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One of the many areas new homesteaders and farmsteaders must prepare prior to purchasing livestock is a containment area. I’ve seen it time and time again a new homesteader rushes out to purchase livestock (usually horses or goats) without thought as to how best to safely contain these animals. With horses especially you must be particularly careful, they are very large animals and yet very fragile. Here are recommendations for temporary containment, which is especially useful for rotational grazing .
Here on the Blue Ridge Farmstead we are fans of Tpost and electric braid fencing for use in rotational grazing and temporary containment during trips, although we do not leave our livestock turned out in these temporary containment areas at night. Please note that if you are utilizing Tposts with any livestock you absolutely MUST use the safeT post caps or you risk severe injury or even death for your livestock (especially horses). These safety caps for Tposts are an absolute must for any farm or homestead property using Tposts in their containment system, we’ve lived and learned exactly what Tposts can do to large livestock. Our vet once told us that UNCAPPED Tposts are the worst thing that ever happened to horse farming, he has put more horses down or witnessed more horses die from Tpost injuries than he cared to discuss. So take a lesson from Blue Ridge Farmstead and start right to finish strong with these safeT post caps, only a few dollars for a pack of 25 caps. Of course the next thing you’ll need in addition to those safety caps will be your T-posts, most often for our Tennessee Walkers we use the 7 foot T post and drive it 12-18 inches into the ground. On areas where the lay of the land may go down hill we increase the height of the fencing so as to discourage the temptation for the horse to believe it may jump and escape (although TWs are not known for jumping tendencies, other breeds are). If you’re not familiar with how electric fencing works, you will also need insulators to attach to each Tpost (we typically do 2-3 strands, so that utilizes 2-3 insulators per post). These insulators will prevent the grounding out of the electrical charge running through your braided wire electric fencing. Depending upon how large the area is you’re fencing you will decide upon the range of the electrical charging device required to charge your braided electric fencing. For our turnouts we use a 30 mile ac powered charger, it is more than sufficient.
It’s always best to prepare in advance, but if you’re one of the many who have rushed headlong into livestock purchase that’s okay! These temporary containment spaces are easy and fast to pop up in an just an hour or two.