The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Animal Fence for Your Farmstead

Small dog trained by a woman in the open air

Maintaining a farmstead comes with the responsibility of ensuring the safety and well-being of your livestock and crops. A crucial component of farmstead management is selecting the right animal fence to protect your animals and secure your agricultural assets.

With various fencing options available, it’s essential to make an informed decision. In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore the factors to consider and the different types of fencing available to help you choose the ideal animal fence for your farmstead.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Animal Fence

Before delving into the various types of animal fencing, it’s essential to consider several factors that can influence your choice. These factors include:

Type of Animals

The type of animals you are raising on your farmstead plays a significant role in selecting the right fence. Different animals have varying fencing requirements. For example, cattle, horses, and sheep may have different fence height and material needs.

Terrain and Landscape

The topography of your farmstead, including slopes, hills, and rocky areas, can affect the installation and effectiveness of your fence. Consider how the fence will adapt to the terrain.


Your budget will play a crucial role in determining the type of fence you can afford. Some fencing options are more cost-effective than others, both in terms of initial installation and long-term maintenance.

Security Needs

Evaluate your security needs. Are you primarily concerned with keeping animals in, or do you also need to deter potential intruders or predators from entering your farmstead?

Aesthetic Considerations

Fencing can contribute to the overall aesthetics of your farmstead. Consider whether you want a fence that blends with the landscape or one that stands out.

Types of Animal Fencing

Now that we’ve discussed the factors to consider, let’s explore some common types of animal fencing:

Woven Wire Fencing

Woven wire fencing, also known as field fencing, is a versatile option suitable for a wide range of animals. It consists of horizontal and vertical wires woven together to create a sturdy barrier. Here are its key features:

  • Effective for keeping livestock like cattle, sheep, and goats.
  • Available in various heights and mesh sizes to accommodate different animals.
  • Durable and long-lasting.

Electric Fencing

Electric fencing is a popular choice for farmsteads due to its effectiveness and versatility. It uses a mild electric shock to deter animals from coming into contact with the fence. Key points to consider:

  • Suitable for a wide range of animals, including cattle, horses, and poultry.
  • Easily adjustable and adaptable to different needs.
  • Requires regular maintenance and monitoring.

Wooden Fencing

Wooden fencing, such as split rail or board fencing, offers a classic and rustic look for your farmstead. It is often used for aesthetic purposes but can provide adequate containment for some animals. Consider the following:

  • Ideal for horses and other livestock.
  • Requires regular maintenance, including painting or staining.
  • Provides a traditional and charming appearance.

Barbed Wire Fencing

Barbed wire fencing is a cost-effective option used primarily for cattle containment. It consists of wire strands with sharp barbs spaced along them. Here’s what you should know:

  • Effective at deterring cattle and large animals.
  • Not suitable for smaller animals or areas with high foot traffic.
  • Requires careful installation to prevent injury to animals.

Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fencing is a durable and secure option commonly used in commercial farming operations. It offers excellent visibility and containment. Key considerations include:

  • Suitable for a variety of animals, including dogs, poultry, and small livestock.
  • Provides security against predators.
  • Requires minimal maintenance.

High Tensile Wire Fencing

High tensile wire fencing is a strong and resilient option for containing animals on a farmstead. It uses tensioned wires to create a secure barrier. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Effective for large animals like cattle and horses.
  • Requires proper tensioning during installation.
  • Offers longevity and durability.

Mesh Fencing

Mesh fencing is a versatile choice that comes in various sizes and materials. It can be tailored to meet specific animal containment needs. Key features include:

  • Suitable for a wide range of animals, from poultry to small livestock.
  • Provides protection against predators.
  • Easy to install and maintain.


Selecting the right animal fence for your farmstead is a crucial decision that involves considering various factors, including the type of animals you raise, the terrain, your budget, security needs, and aesthetic preferences. Each type of fence has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, making it essential to assess your specific requirements.

Remember that proper installation and maintenance are key to the effectiveness and longevity of your chosen fence. Regular inspections and repairs will help ensure that your animals remain safe and your farmstead remains secure.

Ultimately, the right animal fence for your farmstead should strike a balance between functionality, durability, and cost-effectiveness. By carefully evaluating your needs and understanding the different fencing options available, you can make an informed decision that benefits both your livestock and your agricultural endeavors.