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What is Hog Wire Fencing


Hog wire, also known as stock fence or stockade fence, is a versatile and durable type of fencing often used for livestock. As the name suggests, hog wire was originally designed to confine hogs and pigs within a pen or pasture. But over time it has become popular for fencing in other farm animals and domestic pets as well.

A Sturdy and Adaptable Wire Fencing

Hog wire is distinctive due to its crisscross diagonal pattern. It consists of thick vertical wires with thinner horizontal wires woven over and under it in a continuous zigzag. This creates a series of rectangular openings in the fencing.

The vertical wires provide strength and structure, while the horizontal wires hold everything in place. Hog wire gets its durability and resistance to corrosion from the galvanized coating applied to the steel or iron wire. Galvanization involves dipping the wire in zinc to form a protective layer.

Hog fencing comes in different spacing sizes. The spacing determines how big the rectangular openings are. For example, a 4” mesh hog wire will have 4” x 4” openings. The smaller spacing is ideal for controlling smaller livestock like sheep and goats. While larger 6” or 8” spacing suits bigger animals like cows.

The standard heights for hog fencing are 26” up to 52”. So it can accommodate the diverse needs of horse owners, cattle ranchers, pig farmers, and more. Hog wire is also frequently used for:

  • Building enclosures for chickens, rabbits, and other small livestock
  • Fencing in gardens and crops to keep out rabbits and deer
  • Creating pens for dogs and pet containment
  • Fencing for zoos and animal shelters

This versatility makes hog wire a convenient “one size fits most” option for all kinds of animal and livestock containment applications.

How is Hog Wire Installed?

Installing a hog wire fence is a straightforward process similar to other wire fence types. Here are the basic steps:

  • Mark the boundary you want to fence off using stakes and wire.
  • Install end, corner, and gate posts, burying them 2-3 feet deep in concrete for maximum stability.
  • Stretch hog wire fencing between the posts, leaving some slack to account for temperature changes.
  • Use fencing pliers to wrap and tighten the wire around the posts. Attach fence bands over the connections.
  • For long fence runs, add line posts every 8 to 12 feet to support the hog wire. These don’t need to be concreted in.
  • Use wire or eyelag screws to attach the fencing to the posts. Some hog wire comes with clips to make installation easier.
  • Add tension wires along the top and bottom for increased rigidity. The tension wires get stretched between end posts.
  • Install a gate wide enough for vehicles or equipment to access the area when needed. Hog panels can be used for making gates.

For best results, follow the manufacturer’s instructions specific to the hog fencing you purchased. Their guidance will account for ga

The Benefits of Hog Wire Fencing

There are many good reasons why hog wire has remained a popular choice over the years, including:

Durable – The tightly woven galvanized wire stands up well to constant animal pressure and damage. It retains its shape and spring for longevity.

Good visibility – The rectangular gaps allow excellent visibility of enclosed animals for easy inspection.

Affordable – Hog fencing is one of the most budget-friendly livestock fence options in terms of cost per foot.

Low maintenance – Once installed properly, it requires little upkeep other than checking wire tension.

Versatile – Its varied sizes suit diverse animals and applications, so its useful for multi-purpose properties.

Secure – The small mesh openings prevent most livestock escapes while resisting digging, nibbling, and predator attacks.

Of course, hog wire has some downsides too. It can be injured by motivated animals and needs repairs if bent. And its not recommended for horses due to risk of injury. But for most standard farm needs, its advantages make hog wire hard to beat.

Key Considerations When Choosing Hog Fencing

Here are some important things to factor when selecting your hog wire:

  • Mesh size – Choose openings small enough so animals can’t get stuck or escape. Measure your stock to determine ideal spacing.
  • Height – It should be tall enough that animals can’t jump or climb over. For added height, string two panels atop each other.
  • Wire gauge – Thicker wire is more rigid. Opt for 12, 121⁄2 or 14 gauge for maximum sturdiness with livestock.
  • Galvanization – Class 1 galvanized coating provides longer protection than Class 3. But Class 3 may be sufficient for less demanding uses.
  • Coating – Some hog wire has additional protective coatings like aluminum or PVC plastic. This increases lifespan.
  • Quality – Select reputable established brands for best performance and durability.

With due diligence, high-quality hog wire fencing can last over 20 years through tough outdoor conditions. Your local fencing company can guide you in choosing the right hog wire for your needs.

Hog Wire Remains A Go-To Fencing Option

Hog fencing has been around since the late 19th century, but this classic wire mesh remains a staple for modern livestock operations. Its unique crisscross pattern combines strength, durability, and affordability. Hog wire strikes an ideal balance between security, visibility, ease of installation, and cost-effectiveness.

While other fence types work better for certain specialized applications, hog wire is still a go-to option for general perimeter fencing. It provides solid performance across a wide range of containments needs from poultry to cattle and more.

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