EXCLUSION fence designs and options have “exploded” in the last eight months, according to Waratah Fencing representative Simon Richardson.
He has been receiving increased enquiry about fence products designed to keep feral animals out of properties in southern and western Queensland for the last five years but Simon said that enquiry had grown exponentially.
Coupled with that was the steep learning curve companies such as his own went through to find a design that suited demand.
“We thought we could come up with the one right design but there were so many concepts.”
After much experimentation they recommend that people think of the different pressures the fence will get, not necessarily putting the same design up all the way through a project.
“Many have been overcapitalising in some areas and undercapitalising in others.
“But we’re now finding they are starting to put cost second and value first.
“They want their fence to last more than they want it to be cheap.”
Fellow representative Wayne Cunningham said the overwhelming message were the reports from anyone who had put a fence up that they had met with some degree of success.
“Blokes are talking about herbage coming back and lamb percentages climbing – they’re definitely getting an economic advantage from doing it.”
When they discovered people were asking questions they didn’t have the answers for, they constructed a 2.5km experimental stretch using seven different designs at Longway station near Longreach last October.
A field day showcasing the various options was held last week, which attracted a lot of interest.
Points made at the field day included:
- Designs with a 90 degree hinge at the bottom, allowing an apron to lie flat on the ground are now about 70 per cent of sales – they are less labour intensive to erect, can be replaced independently of the rest of the fence, and are less likely to curl at the bottom or put pressure on posts.
- People wishing to stop wild dogs are more likely to put five foot fences up, and a barb wire on top is essential.
- Gateways need consideration – pipe or timber can be buried underneath to prevent digging, and some are now available in heights of five feet.
- Consider where to put gates if putting in a long run of fence. One suggestion is to put them in every three km as exclusion fences are harder to cut and get through in a hurry in emergencies such as bushfires.
- Electric fencing is often used as an insurance policy protecting the investment, to prevent damage rather than fixing it.
- Earths get weaker as the ground gets drier. Using a live wire with an apron gives a perfect result.
- There’s no simple solution for creek crossings. People should be prepared to lose some fencing in those situations. Build as cheaply as you can to get control in those areas.
- Bottom wires should be 50mm from the ground. If lower they push the apron up, higher they invite animals to try and go under.