Fence me in!
Published: 01/03/24

Strong sturdy fencing brings great peace of mind. Fencing has evolved over the years and the days of cutting a bush to fit a gap, or propping a pallet on the ditch are long gone and easier options for streamlined and effective fencing are the way forward to today’s farmer. Whether you choose electric fencing, solar fencing or the traditional wood post fencing, a good fence is a sound investment. Competent fencing not only keeps your own stock safely within the farm, but also keeps wandering animals out. This ensures the continued health of your herd or flock as unvaccinated or sick beasts are prevented from mixing with your animals.


Electric Fencing

An electric fence is the optimum system for most farmers as it needs less upkeep than traditional wood post fencing and has the added advantage of being mobile. At McCabe Feeds we have all you will ever need for keeping your electric fence singing happily and doing its job with no fuss or bother. The versatility of electric fencing allows for easy strip grazing and the handy separation of fields and meadows, as you move cows and sheep. It comes into its own when isolating an animal that is unwell or that needs a bit of distance from the herd. The power for your electric system can come from a battery, a mains plug in system or from a solar system. No matter which method you choose to charge your fence, the premise is the same for all electric fences. The fence creates an electrical circuit when touched, even if touched very lightly. The pulse or shock only lasts about 150 microseconds. If you ever got a smack from a fence, you would know that this is long enough! It will not harm either you or the animal but is enough to deter an escape. One of the enduring myths in relation to electric fencing is that it needs to be laid in a circle or a loop to make a circuit. But the only circuit created is when the fencing wire is touched, so in theory, an electric fence could continue for many kilometres and not lose its potency or zap.

To use a mains system electric fence, the fence itself would need to be within a reasonable distance as there would need to be direct access to the electrical outlets in the sheds or house. Underground wire can assist it taking it further, and we stock a choice of electric fence underground cable to suit all needs. It’s a simple matter of plugging the energiser into the standard mains socket, the energiser converts the power, and an electrical pulse is transmitted to your fence through a high volt cable. The downside is the lack of mobility with the battery pack and the fluctuation (usually upwards) in electrical prices. Although, the main’s operated energisers are typically able to handle longer fences.

By far the more popular for Irish farmers, and indeed, with our own local farmers, is the battery-operated electric fence. We stock a reasonably priced 130AH alkaline battery for use with the Forcefield B20 & B50 along with many other brands of battery electric fencers. This is suitable for mid-range applications, such as livestock containment and the protection of crops and is a great starter fence. All of our electric fence controllers comply with the approved safety standard specifications and full instructions on installation should be followed carefully. A battery-operated electric fence affords great mobility and versatility as they can be set up in those distant corners of the farm and will work well where animals are moved, or where crops need protection in rotation. At McCabe’s Feeds and General Merchants, we have years of experience in ensuring farmers get the best fencing that suits their particular needs. Planning the fence layout in advance is important. Don’t be tempted to skimp on the fence posts. For example, the spacing for the five strands fencing from the ground up is 12.5 (5 inches), 15 cm (6 inches), 17.5 cm (7 inches), 20 cm (8 inches) and 22.5 cm (9 inches). Intermediate posts should be spaced at 10 meters apart. McCabe Feeds offer great value with fence posts in packs of 10 to make this process easier. These fencing posts are light and durable, with a heavy-duty steel stake, and are great for temporary fencing or for events. We have made shopping for farm fencing equipment an easy task. From the indispensable keyring bleeper tester to these sturdy posts, to polytape and strands, its all at your fingertips online and right here in the stores.

We also stock equipment for traditional fencing, including post drivers, barbed wire strainers and staples.

Good fencing makes for good neighbours, so it is worth the time and the effort to put quality fencing in place. It often saves money in the long term, particularly if we consider the stark implications of insurance claims when wandering stock causes a road accident or simply churns up a local well-loved lawn! Keep them fenced in for peace of mind. We have all you need to successfully fence for horses, cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, and rabbits and to protect crops and mark off areas for grass management. Call in and our friendly, skilled staff will be happy, as always, to advise and assist.

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