I needed a fence that would keep the neighborhood dogs from coming around and chasing my chickens, children, or my mom and that could reliably hold in whatever livestock I decided to get in the future. The time and money budget was limited so I read all I could about farm fencing and found that high tensile electric would be the best for a perimeter fence around these 96 acres. Compared to barbed wire, In my opinion, high tensile is much safer and more effective for animals. It is also much easier to work with and less expensive than both barbed or woven wire. In some places on the farm, I was able to go 60' between posts. Woven or barbed call for a post every 10' regardless of terrain as it needs to be a physical barrier and not a psychological barrier like electric. High Tensile Electric is about 30% cheaper than barbed and woven wire would have been 3x the cost just for materials. Not to mention that woven or barbed require much more labor and time to install. Also, maintenance seems to be much easier. I go out each morning to look at my fence charger and judging by the readout I can tell if something fell on the fence or not. To determine this with woven or barbed, you would need to walk the entire fence or wait for the call from your neighbor that your animals escaped. Several times trees fell on the fence putting all the wires to the ground and once the tree is removed, the fence springs back to its original position. I doubt woven or barbed would do the same.
This was not a "beginner" fence. There are wet weather ditches taller than me that needed to be fenced. About 90% of the fence is installed through some really wild woods on rolling to steep terrain. I had to make a bulldozer trail around the perimeter before beginning to install it. There are some crazy steep parts that I couldn't put the dozer on so the trail was made with a chainsaw.
The bit exposed to the road is 5' tall with seven 12 1/2 gauge 200ksi smooth high tensile wires. The rest through the woods is 4' tall with 6 wires. I originally installed it as a 4 wire fence but my official fence tester dog, Dude, jumped right through it like it wasn't even there. I then installed 2 more wires to make it a 6 wire fence with 6-8" between wires. The fence is powered by a Stafix x6i 6 joule 12v dc charger that can power 60km of wire and came with a remote. It puts between 6 and 7000v on the fence depending on how wet or dry it has been.
I will discuss the materials and methods in detail including corner construction, wire tying and terminating, insulators, ditch crossings and the charger wiring in future posts.