Thursday, November 19, 2015


Fencing, with respect to livestock, provides three functions for us.

First is to contain our alpacas.... boys and girls separately and occasionally smaller groups for other reasons.  A 4 foot fence is sufficient for this.  Some of the alpacas will get their head stuck in the 4x4" pig fencing that came with our property.  But when I go to help them, they usually figure out how to get their head unstuck.  So we prefer to use 4x2" "no climb" fencing.

Second is to aid in keeping predators out.  While bear, mountain lion and coyote are in the area, we are flanked by dense residential property.  We have seen coyote on our property, but the bear and mountain lion tend to stay west of us.  We don't have poultry or rabbits so the plentiful raccoon, skunk and raptors are not a current threat.  With all of that said, our biggest predation threat comes from neighborhood dog and human.

Third is to contain our Livestock Guardian Dogs.  All LGDs will expand their territory without proper fencing.  The Tibetan Mastiff, being a perimeter-style guardian, is especially prone to roaming, aka expanding their territory.  A 5-6 foot "no climb" fence is better for this.  Most of our dogs are fairly grounded.  Noodle can get over a 5 foot fence, it just hasn't crossed her mind to do it yet.  Nobu can climb a 4 foot pig or chain-link fence without any trouble.

When we moved to our property we did a lot with what the previous owner had left behind and supplemented that with 5 foot welded wire no climb fencing.  For the most part it has worked pretty well.  The fencing we bought is not as durable as we'd like it to be, so we've had to replace several sections and are finally using up the last of our initial buy.

Replacing the 3-strand barbed wire perimeter fence with 6 foot woven wire horse fencing has kept the coyotes and neighborhood dogs out of our pasture.  Which makes our dogs' job easier and helps us to sleep a little better.

Our task last weekend was to replace a line of pig fencing on the girls' interior corral in order to contain Miss Nobu.

This line was in place when we moved in; two panels of pig fencing sandwiching a livestock gate.  It was ugly, but for the preceding dogs and all of the alpacas, it was functional.  We replaced the inside line of pig fence and livestock gate with 5 foot no climb fencing.

Nobu inspecting the new fence

For Miss Nobu, it had been an easy way out of the corral and into the pasture... and now that she's approaching her first season, she showed me that it was an easy way back into the corral so she could cosy up to Miles, who is very much in tact.  While we are considering this breeding for the future, it's too early for both of them and will not be happening this year.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Apollo bounces in and out of the back of my FIL's (tall) pickup truck like its nothing. No run up, no gathering of himself for the jump. Just "pop" and he's up. So we figure he could manage 5' fence no problem and likely could do the 6' chainlink we use if it ever occurred to him to need to. Thankfully it hasn't occurred to him. He's more likely to try to dig under. No one believes me when I tell them that, unless they've owned a TM. Who expects a dog that size to pull off leaps like that!