[Market-farming] Digging Dogs and Feral Hogs, Anyone?

Kakerby kakerby at aol.com
Fri Feb 1 19:34:25 EST 2013

That's about what we use, but we vary it a little according to the age of the snoot which would most likely be investigating.  Piglets need fencing all the way to the ground (and feral piglets are cute little bundles of severe trouble).  But momma pigs could go right over the top of that IF there was also a gap in the fence they thought they could get through.  So when we've got young piglets + Mom, a second strand around 12" works nicely.  The main issue we've had with that arrangement is that vegetation growing up through the fence will short it out more rapidly than if the hotwire was higher.  You'll have some decisions to make on that point, because it really varies by topography, climate, season and vegetative type.  On our lush pasture, it seems like I'm clearing hotwire fencing just about every day.  On the home property back in the woods, I might only need to clear it once/twice a year.  In the meadow areas of our home property, I'll have to clear it about once/week.  

For your bare areas where the dogs have gone under the existing fence, we've used a trick that works pretty nicely for similar issues.  The hotwire itself is fairly bendable and will hold its shape once bent.  You can affix U-bends or second runs of extra wire that will go down into those hollow areas, and provide even more protection, without changing the overall layout of the rest of the fence.  There's a few different ways you can string that connection but basically the charge will run through it if given half a chance.  Just make sure it can't short out on the ground.  You can also double up or triple up a particularly bad section of fence (such as where evil goats have just done too much damage over the years and you haven't had time to dig it out and start over), by running the hotwire back and forth repeatedly between two fenceposts, in an "S" shape, so that you get multiple layers of contact between those two posts.  I have used that where our bedding has built up and/or the areas on the other side of the fencing have given way, such that there's no longer a tightly fenced section between two posts.  Works nicely as a "field repair" until you can get better fencing in there.  But if your fence is brand new (wow I'm envious!) you probably won't have to resort to those measures.

Hotwire is wonderful stuff.  I won't rely on it entirely, because our Super Evil Goats can and have gone through a hot 5-strand fence.  I guess the grass really was greener there on the other side.  But using your existing fence, plus one or at most two strands of hotwire along the bottom, would do nicely.  Wish our fencing was that new and that tight!
Kathryn Kerby
Snohomish, WA

-----Original Message-----
From: Barking Cat Farm <barkingcatfarm at mindspring.com>
To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Fri, Feb 1, 2013 4:22 pm
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Digging Dogs and Feral Hogs, Anyone?

On Feb 1, 2013, at 11:48 AMFeb/1/13, Kakerby wrote:

> We currently use the same 4' woven field fence that Laurie mentioned to keep 
our piglets and their 800lb+ moms inside their yards.  But we've hotwired the 

Hey again Kathryn,

At what height(s) do you put your hot-wire on the bottom of your fence?  It's 
been suggested to me that 6-7" off the ground is a good height for both hog and 
dog noses (and possibly additional strands at other heights for added 
protection), but would like confirmation from somebody (you) that is having 
success with their design.

Thanks again,
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